Insurance basics every new driver should know

Ryan Insurance & Financial Services


Jun 14, 2017

Buying auto insurance for the first time can seem complicated and confusing. But don't worry - your agent can talk you through it. Here's what you should know.

If you own a vehicle in Florida, you must have insurance issued by a Florida agent. The minimum insurance required in Florida is $10,000 for personal injury protection and $10,000 for property damage liability.

You must provide proof of insurance when you register your vehicle. If you don't maintain your insurance, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may suspend your driving privilege, license plate and registration for up to three years.

There are six basic types of coverage:

  1. Personal injury protection (PIP). Also known as Florida no-fault insurance, PIP covers you and your passengers whether or not you cause the crash.
  2. Liability. Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries or death to others when you cause an accident. Property damage liability coverage pays for damages you cause to other people's property in a crash. Don't skimp on this coverage!
  3. Collision. A collision policy pays for damages if you have an accident that's your fault. If you have an older car, you may not need this coverage.
  4. Comprehensive. This coverage protects your car from fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters.
  5. Uninsured motorist. This policy covers you and your passengers for injuries, damages or death caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
  6. Underinsured motorist. This protects you if you are hit by a driver who carries only the minimum amount of liability insurance.

Once you choose the types of insurance you want, you'll have to decide how much insurance you want by selecting deductibles and limits. A deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. A limit is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay. If you select limits that are too low, you're putting yourself at risk financially. 

Insurance prices vary widely depending on your age, driving record and type of car. Basically, teenagers, poor drivers, and people with sporty or expensive cars pay higher rates.

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