The keys to freedom come with responsibility, as a new driver, are you prepared?
For new Florida drivers, getting a license and their first vehicle is the key to freedom. There’s nothing like getting out on the road and being able to go where you want when you want. However, driving also carries a substantial amount of responsibility. In order to drive, you need to have insurance, but many new drivers and even their parents aren’t exactly sure about the requirements, types of auto insurance and how much coverage will work best for them.
What Do New Drives Need?
Florida state law requires residents who own a vehicle to have insurance. They must carry at least the minimums for property damage liability as well as personal injury protection. The state actually has relatively low insurance coverage minimums when compared with the rest of the country. The minimum limits in Florida for coverage are $10,000 of no fault or personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability.
Personal injury protection insurance will cover medical expenses and income loss that occurs because of a car accident. It will also cover your children as well as other people in the household.
The insurance will actually also cover your child while he or she is riding the school bus as well as passengers in your vehicle that do not have their own personal injury protection and who don’t own a vehicle. In addition, it can provide coverage for you even when you are on a bicycle or you are a pedestrian and you are involved in a car accident.
If other people in your vehicle have their own policies, then they will be covered by their policies and not yours. Your coverage will protect you when you are in vehicles driven by others.
Property damage liability covers the damages that you cause to another person’s property in a car accident.
What If You Don’t Get Coverage?
You don’t want to ever run the risk of not having insurance when you are driving. It’s dangerous and illegal. If you cancel your policy, your insurance company will notify the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to let them know. The department will notify you by mail that you need to provide them with proof of insurance before a certain date, at which time they will suspend your license. Those who have a lapse of insurance and a suspension will find some hefty fines involved with reinstatement. It will cost $150 the first time you do it, $250 for the second time and $500 each time after.
No one wants to be subject to those fines. It’s better to get quality insurance and to keep it so you are legal and safe while you are on the road. Have at least the minimum, but consider upgrading for more protection.
Getting Extra Coverage for Your Vehicle
While we’ve discussed the minimums, most drivers who have the means will opt to get additional insurance since it offers them greater protection. Some of the different types of optional coverage you may want to consider include:
Underinsured or uninsured motorist
Rental car coverage
Towing and labor
You may not need to have all of these options, but it’s a good idea to be aware of and look into the various plans to see what they cost as they all offer superior coverage.
Comparison Shopping Is Critical
New drivers in Florida should make sure they compare different insurance policies and companies to find the deal that provides them with the greatest amount of protection for the best price. Always read the entire policy and make sure you understand everything it says so you know what it does and does not cover.