Having the right level of auto insurance coverage is essential to drive in the US and there are different insurance requirements across the different states.
Full coverage auto insurance normally means that the driver and vehicle are protected across all types of incidents but it is important to read the full insurance company policy to check what is covered, as the term "full coverage" can be misleading.
Florida is a "no-fault" state which means the insurance requirements are different from some other states and in many cases, drivers will go through their own insurance rather than claiming through the "at-fault" driver.
In Florida, the minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage are:
Personal injury protection coverage includes the cost of medical bills if you are at fault for an accident where people are injured and require medical attention.
Property damage liability covers the cost to repair any property damage that you can when driving, for example, a wall, fence, or another vehicle and possessions in the vehicle.
If you did not have this minimum level of coverage, you could face a lawsuit in the situation of a road accident.
As a no-fault state, if you were injured in a collision with a driver that was not insured, your PIP cover will pay up to $10,000 in medical bills regardless of which driver was at fault.
Florida is a state where people often reside for short-term periods, so there is a specific requirement regarding the period of time you are driving in the state. If you are driving in Florida for more than 90 days in a 365 period, you must have auto insurance for the state of Florida, even if you have an out-of-state driver's license and registration.
Under Florida state law all drivers must have the minimum amount on all vehicles to cover the cost of medical expenses and property damage:
Full coverage auto insurance usually includes the minimum amounts as well as comprehensive and collision coverage. However, it is important to check with the insurance company you are taking a policy out with to ensure it includes comprehensive coverage, as this is not always the case.
Comprehensive coverage includes protection against fire and theft of your vehicle, not costs related to a car accident.
Liability coverage includes damage that the driver is liable for, including damage to property and other people's vehicles if you collide with the property.
First-party benefits refer to the cover that is applicable to you and your passengers in the case of injury resulting from a car accident. It pays reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred through injuries caused by an accident.
The cost of full coverage car insurance will depend on a variety of factors, like driver age, driving record, including previous claims, and the type of vehicle being insured.
Keep in mind that most insurance companies refuse to insure drivers with reckless driving charges.
The average policy for full coverage car insurance in Florida is $2,762 per year, while the average for minimum coverage auto insurance is $997. Young drivers pay the highest for annual policies, with 18-year-olds often paying over $8,000.
When you are taking out an insurance policy it is important that you understand what is not covered, to avoid unexpected costs in the event of an accident or incident. These are some of the limitations:
If you have an accident and your vehicle is damaged, full coverage insurance does not include the cost of repairs to rectify the damaged parts. If you want to make sure that car repairs are covered, you would need to take out add-on comprehensive insurance. If you are not at fault for the accident, then you may be able to claim compensation for car repairs, depending on a number of factors.
Full coverage auto insurance does not cover the replacement of your vehicle if it is stolen. Even if your vehicle is recovered, there may be significant damage that requires costly repairs. Most comprehensive policies will cover the cost of replacing a stolen vehicle or repairing a recovered stolen vehicle.
In Florida and 11 other US states, there is a no-fault law. This means that in the event of an accident involving more than one driver, each driver will claim through their own insurance policy rather than the other driver's insurance, regardless of who was at fault.
The minimum auto insurance requirements in Florida are $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability. In the event of an accident, a driver can claim medical bills or property damage costs up to the limit covered on their auto insurance.
When you are taking out your auto insurance policy, there are several optional auto insurance coverage choices:
Full coverage auto insurance is recommended in Florida, as well as taking out additional add-ons for comprehensive cover. The more coverage that you have, the more expensive your policy will be, so you should consider factors such as the value of your vehicle when deciding which level of cover to take out.
For example, if your vehicle is worth around $2,000, paying an extra $1,000 to cover it for theft is not going to be as worthwhile as if your vehicle is worth $30,000.
You may also want to consider what the vehicle theft rate is like in the area where you live and where you will be parking the vehicle, both at home and at work or any other places that might be a higher risk of theft or vandalization.
Young drivers with less driving experience will have high insurance premiums, so it may be a better option to take out the minimum amount until the policy premiums start to come down.
You still have to consider what would happen in the event of an accident if your vehicle is written off or badly damaged or if you get an injury that requires medical treatment.
If drivers can afford to take out extra insurance in Florida, then it will give them peace of mind that they will not end up out of pocket in the event of an accident or theft of a vehicle. It is recommended to get lots of different quotes so that you can compare the different prices and also the different levels of coverage and what is included with each policy.
1. What is included in the full coverage of an auto policy?
A full coverage auto policy includes the minimum coverage amounts:
Some policies will also include comprehensive and collision coverage but you will need to check with the insurance company.
2. What's the difference between collision and full coverage?
Collision coverage covers the cost of any damage caused to your vehicle in an accident, while full coverage will usually only include the other driver's expenses if you cause an accident.
3. How much car insurance do I really need in Florida?
This depends on factors such as the value of your vehicle. For many people, the minimum insurance is the preferred level due to the cost of full coverage. However, people who own or lease more expensive vehicles prefer to have the peace of mind of full coverage and all the optional add-ons.
4. What's the difference between liability and full coverage insurance?
Liability means covering the costs that you are liable for, or in other words, damage or injuries you have caused to another party. Full coverage includes protection for your own injuries and vehicle.
4. What is the difference between basic and full coverage car insurance?
Basic coverage is usually referred to as the minimum level of cover:
Unlike basic insurance, the full one includes coverage for your injuries and vehicle damage.