Different drivers have different insurance needs. Depending on how (and how much) you use your vehicle, your policy could run the gamut from the bare minimum required by the State of Florida to something much more robust. At the very least, you must have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) automobile insurance to get on the road, but that’s not going to take you very far when bad luck strikes.
According to auto insurance industry estimates, the average person will be in four accidents over the course of their life, which means your next insurance claim is a matter of when, not if.
Some of these accidents will be minor, like fender benders on the way to work and garage door scrapes when you’re in a hurry. Others will be significant, rendering your vehicle inoperable for days or weeks at a time. And then there will be acts of God that you could have never seen coming. If you seek peace of mind, comprehensive auto insurance can help you fill in the gaps in your existing coverage. You’ll enjoy the security of worry-free driving, and your car will enjoy the perks of 360-degree coverage.
What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
Comprehensive auto insurance helps protect your vehicle by safeguarding it against the unexpected. Superstitious folks prefer comprehensive auto insurance because it protects them from black cats and broken mirrors. That’s a joke, but this type of policy is anything but; and it will protect you from the types of cruel, random phenomena that can only be attributed to bad luck.
What Does This Insurance Cover?
Your comprehensive auto insurance policy is like a bubble around your vehicle protecting it from harm. Unlike your liability insurance, which covers anything involving personal injury or property damage, comprehensive insurance covers non-vehicle related accidents, including:
- Falling objects (i.e., tree limb)
- Fire or explosions
- Hitting an animal
- Lightning from thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc.
- Vandalism and other cases of civil disobedience (i.e. riots)
- Windshield damage
Comprehensive auto insurance is just that — comprehensive. But it doesn’t cover everything. Damage to your car or another person’s car from a collision are still going to cost you, as are medical expenses for you and your passengers.
Comprehensive vs Collision Insurance Coverage
There’s more than one way to expand your insurance coverage to protect your assets against the unexpected. Collision insurance will help you pay for any needed repairs in the event of a car-on-car accident. It covers collisions with other vehicles and collisions with stationary objects (i.e., fences, light poles, etc.). It also covers single-car rollover accidents, which can be beneficial for those navigating Florida’s slick highways during during the summer months.
Similar to comprehensive coverage, collision coverage will require the policyholder to pay a deductible in order to receive the actual cash value for any necessary repairs or replacements for a damaged vehicle. What it does not cover is damage to another person’s vehicle. In other words, if you were involved in a crash with another driver, and it was later determined that you were at fault for the crash, your collision insurance would cover your vehicle exclusively. Our advice? Drive safe, follow all traffic laws, and watch out for expensive imports!
Is Comprehensive Coverage Required by Law in Florida?
As we discussed earlier, Florida’s mandatory minimum insurance requirements for drivers is a mere $10,000 for PIP and $10,000 for PDL. Although not required by Florida law, comprehensive coverage is typically required for individuals looking to lease or finance a vehicle. Lenders will require you to obtain full coverage before your loan can be processed. They need to be certain that the vehicle they’re loaning is taken care of; comprehensive coverage plays an important role in achieving this goal.
For more information about Florida auto insurance, check out this video from Adam Talley:
Comprehensive Auto Insurance Limits
Policy limits are determined by the type of coverage the policy provides. Whereas limits for liability coverage vary based on the particulars of your policy, comprehensive auto insurance limits are consistent. You need not worry about whether or not your policy will cover damage to your vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, or weather damage; simply pay your deductible and let your insurance provider handle the rest. You will receive the actual cash value of your vehicle (accounting for depreciation) at the time of the accident.
Ways to Save Money on Your Premium
Comprehensive coverage is going to cost you more than a barebones liability policy, but you can save money by working with a trusted insurance provider. Independent insurance agents (like us) can help you shop for the policy that best fits your needs. Whether your lease agreement requires you to purchase comprehensive coverage or you’re taking the initiative yourself to protect your investment, you should compare plans from several providers before committing. This is one of the only surefire ways to get the best rate.
An independent insurance agency can help you save money on your premium, because they understand what impacts drivers in the local area. By working with multiple insurance carriers to find you the policy that bests fits your needs and budget, you’ll be able to see for yourself that you’re getting the best deal possible. When you shop directly, the insurance provider will generate a quote predicated on vague criteria. There’s a low level of personalization, and because of this, you don’t always end up with the policy you need.
Deciding whether or not you need comprehensive auto insurance will take a little introspection and a lot of back and forth with your insurance agent. Every time you sit down in the driver’s seat, you don’t want to be afraid to leave the garage. You want the right policy that makes you feel confident on and off the road.
We believe comprehensive auto insurance is an invaluable asset for the right candidate. Rideshare drivers, long-distance commuters, frequent travelers, and those who put miles on their vehicles expose themselves to more opportunities for non-car-related accidents.
Add to this the fact that natural disasters are a yearly occurrence in Florida, and it’s easy to see why many Floridians choose to expand their coverage. At best, you can save yourself the trouble of having to pay out of pocket for a vehicle that was flattened by a palm tree. At worst, you pay a little extra for peace of mind. Personally, we think this is a pretty fair trade-off, and we’re happy to help you obtain a policy that provides you with the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Are you interested in learning more about comprehensive auto insurance for your vehicle? The experts at Talley Insurance are happy to answer all of your questions! Give us a call at (813) 685-9393!