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The Importance of Being Insured

Posted by Christopher Keller | Jan 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Importance of Being Insured

The beginning of a new year is a natural time of self-reflection and goal-setting. This is also a perfect time to reflect on your auto insurance policy to see if it still fits the needs of your life. There are plenty of reasons why you might need to update your insurance policy or take on a new policy altogether. Consider your age and whether or not you will be moving into a new age bracket this year. Think about the ages you will reach within the next couple of years. Examine your family dynamic; has there been or will there be a marriage, new baby, divorce, or teenage driver in your family over the course of the next year? Reflect on these possibilities as you examine your auto insurance policy. We all have to have auto insurance, so you might as well make sure you are getting exactly what you are paying for.

Do I Have to Have Auto Insurance in Florida?

Yes, it is required that every licensed driver obtain valid insurance. The types and amounts of required auto insurance vary state to state. Florida only requires that you have property damage liability coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). Property damage liability coverage helps you in the event that you are at fault for an accident that caused damage to someone else's vehicle or property. For example, the damage could be to someone's vehicle, home, or fence. This coverage would help pay the cost of those repairs. When you get your insurance policy, you will set the maximum limit for this coverage. If the cost of the damage exceeds the amount of property damage coverage you have, then you will pay for the balance out of pocket. Personal injury protection (PIP) is the other type of insurance you must have as a licensed driver in the state of Florida. PIP coverage helps you with your medical bills that result from the accident, whether you caused the accident or not. It can typically be used to cover most medical needs and can even include lost wages. PIP generally covers you as the driver, any passengers in your vehicle, and anyone else listed on your policy. In addition to these requirements, we suggest that you also add bodily injury liability coverage and underinsured motorist coverage to your policy. It is always better to err on the side of too much coverage than too little.

Which Insurance Company Should I Use?

Choosing a well-known insurance company can be a safe bet because there is less risk with a major company. Such options include, but are not limited to, State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, and Allstate.

Choosing a lesser known company, like Windhaven or Ocean Harbor, comes with higher risk. A major example of this kind of risk is the downfall of local auto insurance company, Windhaven Insurance. As of this month, the courts ruled the company to be insolvent, or unable to meet its financial needs. The relatively young company suffered a net loss of $9.7 million in 2018, and then had a decline of roughly $30 million in invested assets in 2019. As of right now, there are about 73,000 active policies, and all of these policies are set for cancellation by early February of 2020.

What Should I Do if I Have Windhaven Insurance?

Find and obtain a new insurance policy as soon as possible. Take your time and do your research of different companies and their various options. Make a list of your needs and cross-reference that list with what each policy offers. Ask trusted friends and family for their recommendations. Do not be afraid to try a company you have not tried before. It is understandable that you might want to stick with the only company you have ever known, but you could really miss out on some great opportunities if you do not at least take the time to research a few other candidates.

How Do I Find a Good Insurance Company?

Use comparison tools offered by the state insurance companies to compare and contrast both companies and policies. Do your best to maintain good credit, and make an effort to understand your deductible as you set it. Do not simply accept whatever deductible a company tells you to pay. Do your research first and understand what a reasonable deductible is for you as an individual. Also, do not be afraid to ask about discounts. Plenty of insurance companies offer discounts for random reasons. You might get a discounted rate for being married, or being older, or having maintained a good driving record for a long period of time. Ask about these opportunities and take advantage of them.

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If you are currently in a legal conflict with an auto insurance company, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you navigate this legal experience.

About the Author

Christopher Keller

Christopher J. Keller is an experienced plaintiff's personal injury attorney.  He concentrates his practice in the areas of Wrongful Death, Auto, Truck, Train & Motorcycle Accidents and Premises Liability.  Before founding Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, PLLC, Mr. Keller practiced personal injury ...

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