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What is Florida Auto Insurance?

It is a contract between you and your insurer in which you pay the b a certain amount of money and, in return, the company will protect you from major financial losses due to an auto accident for a given period of time.

Whether you currently own an automobile or are a prospective buyer in Florida, you can get a Free Auto Insurance quote today. 

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you in Florida.

Why Do You Need Auto Insurance?

Insurance is your protection against economic disaster should you cause an accident that results in property damage or injuries to other people. It can help cover repairs to your vehicle and related medical costs.

What does auto insurance cover?

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – Pays for bodily injury or death resulting from an accident for which you are at fault and provides you with a legal defense.

  • Property damage liability coverage – Provides you with protection if your car accidentally damages another person's property. It also provides you with a legal defense.

  • Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury coverage – Usually pays for the medical expenses of the driver and passengers in your car incurred as a result of a covered accident regardless of fault.

  • Uninsured motorist coverage – Pays for your injuries and, in some circumstances, certain property damage caused by an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver. In some cases, underinsured motorist coverage is also included. This is for cases in which the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance.

  • Comprehensive physical damage coverage – Pays for damage to your car from theft, vandalism, flood, fire, and other covered perils.

  • Collision coverage – Pays for damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another object.

Can I get coverage with speeding tickets on my record? What about accidents or a DUI?

Yes. GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agency owners understand that not everyone has a perfect driving record. They represent insurance carriers specializing in your unique situation.

What is a deductible on my auto policy?

In the event of a claim, this is the amount you will have to pay before your policy pays.

What's the difference between comprehensive and collision?

Collision is the part of the policy that covers your vehicle against damage caused in an accident. Comprehensive covers your car for damages not caused by a collision. It also covers against named perils such as hurricane damage and theft.

What are the Florida state required limits for auto insurance?

Florida requires a minimum of $10,000 coverage for property damage and $10,000 coverage for Personal Injury Protection.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Coverage designed to provide protection should you be involved in an accident with a motorist who is at fault and has either no insurance or not enough to cover your medical expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage does NOT cover damage to your vehicle.

I just moved to Florida. Is coverage the same from state to state?

No. Each state has unique rules and regulations for auto insurance. It’s important to be aware of the differences here in Florida.

Do I have to turn in my out of state tags and get new ones from Florida?

Yes. Upon moving to Florida a driver has 30 days get a new registration on the vehicle.

What is the Florida Financial Responsibility Law?

The law that requires owners or operators of autos to provide evidence that they have the funds to pay for automobile losses for which they might become liable. Auto Insurance is the usual method for providing this evidence to the state.

What is the Florida No-Fault Law?

The Florida No-Fault law requires PIP (personal injury protection) be carried by owners of motor vehicles and imposes penalties for failing to do so.

Why should I buy my auto insurance from GreatFlorida?

  • Most customers save money because we offer some of the most competitive rates around.
  • You can reach us any time, day or night, any day of the year.
  • You deal directly with a local GreatFlorida Agent in Florida.
  • We help you settle your claims quickly and fairly.

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent in Florida will help you find the best deal for you.

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About Auto Insurance in Florida

In the event of an accident, Auto insurance provides protection against monetary losses due to a car crash, as well as damages from a natural disaster or vandalism.

Florida drivers are required to have a minimum of property damage coverage and personal injury protection. Your Local Agent at GreatFlorida Insurance Florida, can familiarize you with legal requirements, additional coverage options such as bodily injury liability, collision, no-fault, uninsured motorist, comprehensive coverage and deductibles.

Your Local Agent at GreatFlorida Insurance in Florida shops all the major carriers to find the best policy and the best rate. Easy, Low-Cost and Worry Free. That's the GreatFlorida Insurance promise.

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form.

Auto Insurance Florida Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/22/2017

Harsher penalties are looming for first-time drunk driving offenders.

A Florida bill (HB 949) that requires an ignition interlock device installed in a driver’s car after their first drunk driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives. On Tuesday, it passed through the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. The bill must pass through two more committees before reaching the House floor.

