The South Florida Sun Sentinel had a brief but helpful article today entitled Cutting Car Insurance To Save At The Pump With gas prices now over $4 a gallon, many consumers are looking for ways to save money by other means for their cars and transportation. Some estimates now have the average household in the United States now spending $150 more a month on gas. There are several great ways that one can save on their automobile insurance but there are also things you should avoid, such as cutting your coverage in certain areas. Both will be discussed below.
There are four main ways that the author and financial planner Rick Rodgers suggests that can save you money on your automobile insurance. The first is obvious, that you should shop around and compare rates amongst a number of insurance companies. In this competitive insurance market, many companies are competing for your business. By going on the internet and doing a little research, you could save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the company with the best rate for your situation. The second way the author recommends to save money on your automobile insurance is to bundle your insurance coverage for auto, property, homeowners, and liability insurance. By having all your insurance with one company, you can often obtain significant discounts on your premiums. The third way to save is to ask your insurance company to give you specific discounts for having things like a good driving record, car safety features and anti-theft devices. Lastly, the author recommends taking a defensive driving class from time to time. Many insurance companies offer a discount of 10% for 3 years if you take such a class. This is a small investment in time at a low cost that could save you a great amount over that 3 year period.
Now, that being said, the Broward County Car Accident and Injury Attorneys at Berman & Tsombanakis LLC do not recommend cutting necessary insurance coverage just to save a few dollars in the short run. In addition to the minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection coverage required by Florida Law, we recommend that all drivers carry bodily injury/liability, collision, comprehensive, property damage, and uninsured motorists coverage. (some of which are discussed in detail below).
Bodily injury/liability coverage will pay for injuries suffered by others when the accident is your fault. Without this coverage, if you are in an accident and injuries occur, you will be personally liable for the other peoples injuries. They can sue you directly. We recommend not just getting the minimum coverage here. For most people, $100,000/$300,000 coverage is probably the way to go, but be aware, if the injuries suffered are greater then your coverage amount, you can still be sued individually and be liable for the damages over and above your insurance coverage. For people with significant assets, additional coverage beyond 100/300 may be wise.
Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle if you are in an accident. Without collision coverage, unless you can get payments from the other at-fault driver, you will be liable for the cost of repairing your vehicle. Now, if you have an older car that does not have much value, waiving collision coverage may make sense, but for newer to mid age cars, we recommend collision coverage.
The Fort Lauderdale Car Accident and Injury Attorneys at Berman & Tsombanakis LLC further caution drivers about the ongoing mistake being made by many in waiving uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage. As discussed in an earlier post entitled, Do not Waive Uninsured/under-insured Motorist Coverage in Florida. Many drivers make the mistake of waiving this coverage in order to save a few dollars. This is a big mistake as it could severely cost you if you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver has zero or limited bodily injury coverage.