It’s no secret that everyone is moving to Florida. In fact, since the pandemic alone, the sunshine state has gained over 400,000 new residents. People move here for several reasons, like the sunny year-round weather, lower cost of living, lower property taxes, and the lack of a state income tax. All those things make Florida desirable and different. Auto insurance coverage is different than in other states, too. Therefore, we at KL Injury Attorneys have put together this little insurance primer so you can be proactive and make sure you have the car insurance you need so you’re covered in case of an accident.
For someone just moving here from out of state who has never changed their auto policy to Florida, you are required by law to register your vehicle within 10 days of either becoming employed, placing children in public school, or establishing residency. Regardless of the registration status of your vehicle, if you fail to notify your auto insurance carrier that you moved within a reasonable period of time (30-90 days, depending on the circumstances), your insurance carrier can deny coverage if you are involved in an accident. You also have 30 days to get a valid Florida driver’s license once you establish residency in Florida.
Coverages that you want to carry in Florida to protect yourself
Now onto the subject of auto insurance. If you’re in an accident and it’s not your fault, the first thing KL does is determine the coverage of both parties. Read on and see if you have the coverage you need.
Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Car insurance coverage is, of course, required by law in the state of Florida. You must have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) at the time of vehicle registration. You always want liability insurance if an accident is your fault because it covers damage to another person’s property caused by you or someone else driving your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
As for PIP, you can think of it as “medical insurance” because this coverage goes straight to the doctor for your medical bills and can be used towards lost wages from missing work. However, PIP only pays 80 percent (of reasonable and necessary medical bills), up to $10,000 of your covered injuries, no matter who caused the crash. That said, you can get supplemental medical payments coverage that covers the other 20 percent. This is really only needed in the event you don’t have your own health insurance coverage.
Comp and Collision
Comp and collision will cover you regardless of who is at fault. If someone is under-covered, with either minimal property damage coverage or no property damage coverage, and you don’t have comp and collision, YOU’LL have to cover the cost of repairs beyond what they have coverage for.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Bodily injury liability coverage, also known as BI coverage, is equally as important as Uninsured Motorist coverage. BI coverage provides coverage for injuries (not including your injuries) or death that you cause when an accident is your fault. This coverage also helps cover payment for legal defense if you are sued for damages.
Just as important as carrying Bodily Injury coverage, you should also carry uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM or UIM coverage. This will cover your bodily injury in an accident in the event you sustain injuries beyond what the other motorist is covered for or will cover you if the at-fault vehicle did not carry bodily injury liability coverage. You’ll always want to carry this insurance as many people are out there driving without liability insurance. It also covers a child that lives at your home, an additional passenger that happens to be in your vehicle during an accident, or if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, including while a passenger in an Uber or Lyft.
Rental Car Reimbursement
If you currently don’t have rental car reimbursement as part of your car insurance, you should definitely consider it. It’s relatively low cost and covers the cost of a rental car, up to 30 days, while your car is in the shop getting repaired. So, you can get to work, and your life can continue, with minimal interruption, while your car is in the shop.
The bottom line:
Go over your auto insurance with your agent and see if you have the right coverage for your needs. As the adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And, in the unfortunate circumstance that you, a loved one, or a friend gets injured in an automobile accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then contact a qualified personal injury attorney to review your case.
Dealing with car accident damage, medical bills, and insurance claims can be overwhelming and scary, but our expert team at KL is here to make the process as stress-free as possible. Because you’ve already been through enough stress as it is, contact us for a free consultation on your case today.
Want additional information? Click on the links below to find out more about new resident and Florida auto Insurance requirements:
New resident information:
Information on coverage requirements: