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Personal Auto Insurance
Owners of motor vehicles (cars, suv, van, trucks) designed for road use, which require to be registered and licensed (tag) by Florida law.  These vehicles are primarily for personal usage, not for conducting business or for work purposes.  Florida law mandates owners of motor vehicles to carry specific coverages, and there are also valuable optional coverages that allow you to tailor your policy for your needs.
Florida Mandatory Auto Insurance Coverages:
mot-e4i9In Florida all owned motor vehicles must be registered and have a tag.  To register and purchase a tag you must have:
– Personal Injury Protection (PIP) a minimum of $10,000 per person, known as Basic PIP
– Property Damage Liability a minimum of $10,000 per accident
However, Florida’s Financial Responsibility law requires drivers to be financially responsible for Bodily injuries your motor vehicle causes to others.  The minimum limit to satisfy this law is $10,000 per person with a maximum of $20,000 for all persons per accident.  If a driver or owner of a vehicle does not have sufficient cash reserves on the amount of $30,000 to meet the financial responsibility requirement, their driving privileges may be suspended until they show proof to the Court that they will pay the medical bills, and pay a fine for not carrying this coverage.   Therefore, we recommend you purchase Bodily Injury Liability Coverage.
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Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) a minimum of $10,000 per person for oneself, residing family members and possibly non family members occupying your vehicle if an injury is incurred resulting from a motor vehicle regardless of fault.  This is your primary accidental health insurance coverage involving motor vehicles, and is your first response in all situations other than while you are working.  PIP benefit pays for all the following up to a combined total of $10,000 per person for Necessary Medical Emergency Treatment & $2,500 for Non-Emergency Medical Treatment, if services are provided within 14 days from the date of the accident. 
The Medical and Lost Wages benefits under PIP are:
– Pays 80% of the medical bills incurred for Necessary Medical Emergency Treatment
– Pays 60% of lost wages, the injury incurred prevents you from being able to work. This benefit may be excluded for those who do not work (retirees, collecting disability benefits, or unemployed) or if you have a  separate Disability policy.  Excluding this benefit will reduce your premium slightly.
– Pays 80% of the medical bills incurred for Non-emergency treatment (Chiropractor or Physical Therapy) the maximum amount payable is $2,500.
– Pays 100% for Home Services performed by others, as the injury incurred prevents you from completing daily tasks (clean your house, cutting your grass, cooking, etc..)
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You can increase your basic PIP benefit by purchasing the following endorsements:
– Extended PIP – Increases the Medical benefit to 100%, and the Wage Loss benefit to 80%
– Additional PIP – You can purchase additional amount of coverage in addition to the $10,000 per person benefit. Very few insurers offer this endorsement.
The PIP Death Benefit is $5,000 per person, and is paid in addition to the Medical, Lost Wages and Home Service $10,000 per person benefit.
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Physical Damage Coveragem4ir
Pays for physical damage caused to your owned and insured motor vehicle by specified perils depending on the coverage purchased, regardless who was at fault of the accident.  This is what most lessors and lenders will refer to as “Full Coverage” on the motor vehicle, and will require that you carry this coverage as collateral.  There are two types of coverages under this category, the differences are the perils which are covered:
– Comprehensive or Other Than Collision – In most cases applies for perils such as Theft, Flood, Falling Objects, Explosion, Vandalism, Hitting an Alive Animal, etc…
– Collision – Perils such as impact with another object such as in auto accident colliding with another vehicle, running into a building or other type of property, running into a large whole in the street or ground, etc. You can choose a deductible with this coverage, which simply you are stating that you will be responsible for damages up to your deductible amount.  Example:  if your insured motor vehicle is $2,000 in damages by a covered peril, and you have selected a $500 deductible.  You are responsible to pay your deductible amount ($500) directly to the body shop and the insurance company will pay the balance of $1,500.  The higher your deductible the lower your premium.  Most insurers have deductibles that start from $250 up to $2,500.
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Liability Insurance
Also known as Third Party Insurance Coverage, protects yourself from lawsuits for injuries or property damage your insured vehicle caused to others. 

