Did you know that Florida is home to more than 15 million licensed drivers? That makes it the third state with the most licensed motorists!
The thing is, the immense number of vehicles used in the state has also propelled car accident rates. In 2017 alone, a staggering 388,032 car crashes occurred in the Sunshine State.
Those stats should be enough to prove how crucial it is to buy auto insurance in Florida. Car insurance, after all, protects you from huge bills for bodily and property damage. Also, not abiding by the state’s minimum requirements can lead to license suspension.
Now the big question is, how exactly do you buy car insurance in the Sunshine State? Should you only go for the minimum requirements or would a more robust policy be better?
We’ll answer all these questions in this seven-step buying guide, so be sure to keep reading!
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Sunshine State’s Auto Insurance Requirements
Before you can even register a car in Florida, you first need Personal Injury Protection (PIP). You also need Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage before you can drive a vehicle. The state requires a minimum of $10,000 for PIP and another $10,000 for PDL.
These requirements fall under the state’s “no-fault” car insurance system. Meaning, if you get into an accident, your own PIP and PDL will cover you, whether you’re at fault or not. Note, however, that PIP will only cover you, the policy owner, and anyone included in it.
Assuming that the other driver is also law-abiding, then they should have PIP and PDL to cover them.
As you can see, Florida’s no-fault system puts drivers in an “every man for himself” kind of situation. In some cases, this is fine, as it means you still get coverage even if you’re at fault. You only have to file a claim and your policy will cover you up to its limits.
However, PIP won’t provide compensation for non-monetary damages. It has exclusions to the types of losses it covers, such as “pain and suffering”.
This is why you should consider getting a more robust auto insurance policy. You can start by contacting one of Florida Best Quote’s insurance agents. These pros can help you better understand your other auto insurance coverage options.
2. Add Bodily Injury Liability Coverage to Your Policy
Florida doesn’t require motorists to get bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. If you don’t get BDL coverage though, you’re at risk of being liable for injuries you cause to certain people. Some people can step outside of the no-fault system and sue you for their losses.
That said, it’s best that you add BIL coverage to your policy too. FBQ’s highly-experienced agents can help walk you through the process. They’ll help you find the best carrier offering state-required and BIL coverage.
3. Factor in Your Ability to Pay Potential Hospital Bills
In 2017, the average emergency room bill amounted to $1,389. That represents a 176% rise from 10 years before. Moreover, that’s only one visit, and it doesn’t even cover medications and other hospital fees.
As you can see, Florida’s minimum PIP requirement could be inadequate to protect you. This is why it’s best to buy more coverage than what the state requires. At the same time, you don’t want to buy more than what you need, as that could make your premiums skyrocket.
One way to ensure you get the right amount of coverage is to work with a car insurance specialist. FBQ’s experts can help you figure out how much insurance you need, based on your specific needs.
4. Consider Your Car’s Value and How Much It Would Cost to Repair
The state’s minimum required coverage doesn’t include protection for your assets. Unless you have collision coverage, you’ll pay out-of-pocket to repair your crashed car.
To give you some idea, car repair pros charge between $50 and $120 to fix a one-inch dent. Every additional inch adds between $20 and $60 to the bill.
If you need to replace your bumper, the new one alone could already cost you up to $1,000. That doesn’t include the labor or other materials needed for the job.
These are only minor repairs, but you get the gist — car crash repair can be very expensive. So, rather than risk your finances, consider purchasing collision coverage too. This type of auto insurance coverage will help pay for the costs to repair crash damages to your car.
The experienced agents at FBQ can help you determine how much of this coverage is enough for your ride.
5. Compare, Compare, Compare
The only way to get the best yet cheap car insurance is to explore and compare your options. Meaning, you should never settle for the first offer you get, as you’re likely to miss out on something better. At the very least, you should compare at least three policies from different carriers.
Luckily, FBQ is a Florida insurance agency that will do this tedious yet vital work for you. You can rely on FBQ’s agents to look for insurance offers from different insurers. They’ll provide you not just with the policy details, but also quotes from the carrier.
All you have to do after is to review each policy and decide which one to take.
6. Don’t Hesitate to Ask about Discounts
If you have a stellar driving record, FBQ’s insurance experts can help you get lower insurance rates. They will also help you find a carrier that would qualify you for discounts after your credit score goes up. They can even help secure a discounted rate for you if you have the latest safety and security tech in your ride.
All this is possible because FBQ works with some of Florida’s best insurance carriers. So, don’t hesitate to ask about these money-saving deals when buying a new car insurance policy.
7. Check Out Bundled Insurance Policies
You can save quite a lot if you opt to bundle your auto insurance with these other policies. What’s more, FBQ will handle the creation of your bundled policy, which means less work for you. You only have to tell your FBQ agent what insurance you want, how much of it you need, and they’ll do the rest of the work.
Buy Auto Insurance the Easy Way by Teaming up with an FBQ Auto Insurance Agent
There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to buy auto insurance in Florida. Follow these steps to ensure you get adequate coverage and also save money on lower premiums. You can make it even easier and simpler by reaching out to one of Florida Best Quote’s insurance agents.
Ready to find the best auto insurance or bundled policy that will meet your needs? Then please feel free to get your insurance quote now! As soon as we get your request, one of FBQ’s agents will get in touch with you to discuss your options.