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The 10 most frequently asked questions about auto insurance in Florida

If you’re a driver or considering driving in the state of Florida, it’s crucial to understand the laws, requirements, and options related to auto insurance. Auto insurance provides security, peace of mind, and support in case your auto is involved in an accident or causes damage.

In this article, we present the most frequently asked questions about auto insurance in Florida and explain everything you need to know about it, from why it is necessary to how you can save money by purchasing it. I’ll also address common questions that drivers—especially immigrants—have on this topic. So keep reading and discover how you can drive confidently and responsibly in Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Insurance in Florida

1. Why Get Auto Insurance in Florida?

Acquiring auto insurance in Florida is not only a good idea but also a legal obligation. According to the Florida Department of Insurance, every driver with a Florida license plate must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. These requirements include:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage: PIP coverage typically pays 80% of medical expenses, 60% of lost wages, and 100% of replacement services, up to a limit of $10,000, for injuries sustained by you or your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault. It also generally covers $5,000 for funeral expenses in case of death. 
  • Property Damage Liability (PDL) Coverage: PDL coverage usually pays up to $10,000 for damages you cause to other people’s property with your vehicle, such as another car, a house, a pole, or a fence.

While these are the minimum coverage required for legal driving in Florida, there is an additional optional coverage you can choose to enhance your protection. Insurance companies in Florida offer a variety of coverage options that you can tailor to your needs and budget. By getting auto insurance, you not only comply with the law but also safeguard yourself, your family, and your assets from the risks associated with driving.

2. Can I apply for a Driver’s License and get Auto Insurance if I am an Immigrant?

These may be the most frequently asked questions about auto insurance in Florida and the answer is Yes. You can apply for a Driver’s License and get Auto Insurance if you are an immigrant in Florida, as long as you meet the requirements set by the authorities. These requirements vary depending on your immigration status, but in general, you must present the following documents:

  • Identity document: It can be your passport, your residence card, your work permit, your visa, or your naturalization certificate, among others.
  • Proof of residence: A utility bill, a rental contract, a bank statement, or a tax return, among others, that show your name and address in Florida will suffice.
  • Auto insurance: You must have a valid auto insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements of the state, issued by a company authorized in Florida.
  • Proof of social security: If you have a social security number, you must present your card or a document that contains it, such as your tax return or work permit. If you do not have a social security number, you must present a sworn statement that indicates it.
  • In addition to these documents, you must pass the theoretical and practical driving tests, and pay the corresponding fees. Once you obtain your Driver’s License, you must keep your auto insurance valid and renew your license every four years.

3. What are the rights and duties of the insured?

As an insured, you have a series of rights and duties that you should know and respect.

Among your rights, are:

  • Receive fair, honest, and professional treatment from your insurance company and its representatives.
  • They must give you a clear and detailed explanation of your insurance policy, including the coverage, the limits, the exclusions, the conditions, and the premiums.
  • Receive a copy of your insurance policy and any change or modification that is made to it.
  • The insurer must offer you a quick and efficient response to your claims, inquiries, and complaints. Likewise, they must inform you of the steps and deadlines that are followed to resolve them.
  • Receive fair and timely compensation for the damages covered by your insurance policy, under the terms and the applicable laws.
  • They must send you a prior and written notification of any cancellation, non-renewal, or premium increase of your insurance policy. The notification must include the reasons and the options that you have in this regard.
  • Choose freely the workshop or the provider that you prefer to repair your vehicle or attend to your injuries, as long as they comply with the quality standards and the reasonable prices of the market.
  • Change your insurance company whenever you want, without penalties or restrictions, as long as you notify your current company with due anticipation.

Among your duties, are:

  • Read and understand your insurance policy, and comply with the obligations and the requirements that are established in it.
  • Pay your insurance premiums on time and keep your policy valid.
  • Inform your insurance company of any change in your personal information, in your vehicle, or in your risk situation, that may affect your insurance policy.
  • Drive prudently, respect the traffic laws, and avoid any conduct that may increase the risk of accidents or damages.
  • Report to your insurance company any accident or incident that involves your vehicle, as soon as possible. In addition, you must cooperate with the investigation and the claim process.
  • Provide your insurance company with all the information and the documentation that they request, related to the accident or the incident. For example, the police report, the data of the involved parties, the witnesses, the photos, the receipts, etc.
  • Compare the different options and offers that exist in the market, and choose the insurance policy that best suits your needs and your budget.

4. What legal requirements do I need to get auto insurance in Florida

This is another common question about auto insurance in Florida. You must meet the following legal requirements:

  • Be the owner or the lessee of the vehicle that you want to insure, or have the permission of the owner or the lessee to do so.
  • Have a valid Driver’s License in Florida, or alternatively, an International Driver’s License, or from another state or country, that allows you to drive in Florida.
  • Have contracted auto insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the state, issued by a company authorized in Florida, or demonstrate that you have enough financial resources to pay for the damages that you may cause with your vehicle.
  • Present the auto insurance when registering your vehicle, renewing your plate, applying, or renewing your license, or when requested by a traffic officer or a judge.

5. What type of coverage should my auto insurance have in Florida?

The type of coverage that your auto insurance should have in Florida depends on your needs, your budget, and your level of risk. As we already explained, auto insurance in Florida is based on the “no-fault” system, which means that each driver must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage, which are the minimum required by the state.

