What is Insurance?
Florida law requires that all registered vehicles must have car insurance. In its simplest form, insurance is a contract between you (the insured) and a company supplying the insurance (the insurer) at a cost. This contract provides you a form of protection from future potential losses provided you make periodic payments to the insurer. If an incident occurs that is covered by your insurance, you pay for part of the restoration — the deductible — and the insurer covers the rest. The insurance company refers to this compensation as a premium.
Why Have Insurance?
You take on an inherent risk when sitting behind the wheel of an automobile and driving. Some of these risks are avoidable; driving safely while staying focused and unimpaired reduces the risks of driving. Other risks are unavoidable such as wildlife, carelessness of other drivers, and road conditions to name a few. Since the only way to completely avoid any potential risks of driving is to not drive at all, car insurance is required to ease the costs of unavoidable risks. Think of insurance like fuel; you can’t drive without it!
The Florida No-Fault Law requires owners of vehicles registered in the state of Florida to purchase and maintain a minimum coverage of $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and a minimum coverage of $10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL) automobile insurance. Proof of insurance must be presented at the time of registration and maintained continuously throughout the registration period. Proof of valid Florida insurance should always be readily available when the vehicle is being driven, as law enforcement officers may need to verify the insurance or you may need the information in the event of a crash. If you do not have valid Florida insurance for your registered vehicle, you should purchase an insurance policy through a Florida admitted insurer as soon as possible.
There are various levels of insurance and your coverage will reflect the amount of money you are willing to commit. You should read and understand your policy, including the premium payout, coverage, conditions, features and limitations of your purchased insurance policy. If you do not understand any section of your policy, you should call your insurance company for clarification, as you may be financially responsible for any damages not covered by your policy. Remember, it is your responsibility to know what your car insurance covers.
Owning a vehicle is a responsibility and part of that responsibility is making sure you have at least the minimum insurance as required by law (Personal Injury Protection/Property Damage Liability). If you fail to meet this responsibility, it could cost you! Not only do you risk an accident that you might have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for, it can also cost you your driving privileges. If you own or operate a vehicle without insurance, your license and/or registration can be suspended! You can also be required to purchase higher insurance coverage and maintain it for up to three years, or even face court judgments.