When choosing car insurance coverage, most insurance providers can bombard you with excess expensive options, confusing the entire process. For this reason, many car owners only select the basic insurance coverage required in Florida – personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) during the initial selection process.
While these two policies provide the basic minimum protection, there are numerous car damages they cannot cover, meaning you’ll have to spend a lot of your out-of-pocket money on repairs.
Comprehensive car insurance provides additional security if any unexpected calamity falls on your vehicle. In this post, we discuss what’s considered comprehensive car insurance in Florida and how it differs from collision coverage.
What is Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Contrary to popular belief, comprehensive auto insurance is not complete insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage in insurance only covers vehicle damage caused by factors other than collision. The non-collision damage covered under this policy can be categorized into three main groups:
- Acts of Nature – flood, hurricane, hail, tornadoes, lightning strike
- Crime – vandalism, theft, riots
- Miscellaneous damage – explosions, fire, animal damage
Although most of these are random phenomena that you might even shrug off as superstitious, you could face huge financial losses if they do happen.
How Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Works
Insurance companies in various Florida cities set their own terms and conditions for comprehensive insurance coverage. However, in most comprehensive policies, you’ll always find a deductible, an insurance premium, and a policy limit.
The deductible is the amount you pay for your insurance coverage to kick in, while premiums are the monthly service costs for your insurance. Often, the higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premiums a policy provider charges.
Insurance companies also set a “policy limit” on comprehensive insurance policies. A policy limit is the total amount your insurance can cover in vehicle damage costs after an accident. In most cases, the policy limit matches the cash value of your vehicle on the market.
How to Get Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover in Florida
If you’re looking to purchase or lease a car, you can get comprehensive auto insurance from your insurance provider. But, if you already own a vehicle, your car insurance provider can add your comprehensive cover to your existing plan.
In both situations, your insurance provider will take you through the different policies they have for you to pick the right plan for you. Once you choose a specific plan, the provider will review the pricing with you and add the payments to your overall car insurance plan.
Comprehensive Insurance vs. Collision Insurance: The Difference
Collision coverage works almost similarly to comprehensive insurance, except that collision insurance only covers car damage arising from collision accidents – be it with other vehicles or objects.
Examples of events that collision insurance covers include:
- Vehicle collisions (it doesn’t matter if you’re at fault or not).
- Collisions with foreign objects (e.g., trees)
- Rollover accidents
- Collision with potholes or buildings
Remember that in collisions involving other vehicles, your collision insurance policy will only cover damage to your vehicle, not the other party’s. Also, the average amount you pay for your collision policy might be higher than the cost of comprehensive coverage, especially:
- If you live in a state with a high number of uninsured drivers (like Florida or Georgia)
- If you’re on the road for a significant part of the day
- If you’ve been in car collision accidents before
That said, the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance may not be clear-cut after an accident because an accident can have numerous events leading up to it. When unsure whether an accident will require collision or comprehensive insurance, let your insurance provider investigate the scene and determine the kind of insurance you’ll file with.
Remember to closely analyze a settlement offer from your insurance company, ideally with a Florida car accident attorney’s help.
Why It Is Important to Have Comprehensive Insurance
Whether you own or are thinking of purchasing a car, comprehensive auto insurance provides you with various options to protect your finances in case of an accident. Here are a few reasons to keep comprehensive auto insurance coverage:
You want protection from total loss
A comprehensive plan ensures you’re not at a complete loss if your car is stolen and never recovered or written off after an accident. In such cases, your insurance provider will pay you an amount equivalent to the value of your car in the current market. If a car accident results in your death, your comprehensive plan compensation will go to your main beneficiaries.
You want the option to update
A comprehensive insurance car policy covers numerous types of car damage. A comprehensive plan provides room for coverage enhancement if your current policy doesn’t include some risks you would like to insure against. You can add a wider range of risks – from theft to vandalism to your current car insurance plan.
You want your life to go on as usual
If your car gets into one of the accidents covered under a comprehensive plan and requires repair, your comprehensive insurance plan may provide a courtesy car as you wait for repairs. This way, you can carry on your daily activities as usual while repairs are done. Talk to your insurance provider to determine whether this provision is available in your insurance agreement.
Be Aware of the 10% Rule
While comprehensive collision coverage provides top-notch protection from accidents, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to purchase it either. The 10% rule dictates that if your premiums for comprehensive or collision coverage exceed 10% of the actual cash value of your car in the market, you might want to reconsider taking up both since you may lose money in the event of a total car wreck.
Contact Eltringham Law Group for a Free Car Accident Case Consultation
If you are injured in a car accident and you have different insurance policies at hand to sort through, we can help you navigate the financial recovery process. We are located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. Contact our aggressive attorneys at Eltringham Law Group in Florida for a free consultation of your car accident case.
FAQs on Florida’s Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage
How much does comprehensive insurance coverage cost in Florida?
Every insurance company charges differently for comprehensive insurance, so there is no “one cost for all.” It is usually over $100 a month.
Is comprehensive and collision insurance coverage a requirement in Florida?
Under Florida law, comprehensive and collision coverage are not mandatory. The only insurance drivers must pay $10,000 for PIP and $10,000 for PDL.