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Auto Coverage

Daytona and New Smyrna Auto Insurance

Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach Auto Insurance Guide

Driving is a staple of Daytona culture, whether you’re at the Speedway or enjoying a drive down the white sand beaches. In Volusia County, tourist traffic gets heavy on AIA, with plenty of reckless driving between sightseers and parking spot-seekers. These beautiful, sunny beach towns are a high risk for your vehicle and your passengers, but a great insurance policy will help keep you at ease from the beach to the interstate.

Every driver in Daytona, New Smyrna and the whole state of Florida is required to carry at least two types of auto insurance, with a very small minimum to meet. The state requires all residents to buy Property Damage Liability (PDL) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault Insurance, with Bodily Injury Liability strongly recommended but not mandatory. You must buy at least $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PDL in order to register your vehicle and drive legally in Florida. Other drivers may be required to carry additional types of insurance under the terms of their lease or because of a poor driving history. However, many drivers overlook the law and don’t carry any auto insurance at all. As protection, you can purchase uninsured motorists insurance to cover the balance when you’re hit by an uninsured driver.


Driving in a No-Fault State

No-fault insurance is required by Florida law, and as such, your policy is slightly different than other states that don’t require this coverage. The purpose of the law is to protect yourself while driving as well as limiting the amount you can sue other drivers for damages they cause. Under a No-Fault or Personal Injury Protection policy, your insurer pays for physical damage you experience, regardless of who technically caused the accident. Other drivers will rely on their own policy to cover the damages caused to them.

Though this is the concept of no-fault, policy limits are easy to reach and lawsuits are not entirely avoidable in certain circumstances. Further, the liability issues that linger after an accident can increase your premiums. The good part of the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law is that every insured driver can receive medical attention right after an accident, and it also lowers the cost of insurance claims and legal help.


Florida No Fault Insurance

Personal Injury Protection in Florida covers medical costs following an accident up to the limits of your insurance policy, whether you cause the crash or not. Additionally, Florida PIP will also pay for members or your household, your child and certain other passengers who do not carry a no-fault policy if they don’t own a vehicle. If a passenger in your car, or licensed driver you allow to drive your car, has their own PIP, their policy will pay for medical care after an accident. PIP also covers injuries to children riding school buses, and if you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle and hit by a car. Consider buying more than the $10,000 minimum to cover all of these bases in the event that you or a family member are involved in an accident.


Property Damage Liability

The other mandatory coverage in Volusia County is Property Damage Liability (PDL), which will pay for damages you or your covered family members cause to another person’s property while driving. This can include fences, mailboxes, landscaping and other property. In most states, Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability are required, but due to the no-fault law, Florida residents can get by without Bodily Injury — though it is still a huge help after an accident.


Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance covers physical harm caused to the driver and passengers in another car when you’ve caused an accident. While it isn’t required in order to get licensed and registered in Florida, it will be if you’ve been convicted of a DUI according to state law — at a minimum of $10,000 per person and $20,000 for multiple people. Otherwise, this coverage is helpful as it can help avoid legal issues by paying for the other party’s injuries and providing an attorney if they sue you for the difference. BIL may also cover another driver you allow to drive your car or accidents you cause while driving someone else’s vehicle.


Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection

Imagine the costs associated with getting hit by a driver without insurance, or one who carries only as much as the state requires. Emergency room bills can add up very quickly, and medical care alone can be tens of thousands of dollars, leaving you to pay for car repairs once the at-fault driver’s policy limits are reached. If a driver has little or no coverage, which is very common throughout the state as Florida has one of the nation’s highest rates of uninsured drivers, this coverage can help pay up to your own policy’s limits for medical care or property damage.

Examples of the need for adequate coverage continually present themselves to residents and tourists alike, even making local news. A couple vacationing in Daytona Beach were injured by an uninsured driver while perusing the wares of a local gift shop. They were left with glass lodged in their skin, over $100,000 in medical bills, and a potential increase in insurance premiums. The driver received a fine and his ninth citation for driving without insurance, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal. Even the state minimums wouldn’t cover those expenses had the driver been insured, so it’s best to take action on your own behalf.


Collision Coverage

Collision is an optional policy that you may consider if you have a newer vehicle or it may be required if you are leasing or financing your vehicle. Many dealerships and banks require an extra boost of protection if you are not purchasing your car outright. A typically more pricey addition to your policy, collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle whether you hit another car or a telephone pole while driving. Following a crash, you pay your deductible, then your insurer pays up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, which depends on age, cost and condition.


Comprehensive Coverage

For many of the other ways your car can be damaged, comprehensive insurance assists with non-accident-related expenses. While qualifying events vary with each insurer, they generally include storms, flooding, fire, hurricanes, animals, vandalism and theft. If hurricane season hits the area especially badly, and a tree collapses and shatters your windshield, comprehensive coverage would be your go-to. With most carriers, you can select a deductible from $0 to more than $1,000 to maximize your protection.