5 Florida Auto Insurance Regulations to Know

Insurance regulations vary from one state to the next, and it’s important that you have the right knowledge and information on hand so that you can make sound decisions about what kind of insurance coverage you need, and what you don’t. Car insurance for Florida has its own regulations, as declared by the Florida Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Take a look below at 5 specific rules and regulations about auto insurance in Florida that every driver and consumer needs to be aware of.

1. Minimum PIP Coverage: The state of Florida requires minimum Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, coverage of $10,000. PIP is a no-fault policy, which means that whether or not you caused an accident, you are covered up to the policy limit for injuries you or members of your household sustain. PIP usually also covers individuals in your car without their own PIP protection.

2. Minimum PDL Liability: Auto insurance in Florida also requires a Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage minimum of $10,000. This is the coverage you need to pay for damage caused to another person’s vehicle or other property as the result of an accident that you are declared to have caused or are otherwise liable for.

3. Florida-only Insurance: The regulations for car insurance for Florida dictate that your insurance policy must be delivered by a company licensed by the Florida Department of Financial Services, and must be obtained by an agent or company otherwise licensed to provide that insurance. This means that you cannot maintain a policy that was previously issued to you in another state.

4. Penalties: Without proper insurance your driving license can be suspended until you obtain the proper coverage. Reinstatement fees then would apply, and can cost up to $150 to begin with, and can eventually total up to $500 or more for additional violations.

5. Business & Part-Time Residency: Even part-time residents, or individuals in the state for business for more than 90 days in a 1-year period, need full-time, year-round auto insurance in Florida. The 90 days do not have to be consecutive, and the vehicle does not have to be used. Either way, you need coverage on the registered vehicle.

Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of some of the basic rules and regulations regarding car insurance for Florida. Each state has its own unique rules, and also enforces them differently, so be sure that you’re compliant in order to avoid any hassle and legal trouble.

Your Accountant Will Agree: Leasing a Car For Your Business is the Way To Go

One of the many important financial decisions of a business owner is whether to lease or purchase motor vehicles for the business. RK Auto Group recommends leasing for several reasons: Leasing strengthens your financial statement and upgrades your company’s image by providing sharper-looking vehicles at a cheaper price.

Most accountants agree: your financial statement looks rosier with vehicle leasing.
Financial benefits of leasing include:

  • A better tax write off – you can deduct actual payments instead of using a depreciation schedule
  • Clearer bookkeeping – while a lease is simply an expense on the financial statement, a purchase is an asset and a liability
  • More borrowing power – with a lease, you can keep lines of credit open for other expenditures; a purchase of a vehicle ties up those loan options
  • Preventing negative equity – this happens when you purchase a car: sometimes the market conditions make the vehicle worth less than the debt owed on it
  • When you don’t have negative equity you have less to negotiate in leases

Leasing improve your company’s image as well as its bottom line.
When you lease a vehicle, you don’t pay for all of it. You only pay for the part of the vehicle you use. This means:

  • A lower monthly payment
  • You can afford a more expensive vehicle to better represent your business (and it’s more fun to drive!)
  • You drive a new vehicle more often: a 48-month lease costs the same monthly amount as a 60-month purchase of the same vehicle!

Make sure to lease from a reputable dealer for consistent, high-quality service.
When you lease a vehicle, you form a strong relationship with the leasing representative, because you work with the same person on every lease. Leasing provides a satisfying experience as well as great financial benefits to your company.

How to Select an Auto Repair Shop

Selecting an auto body repair shop can be a bewildering and confusing experience. There are hundreds of shops to choose from in any city and they all claim to offer the best prices, the fastest service, and the highest quality. Can they all be trusted? Or should you be on the lookout for scam artists and individuals trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers?

Choose Value for Auto Body Repair

Low prices are an attractive promotion, but it is not always best to just go with the body shop that is offering the lowest priced repair. Though most body shops do honest work, there are some that cut corners or install used parts with informing customers just so they can lure people in with rock-bottom pricing. Getting value for car repairs is paramount – value is the combination of reasonable pricing and high quality work completed in a fair amount of time.

Protecting Yourself and Getting the Most out of an Auto Repair Shop

Before deciding on the low bid, or any price quote, find out more about the body shop. Do some research on the Internet and ask around for any reviews and testimonials. There are great online review sites on which people give unsolicited opinions about their experiences with local businesses. Any auto body shop you are considering should have mostly positive reviews – don’t let a few negative ones scare you away as almost all businesses will have a few dissatisfied customers from time to time.

A recent trend in the industry are the use of auto accident consultants. These individuals or companies have established relationships with a network of auto repair specialists and can offer understanding and insight into the workings of the industry. Car crash consultants are often able to offer connections to legitimate repair specialists and may even be able to save you money on a car repair.

The other way to protect yourself is to ask your insurance agent or carrier. Though you are not required to use a body shop they recommend, they do work with a variety of different legitimate repair shops. Using a recommendation from your insurance company may not mean you will get the lowest price, but it will ensure that your insurance company will not balk at paying the balance due.

Finding the right auto body shop can be frustrating, but the frustration level can be reduced with a little research and effort. Spend some time on the Internet, and talk to family, friends, neighbors, and peers. One last piece of advice – get at least three quotes before you select a shop. Shopping around may take a little extra time, but it is often worth the effort.