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There are two types of Liability Coverage:
Property Damage Liability (PD Liability) – Florida Law mandates you carry a minimum of $10,000. This pays for damages to property (vehicles, buildings, lawns, mail boxes, and personal property) owned by others in which your vehicle caused damage to, and the operator of your vehicle was deemed to be at fault.  Higher limits may be purchased and is highly recommended.
Bodily Injury Liability (BI Liability) – Florida Responsibility Law states you are responsible to pay the medical bills for people injured by your owned motor vehicle, and for the diver was deemed to be at fault. Limits of $10,000 per person and $20,000 for all people injured per accident satisfies this law. If the coverage limit you purchase is not enough to cover the medical expenses of others they will be provided the legal right to file a lawsuit against you for expenses not paid by your insurance.  Higher limits may be purchased and is highly recommended.
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Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist (UM)
mo01In Florida, this covers you and occupants of your vehicle for bodily injuries caused by another vehicle and the driver that was deemed to be at fault.  This pays for medical bills that are still outstanding after what your PIP, Medical Payments and the Liability Insurance of the at fault driver paid.  The limits you can purchase is equal to or less than your Bodily Injury Liability Limits.  This benefit will not pay if you were at fault of the accident.  This coverage is important as some Health Insurance Plans will not pay for automobile related injuries, and there are many drivers that do not have Bodily Injury Liability or no insurance.  This coverage is automatically issued when you purchase Bodily Injury Liability coverage, and can be rejected by signing a UM rejection form.  This coverage has nothing to do with damage to your vehicle.
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Medical Payments (MP)
mo02MP is an optional coverage, that pays in excess of the PIP benefit regardless who was at fault of the accident.  Most insurers offer amounts from $500 to $25,000 per person benefit. 
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Towing & Labor
mo03If your vehicle breaks down and needs to be towed this optional coverage is available.  This benefits for a single trip from place of disablement to destination. 
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Road Side Service
mo04This optional coverage is for assistance if you should lock your keys inside your vehicle, change a flat tire, or if you should run out of gas while on the roadway.
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Rental Reimbursement
mo05This optional coverage is available only if you have Comprehensive & Collision coverage.  If due to an accident or covered peril you should need a rental car while your insured vehicle is being repaired.  There is a daily benefit cap and a total maximum per occurrence benefit amount.
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Special Equipment
mo06This optional coverage is to cover specialized equipment that has been added to the vehicle, which may have been added by the insured or dealership.  Equipment other than what the car manufacturer installed.  Comprehensive & Collision coverage provides non or minimal coverage for customization.  (Example: Custom Rims, Custom Paint, Sound or Navigational System, Wheel Chair Lifts, etc..)

 

Discounts:
Most insurers provide a discount for various things, so when shopping for automobile insurance make sure to take advantage of all the discounts you are entitled to.  Choosing higher deductibles is another means of receiving a discount in your insurance premium.  These are some of the most common discounts:

 

– Advance Purchase – purchasing the policy at least 7 days or more in advance
– Home Owner (House, Condo or Mobile Home)
– Safe Driver – No points on the driver’s license of all persons in the house hold for the past 3 years
– Good Student – Provide Proof of “B” average or better from the school
– Multi Car
– Multi Policy
– Member of the Military
– Member of certain Associations
– Paperless – You agree to receive notifications via email only
– Pay the Single Premium in Full – no monthly payments
– Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – You agree to let the insurer draft payments directly from your Credit Card or Bank Account
– AARP Mature Driver Course
– Anti-theft device installed (Lojack or Recovery System)
– College Education level or Degree (Higher Education)
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For more information – Personal Automobile Insurance:
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Automobile Insurance – A Toolkit for Consumers
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