If you are a permanent or a seasonal resident in South Florida, it is important to have an adequate car insurance coverage plan. We educate you about your options and help you find the policy that is right for you.
Personal Auto Insurance
For a personal vehicle, the state of Florida requires you to carry personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance (that famous PIP/PD). The minimum amount for PIP is $10,000, and the minimum for PD is $10,000.
Always understand coverage limitations before buying a policy:
PIP - Personal Injury Protection:
Since Florida is a no-fault state, your PIP coverage applies first toward your medical bills and may cover your lost wages if you are injured in an accident, and the other driver's PIP applies for any of his or her injuries. PIP may also cover the following:
- You as a bicyclist or pedestrian.
- Your child and other household members.
- Your child on a school bus.
- Passengers in your vehicle who do not have their own PIP.
- Up to $5,000 for a death benefit.
If you are in an accident and have passengers in your vehicle who have their own PIP, their insurance pays for their medical expenses up to the limit listed on their policy.
PD - Property Damage to Others (Liability):
When you are in an at-fault accident and cause damage to another person's property, PD covers the damages. Some examples of property include homes, sheds, vehicles and other personal belongings.
BI - Bodily Injury to Others (Liability):
This coverage is not mandatory. However, the state may require you to carry BI if you caused a serious crash or have been convicted of certain vehicle-related offenses.
Although Florida is a no-fault state, this does not mean that you are not liable for any medical bills if you cause an accident. If the accident was your fault, the other driver is only covered for as much PIP coverage as he or she has.
Consider getting both: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverages. The limits are typically expressed in a 3-tier system: e.g. 50 / 100 / 25:
- 50 is the maximum amount of injury-related expenses (in thousands) the insurer will cover per person;
- 100 is the total amount of injury-related expenses the insurer will cover per incident; and
- 25 is the maximum amount of property damage expenses the insurer will pay off for each incident
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist:
Imagine getting into an accident that results in $30,000 of medical costs for you. It was caused by another driver who only has a $10,000 BI limit (Underinsured case) or no such coverage at all (Uninsured case). You will be able to use only the $10,000 of your own PIP limit and will have to cover the $10,000 or $20,000 yourself (depending on the at-fault driver's policy limits).
This is where uninsured/underinsured coverage is helpful. It works as a way of filling coverage gaps and prevents you from paying a huge sum from your own savings or being forced to sell assets to avoid getting in debt.
Comprehensive And Collision:
You are not required by law to carry comprehensive or collision.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages that are not related to accidents. For example, it would cover a smashed windshield or scratches on your paint from a vandalism incident. You will be reimbursed in full (up to the cash value of your car) in case the car it totaled in a natural disaster, fire or theft.
Collision pays for damages to your car in an accident.
The Auto Insurance Policy with all of these coverages:
- Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability;
- Personal Injury Protection; and
- Comprehensive and Collision
is often referred to as "Full Coverage". You may choose this package yourself or be required to carry it by a Loan or Leasing company.
There are optional auto insurance coverages such as Medical Payments, Rental Car, Roadside Assistance, Towing and others.
Rental car coverage applies if you must rent another car while yours is being repaired after it was wrecked or damaged. Towing and Roadside Assistance cover most costs associated when towing your vehicle if it breaks down, this coverage also applies to other tasks such as jump-starting a battery or replacing a tire.
Ask your agent about the additional options as they vary from carrier to carrier.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Florida has special insurance rules for commercial vehicles. Commercial coverage includes the same types of insurance as personal auto insurance and has at least the same minimum requirements.
Vehicles used for commercial purposes are usually considered a bigger risk to the insurance company and it is mandatory to inform the insurer about the nature of your business. If you transport passengers or hazardous materials in your commercial vehicle, there are additional requirements that should be discussed with your Agent).
Commercial Auto Insurance Policies may have combined single limits for Property Damage and Personal Injury. For example, you if you choose $250,000 for PIP and $250,000 for PD in a combined limit, it would simply be $500,000 for both of these mandatory coverages. Any qualified damages will be deducted from this amount.
Who Needs Commercial Vehicle Insurance
You will need this coverage if:
- Your vehicle is used for any business-related purposes;
- Your vehicle is used for racing;
- Your vehicle has a bathroom, cooking equipment or other special features;
- Your vehicle is leased or rented by others;
- Your vehicle belongs to a corporation.
- Your vehicle is regularly driven for both business and personal purposes.
If you transport people or goods out of Florida or into the state, there are other special requirements and they vary based on what you are transporting.
We will be happy to guide you through Auto Insurance!
Alltrust Insurance Group has been helping South Florida residents find car insurance since 2000, and we can help you choose the best policy for your needs and budget. Here are some benefits of working with us:
- We are a trusted name throughout South Florida;
- We work with several top-rated insurers to find you the best deals;
- We help you compare current rates and policies;
- We offer services in English, Spanish and Russian.
We also determine your eligibility for discounts to help lower your insurance costs. Some insurers offer discounts for multiple vehicles on a policy, military service, good grades, safe driving and more.