A new car is your pride and joy, and you want to keep it that way. In case of wrecks, theft, vandalism or other hazards, the car might sustain damage. That could deal a blow to the vehicle’s value and your ability to drive. So, you will want to repair the damage quickly, to shore up the car's value. Car insurance can provide a benefit here, but you must make sure you have the appropriate coverage. Florida requires car insurance but buying extra coverage will provide more help with costly damage.
Florida’s Required Coverage
By law, all drivers who register vehicles in Florida must have car insurance. They must carry at least:
- $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 property damage liability insurance
Your PIP coverage is no-fault auto insurance. This means that you use your own policy to pay for at least the first $10,000 in your own injury costs arising from a wreck.
However, fault still applies when it comes to your property damage liability coverage. If a wreck was your fault, then other involved drivers can file against your policy for their vehicle damage costs.
If you only carry the required coverage, you could still face a lot of damage costs that your policy won’t cover. Always consider expanding your policy with additional options:
- Collision insurance pays to repair your car after a wreck where you hit another object.
- Comprehensive insurance repairs damage from hazards like theft, fires, vandalism, severe weather or animal strikes.
- Bodily injury liability coverage pays when a wreck was your fault, and someone else who wasn’t in your car qualifies to claim their injuries on your policy. Though Florida drivers have PIP insurance, there are still times when someone can file on your policy for their injury costs. This coverage can prove helpful in these cases.
- Uninsured motorist coverage applies if you qualify to file against someone else’s liability coverage, but they don’t have a policy. Your own policy can help you pay, instead.
- Many policies can also cover roadside assistance and the costs of a tow truck, too.
If you finance a new car, then your lender might require you to have certain coverage. Often, they need comprehensive and collision coverage to start. This helps the lender protect their investment in the car.
Cash value limits might apply to the physical damage insurance on most policies. Cars depreciate quickly, from the moment you drive off the lot. So, you might run into a situation where a settlement for a totaled car is less than the value remaining on your loan.
To get out from under the loan, you might need the additional protection of gap insurance. This policy will help make up the difference of the loan. Some policies offer gap coverage as endorsements. In others, you must buy your coverage separately.