If you live in St. Lucie, Indian River, or Okeechobee County, it may be time to review your car insurance policy
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed Senate Bill 54, which would have repealed the state’s no-fault auto insurance system. Therefore, Florida will remain a “no-fault” state, which means if you’re injured in a car accident—regardless of who caused it—you must use your own car insurance to pay for damages or medical bills.
Yet, that can be problematic. In the 40+ years that we have been representing car accident victims on the Treasure Coast, we have seen numerous individuals and families financially burdened because they didn’t have the right insurance policy or enough coverage.
So, if you live in St. Lucie, Indian River, or Okeechobee County, take a minute to review our top 5 recommendations for changes to make to your car insurance policy this year.
1. Make sure your car insurance coverage reflects your needs.
Do you have a teenager who will get his or her learner’s permit soon? Have you recently transitioned to working from home full-time? Maybe you are a driver who reduced your coverage because you weren’t driving as much during the COVID lockdown. But now that more Treasure Coast residents are hitting the road, you need to revisit your policy. Whatever your situation, be sure you have enough coverage.
2. Avoid minimum insurance coverage since it could cost you more if you’re injured in an accident.
Many drivers think they are saving money if they carry the minimum insurance required (which is $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) in Florida). But the truth is that this type of policy can cost you more if you are in a serious auto accident.
Since Florida is a no-fault state, if you are seriously injured in a car accident, you would only have $10,000 to cover your medical bills. That amount barely covers a trip to the emergency room. You could be left with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills—if not more. We strongly recommend adding additional coverage to your car insurance. Often the added coverage is a nominal increase in price.
3. Add uninsured motorist protection to your car insurance policy.
This is a big one. Did you know 1 out of 4 drivers in Florida do not have car insurance?! Although Florida requires you to go through your own insurance if you are in an accident, if you exhaust your policy, you have the legal option to sue the at-fault driver’s insurance for additional coverage. But if that driver doesn’t have insurance, you will be left covering all the bills.
For this reason, we strongly advise everyone to have at least 100K, and preferably 300K or more, of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, on your own policy. This type of policy covers you if someone else isn’t carrying sufficient insurance. Check out our blog on uninsured motorist coverage to learn more.
4. Think about raising your deductible.
As a reminder, your car insurance deductible is the amount of money you’re responsible for paying out of pocket if an accident occurs. Depending on your driving record, the age of your vehicle, and how many drivers use one car, you could save money on premiums by raising it.
It’s kind of a pay-now-or-pay-later situation, but if you have a long-term clean driving record, increasing your deductible (for example, from $500 to $1,000) can be a significant cost-saver on premiums. Remember, the key here is to raise your deductible to an amount you can comfortably afford.
5. Ask about discounts.
While we recommend adding coverage to your policy, we also recommend asking your car insurance company about potential discounts. For example, does your car insurance company offer safe driver discounts? Can you receive a discount if you take a safe-driving course? Are there bundling options if you have property or renter’s insurance with the same company? It never hurts to call your agent to learn more about your options.
Here’s what to do if you are injured in an auto accident by a driver without car insurance.
Call us immediately at 866-930-6435
Car accidents happen in a terrifying instant that can leave you feeling hurt, scared, and confused about what to do next. Whether the other driver had insurance or not, one of the most important things you can do is contact the experienced Treasure Coast accident attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd immediately. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help you.
We will do everything in our power to make this difficult time as stress-free as possible, starting with a free, no-obligation consultation. With over four decades of experience, our car accident attorneys know how to settle even the most complex cases. To date, we’ve secured over $500 million for Treasure Coast accident victims.
We’re here to help you. Call 866-930-6435 now to speak with one of our local Treasure Coast car accident attorneys.