Do you think you’re paying a lot for car insurance? Compared to drivers in most other states, you are.
Florida consistently ranks as one of the top states for expensive car insurance. In 2016, the average premium in Florida cost $1,654 – that’s 25% above the national average. Now, rates are affected by your driving history, age, car, and so on, but overall, Florida drivers have to shell out a little more for their insurance than drivers in other states.
Perhaps that’s why our state also tends to be ranked at the top of another unfortunate category: lowest percentage of insured drivers. With premiums so high, it’s not really that surprising that a lot of people simply aren’t buying.
How bad is it? In 2015, WalletHub estimated that 23.8 of drivers did not carry proper insurance. That’s almost 1 in 4!
Blame PIP Coverage
One of the reasons car insurance in Florida is so costly is the amount of personal injury protection (PIP) required by state law. Not only do you have to pay for PIP through car insurance, you also have to cough up even more money by paying for PIP through your health insurance.
State law requires drivers to carry $10,000 of PIP coverage. This allows you to easily receive compensation for up to $10,000 worth of losses or damages within 30 days of filing a claim.
Which seems great. Without worrying about assigning fault after an accident, both drivers can receive compensation quickly.
At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
Remember, though, not everyone is covered. In fact, if you get into an auto accident, there is almost a 1 in 4 chance that the other driver is uninsured. If you sustain a lot of damages, what options do you have if you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance?
The Importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Working with a Lawyer
If you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have the proper insurance (or no insurance at all), uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) will cover any expenses or damages that the driver would be liable to pay you. But only if you actually have UIM. And only if you carry enough of it.
Unlike PIP, drivers in Florida are not required to carry UIM on their insurance. Additionally, you can carry as much or as little UIM coverage as you feel is appropriate.
What this tends to result in is a situation where people who suffer severe injuries in an accident end up paying for everything out of pocket – even if they met their legal insurance obligations.
Partially because of this problem, quite a bit of research has been done to explore the effects of eliminating PIP in Florida. This happened in Colorado, and now that state ranks at number 32 in terms of the cost that drivers there must pay for car insurance.
Change may not happen anytime soon, however. While many drivers would welcome lower rates, it has proven difficult to do away with PIP, with many healthcare companies lobbying the government to keep things the way they are.
No one really knows what the future will bring for Florida car insurance, but one thing is for certain: if you suffer an auto injury due to another’s negligence, the best way to get the compensation you need and deserve is to reach out to a Florida personal injury lawyer to guide you through filing a claim according to the most updated laws and policies.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2014-2016 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.