Getting cheap auto insurance in Florida does not have to be difficult. If you’re new to the state, you’ll find that Florida’s car insurance laws differ in many ways from other states in the nation. Florida is one of only a handful of states that has no fault insurance laws. No fault insurance laws greatly reduce the liability of at fault drivers. Insurance companies pay out to victims of crashes quickly on behalf of covered at fault drivers and avoid costly litigation most of the time. This in turn allows insurance companies to keep premiums low in no fault states; companies in Florida selling auto insurance offer premiums lower than the national average.First, Consider the Coverage Amount You Need
Florida requires that all drivers carry a minimum policy with two coverage types:
- Property Damage Liability (PDL)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Each of these coverage types must have a minimum payout of $10,000 each. Buying insurance that meets the bare bones state mandated requirements will almost always be your cheapest option. However, many drivers are not comfortable with only PDL and PIP coverage, considering what they offer:
Personal damage liability or PDL insurance only covers other people’s property that you damage with your car. The insurance protects you from potential lawsuits if you are the at fault driver in an accident, but if your car is damaged you will receive zero monies from your insurance company for repairs.
Personal injury protection or PIP insurance covers you, your family and other qualified individuals riding in your car if an accident occurs that results in personal injury, regardless of who caused the accident. PIP also protects bicyclists, pedestrians, and even children riding on school buses, and is also known as Florida’s no fault insurance.
While PDL and PIP coverage of an amount of $10,000 is the state mandated minimum, drivers should recognize its limitations. Although the minimum coverage is very affordable, a baseline policy will not cover any repairs to your car or any large medical bills. A minor crash could set you back thousands for repair costs, and a major one could leave you stranded without a car. Likewise, medical care costs are exorbitant, and a major crash with injuries would far exceed state mandated PIP minimums.Consider Adding More Than the State Minimum Coverage
Auto insurance shoppers in Florida should consider if PDL and PIP are enough coverage for their needs and peace of mind. Many drivers in Florida add:
- Bodily Injury Liability insurance, or BIL
Drivers with high dollar assets to their name should consider adding bodily injury liability or BIL insurance to their policy. BIL insurance covers major medical expenses and funeral costs of victims that resulted in a crash caused by you, a family member or other covered person in your car. The high payout maximums are a good idea for drivers with valuable assets. If a major crash were to occur and you’re at fault, a victim’s PIP policy’s maximum payout will be exceeded quickly and a victim or victim’s survivors could sue you for your personal assets to recoup their loss if you do not carry BIL coverage.
- Physical Damage Coverage
Coverage that protects damages to their vehicle, so they are not left without a way to work in the event of a crash.
- Keep Your Driving Record Clean
Having an accident free, ticket free record is the best way to ensure your insurance premiums stay low. Speeding from place to place when you’re in a rush is never worth the risk of a pricey ticket and possible higher insurance premiums.
- Shop Around
There are many companies who sell auto insurance in Florida and it’s a competitive industry. Use websites to compare multiple quotes, read reviews regarding customer service and response times to claims, and call up companies yourself to see if they can offer you any discounts or promotions.
- Make Insurance Companies Compete for Your Business
You may find that an insurance company who receives bad customer service reviews can offer you a lower premium, compared to companies who have better reviews. If this is the case, call the better rated company and tell them of their competitor’s quote and see if they can match it. It never hurts to try this tactic and customer service is an important consideration when choosing an auto insurance company.