Florida Auto Insurance - Finding the Best Rates
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To get started on purchasing Florida auto insurance, a good starting point is the state's minimum auto liability insurance requirements. It is important to note that Florida's car insurance laws have undergone several changes since 2007. The information published here comes directly from the official Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). According to FLHSMV, in order to maintain a Florida license plate and registration, Florida's minimum coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL).
Because Florida has the third highest number of drivers on the road in the country (12,905,813) and approximately 23% of these drivers are uninsured, most auto insurance companies and state insurance departments recommend carrying higher amounts than the minimum requirements. They also recommend carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This could help protect you against the nearly 3 million uninsured drivers and the millions of underinsured drivers in the state of Florida. Overall, the minimum recommended amounts for car insurance in Florida are $100,000 for bodily injury and $300,000 per accident.
Once you have established an amount that is sufficient to protect you and your family against auto accidents, it's time to begin shopping and comparing. Contact up to 3 auto insurance companies and request a quote. If you request quotes online you can save time. You will be asked a series of questions and the system will generate a quote. Once you have received up to three quotes, contact your company of choice and inquire about discounts. Most insurance providers offer multiple discounts, sometimes as many as 9 or more, and there is a good chance you may qualify for more than just one. You may be able to cash in on discounts for being a good driver or a mature drivers. Other discounts are available for car-pool drivers, multicar households, multipolicy discounts, antitheft devices, and seatbelts and airbags. Some auto insurance companies even offer discounts for non-smokers.
Note: The state of Florida has strict laws about whom you do business with. If you are a Florida resident and your car is registered in the state of Florida, you must purchase an auto insurance policy through an insurance company that is licensed to sell car insurance in the state of Florida. If you purchase an auto insurance policy from an unlicensed out-of-state insurance provider, the state of Florida will not honor the policy. In addition, new Florida residents are prohibited from maintaining an existing policy that has been issued in their previous state of residence.
Before you begin your search for the best Florida auto insurance rates, you should first consider how much coverage is sufficient for your lifestyle. Although the average auto insurance premium in the state of Florida is $1,695 (2009), not all Florida residents will pay the same rates. Depending on a number of factors, you may pay more or less than the average Florida driver. Premiums vary greatly by age, gender, geographic location, and type of vehicle, mileage, usage, driving record, employment, and even credit. Florida drivers may also end up spending less based on the types of discounts each policyholder qualifies for.
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