Collision Coverage: A Must Have for Florida Motorists

Required Automobile Insurance under Florida Law

Florida law requires that motorists in the state carry two types of coverage as a part of every car insurance policy sold in the State of Florida: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL). Each motorist licensed by the State of Florida is required to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage as well $10,000 in PDL coverage. Florida law is a “no fault” insurance state, which means that it does not matter who is at fault when an automobile accident occurs, for the available PIP benefits to apply to medical expenses or income losses that result from an accident. PDL provides coverage if a motorist damages someone else’s car in an automobile collision. However, neither of these types of required insurance coverages will cover damage which occurs to a motorist’s vehicle as a result of an accident. This therefore leaves the motorist exposed to often substantial car repair bills in the event of an accident that results in damage to the motorist’s vehicle.

What is Collision Coverage?

By contrast to PIP and PDL coverages, Florida motorists are not required to carry collision insurance as a part of their automobile insurance policy under Florida law. Collision insurance provides coverage for damage which occurs to the policyholder’s vehicle in an accident. Some examples of situations in which collision coverage would kick in would be damage to your vehicle caused by hitting a tree, hitting a curb or pothole, backing into another car in a parking lot, or, most commonly, being hit or hitting another car in an automobile accident.

Collision coverage typically is accompanied by a deductible, which is a fixed amount of the repair bill that the motorist is personally responsible to pay. As an example, if a Florida motorist has a $500 deductible and hits a tree, thereby causing $2,500 in damage to his or her car, then the motorist would be responsible for the first $500 of the car repair bills. The insurance company would step in to cover the remaining $2,000.

Why is Purchasing Collision Coverage so Important for Florida Motorists?

Purchasing collision coverage is extremely important for Florida motorists. In addition to often being required by your lender or dealer if your vehicle is leased or financed, purchasing collision coverage provides you peace of mind in the event you are involved in a collision and damage occurs to your vehicle. It decreases the downside risk to you as a motorist because your repair costs in the event of an accident or collision of some kind would be predictable and should be limited to the amount of your deductible. The average car repair bill associated with an accident in Florida in the most recent annual report prepared by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America was $2,452. Nobody wants to face repair bills that could be in the thousands. Compare this with a fixed, predictable deductible and you are saving money by purchasing collision coverage. Collision coverage is also a relative bargain. According to insurance industry trade group the Insurance Information Institute (ISI), the average cost per year of adding collision coverage to an existing automobile insurance policy in 2015 was $234. Therefore, it can be very affordable. In addition, one way to make collision coverage even more affordable if you choose to carry this type of coverage is by adjusting the amount of deductible; the higher your deductible, typically the less that the amount of your premium associated with your collision coverage. Most consumers are starting to realize that collision coverage is extremely important. ISI set forth in another recent study that nationwide nearly 72 percent of motorists chose collision coverage for their vehicle.

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