However, these coverages only protect you to a certain extent, and may not be enough to cover all the damages that you may suffer or cause in an accident. That is why we recommend that you consider hiring other optional coverage that provides you with greater protection, such as, for example:

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage

This coverage protects you in case you cause injuries or death to other people with your vehicle. With it, you avoid having to pay out of your pocket for the medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering of the victims. It also covers your legal expenses in case you are sued. This coverage is optional, but it may be required if you have a history of accidents or serious infractions, or if you rent or finance your vehicle.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage

This coverage protects you in case you suffer injuries or death in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance or who has insufficient insurance to cover the damages. In addition, it covers your legal expenses in case you sue the responsible driver. We recommend hiring it, as it is estimated that around 20% of drivers in Florida do not have insurance.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage

This coverage protects you in case your vehicle suffers damage in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. It also covers your towing and rental expenses while your vehicle is being repaired. Although it is optional, this coverage may be required if you rent or finance your vehicle.

Comprehensive (CAC) coverage

This coverage protects you in case your vehicle suffers damage from causes other than an accident, such as, for example, fire, theft, vandalism, hail, flood, or animal impact. It also covers your towing and rental expenses while your vehicle is being repaired. This type of coverage could be required if you rent or finance your vehicle.

Summarizing

As you can see, the type of coverage your auto insurance should have in Florida depends on several factors, and there is no single answer for everyone. What we can tell you is that, in general, the more coverage you have, the more protected you will be, but also, the more you will pay. That is why we advise you to compare the different options and offers that exist in the insurance market and choose the insurance policy that best suits your needs and your budget.

6. What is the driving record and how does it affect my auto insurance?

The driving record is the record of your behavior as a driver, which includes the accidents, infractions, fines, and sanctions you have had in the last few years. This record is one of the factors that most influence the price of your auto insurance, as it reflects your level of risk and your probability of causing or suffering an accident.

In general, the better your driving record, the cheaper your auto insurance will be, and vice versa. This is because insurance companies assume that drivers with a good driving record are more responsible and prudent and, therefore, less likely to have claims. On the contrary, drivers with a bad driving record are considered more irresponsible and reckless, and, therefore, more likely to have claims.

That is why we recommend that you take care of your driving record and that you avoid any behavior that may affect it negatively. For example, avoid exceeding the speed limits, running red lights, driving without a license or without insurance, etc. In this way, you will not only save money on your auto insurance but also contribute to road safety and accident prevention.

7. Is it true that I can be held liable for an accident with my car, even if I was not the driver?

The answer is yes, it is true that you can be held liable for an accident with your car, even if you were not the driver. This is because, in Florida, auto insurance is associated with the vehicle, and not with the driver. The auto policy will protect you depending on several factors, such as, for example, whether the auto was used with or without your consent.

That is why you should be very careful when lending your car, and make sure that the person who is going to drive it has a valid Driver’s License, is responsible and prudent, and has your express permission to do so.

8. If I travel to another state, will the insurance I have in Florida work for me, or do I need some other type of coverage?

If you travel to another state with your vehicle, your auto insurance in Florida will work for you, as long as the state you travel to has the same or lower minimum requirements than Florida. This is because most insurance companies offer a “reciprocity” clause, which means that your policy will automatically adjust to the requirements of the state you travel to, without you having to pay anything extra.

However, if you travel to a state that has higher minimum requirements than Florida, your auto insurance in Florida may not be enough. As a consequence, you could have legal or financial problems in case you have or cause an accident. For example, if you travel to a state that requires Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage, and you do not have it, you could have to pay out of your pocket for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the victims, or even face a lawsuit.

That is why we recommend that, before traveling to another state with your vehicle, you check the minimum auto insurance requirements that that state has, and compare them with those of your policy. If your policy does not meet the requirements of the state you travel to, you can choose to hire additional or temporary coverage that provides you with the protection you need. In this way, you can travel safely and peacefully, without risking your assets.

9. How does a DUI affect auto insurance in Florida?

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a serious offense that means driving under the effects of alcohol or drugs. Certainly, a DUI can affect your auto insurance in Florida in several ways, all negative. These are some of the consequences that a DUI can have on your auto insurance:

  • Increase in the premium.
  • Cancellation or non-renewal of the policy.
  • Requirement of an FR-44.

As you can see, a DUI can affect your auto insurance in Florida significantly. In addition, it can have legal, financial, and personal consequences that can last for years. Therefore, we advise you to avoid driving under the effects of alcohol or drugs and to respect the legal limits of blood alcohol concentration, which are 0.08% for drivers over 21 years old, and 0.02% for drivers under 21 years old.

10. What is the average cost of auto insurance in Florida? What factors influence the price?

The average cost of auto insurance in Florida is $1,445 per year, according to a study by The Zebra. However, this cost can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as, for example:

– The type and amount of coverage that you hire.

– Your age, gender, and marital status.

– The value and features of your vehicle.

– Your driving history.

– The place where you live.

– Your credit history.

– The use that you give to the vehicle.

As you can see, the cost of your auto insurance in Florida depends on many factors, and there is no single rate for everyone. In addition, there are several ways to save that you can analyze with your insurance agent. What we can tell you is that, in general, the more risky you are as a driver, the more you will pay for your auto insurance, and vice versa. Therefore, we suggest that you compare the different options and offers that exist in the market and that you choose the insurance policy that best suits your needs and your budget.

Final Words

Auto insurance in Florida is a protection that gives you security, peace of mind and support in case you suffer or cause any accident or damage with your vehicle.

In this article, we have reflected on the most frequently asked questions about auto insurance from our customers. We hope it has been useful and informative, and that it has helped you to resolve your doubts about auto insurance in Florida.

Remember that auto insurance is a protection that gives you security, peace of mind and support in case you suffer or cause any accident or damage with your vehicle.

That is why we invite you to compare the different options and offers that exist in the market, and to choose the insurance policy that best suits your needs and your budget.

At Veneville, we have excellent options and we can provide you with the most complete advice. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about this article, or about auto insurance in Florida, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you and advise you.

 

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