More Information About Your Florida Auto Insurance Needs

More Information About Your Florida Auto Insurance Needs

If you plan on operating a motor vehicle in the state of Florida, you will likely need insurance coverage, and you probably have questions about what type and how much coverage you will need. An experienced Florida attorney can help answer those questions and make sure your insurance needs are adequately met, but being an informed consumer can go a long way towards getting the insurance coverage that is right for you.Many questions about insurance concern premium amounts, and common queries involve:

  • Deductible payments, both in the event of an accident where the policyholder was not at fault and for auto glass-related claims
  • Increased premiums in the event of an accident
  • Increased premiums in the event of a moving or non-moving violation

Florida statutes actually do a pretty good job of addressing common insurance questions, but, of course, they are written in a way that can be confusing for a layperson to understand. An attorney or an experienced insurance professional can better explain the law to you and can make sure that your interests are protected by your insurance policies, but here are some general rules to remember.

In the event of an accident where the policyholder was not at fault, the policyholder is ultimately responsible for the payment of deductibles. The insurance company has the option to pursue something called subrogation (where they seek reimbursement of the deductible from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider) that can cover the deductible costs without the policyholder having to pay them. Subrogation is a complicated process, though, and some insurance companies will not go through the effort just to obtain a deductible payment. In that case, it would be up to the policyholder to either absorb the costs or seek payment from the at-fault party in small claims court.

Florida’s legislature was proactive when considering the possibility that policyholders might make claims for the repair or replacement of auto glass. They actually passed a law (Florida statute 627.7288) that no deductible payments are required to repair or replace a windshield. This is a departure from many other states that require the full deductible payment in the event that a replacement is necessary.

If you are involved in an accident, even one where you were not at fault, and you make a claim against your own insurance (for property damage or medical expenses), it is possible that your premiums could go up. This may seem unfair, but there isn’t currently a Florida statute which prohibits insurance companies from taking this kind of action to keep their own costs at a manageable level.

Another common question involves premium increases in the event of a moving (traffic-related) or non-moving (typically a ticket issued while you are a passenger in a vehicle – like an open container violation or those otherwise auto-related like parking tickets or failure to have an up-to-date registration) violation. Different companies consider violations in different ways, so there is no hard and fast rule to determine if your premiums will or will not increase. If you do receive a moving violation, it is wise for you to proactively contact your insurance company to see what effect, if any, it will have on your coverage.

Auto accidents can easily result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages, so it is vitally important that you have adequate insurance coverage to protect you. If you have any questions about the right insurance coverage to meet your needs, consider seeking the advice of an experienced insurance law attorney and don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent questions.