“The motive behind introducing a bill like this is to prevent drinking and driving while keeping others safe, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency.

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Current law only requires first-time DUI offenders to install an interlock device if the person had a .15 percent blood alcohol content or more, or if a minor was in the vehicle.  Also, devices are mandatory for offenders with multiple DUI’s.

Drivers required to install a device must contact an approved vendor for installation. The cost to lease a device ranges from $50 to $100 per month.

“Damages from DUI’s come in at over $50 billion year,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance agency.

In order to understand how it works, a driver blows into the device and it measures a person’s breath alcohol content. The IID only allows the vehicle to start if their blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.

Opponents worry the legislation could be too harsh for first time offenders. However, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports about one-third of drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

On the other hand, supporters feel the bill will help save lives. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) a drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest. MADD supports the use of ignition interlock devices. They believe that suspending the license of these drivers makes sense. Unfortunately, three out of four of those with a suspended license continue to drive.

GreatFlorida Insurance is aware, everyone makes mistakes. Not only do we provide quality car insurance, but we also offer SR-22 insurance and FR-44 insurance. Contact us today.

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The post DUI ignition interlock bill gains momentum appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/8/2017

While Florida does not require you to get boat insurance before you register your vessel, boat insurance is a good idea. Boat insurance offers protection from the responsibility of owning, operating and towing your boat.

“Many homeowners, mistakenly assume a boat is covered under their homeowner’s insurance,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.“Depending on your homeowner’s policy, you might have limited coverage on a small vessel on your property.”

As a matter of fact, if your boat is financed, your lender may require you to have boat insurance. Also, certain marinas and harbors require insurance for you to dock your boat.

Much like car insurance, there are different options to choose from when it comes to buying boat insurance. Your insurance needs depend on the type of watercraft you own while selecting the option you feel most comfortable with.

boat-accident

Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance explains the difference between liability, collision, comprehensive and medical coverage.

Liability Losses– this will cover bodily injury and property damage in an accident where you are at fault.

Comprehensive and Collision Physical damage or comprehensive and collision will cover any out of water incidents. Collision covers damage to a boat involved in a collision. Comprehensive coverage protects your boat if it is stolen, damaged by a fire or vandalized.

Uninsured Coverage– this will cover costs for damage and injuries if you are involved in a collision with a boater that does not have boat insurance.

Medical Coverage– will cover costs related to injuries suffered in a boat accident. Check your health insurance first, it could provide the adequate coverage you need.

Additional coverage is also available for fishing equipment and other boat related personal property you want to insure.

Financial Website, Money Crashers recommends purchasing comprehensive coverage if you have a loan on your boat or you own a newer model.

When purchasing boat insurance, you must also choose how the insurance company will pay you in the event of a claim.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) encourages boat owners to insure their boat for the amount it would cost you to replace it which is the “Agreed Value.”

The “Actual Cash Value” coverage reimburses you the current market value for your boat or personal belongings. Because everything depreciates, you will usually get less than what you originally paid.

As a final point, boat repairs can be costly making boat insurance a great defense to protect your investment.

GreatFlorida Insurance covers a wide variety of boats including yachts, ski boats, pontoons, jet boats, sailboats, bass boats, commercial vessels also cover personal watercraft such as a Wave Runner.

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The post Do I Need Boat Insurance? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/1/2017

This week, Consumer Reports released their annual report of the top 10 trucks and cars for 2017. “This list is esteemed because Consumer Reports in a non-profit and independent agency,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency. “They provide a non-biased opinion of the products they test.”

The list is full of outstanding all-around performers. As a matter of fact, road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety make up the overall score.

Road test performance is based on more than 50 evaluations done on sight. When it comes to reliability, according to Consumer Reports, “We predict how trouble-free new cars will be based on actual problems reported by subscribers in our 2016 auto survey on more than half a million vehicles.” They also take into consideration the manufacturer’s track record.

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Determining owner satisfaction is merely asking the questions, “Does it make you happy?” “Would you buy it again?” Collected data from model years 2014 and older is also taken into consideration. Safety is analyzed by accident avoidance tests as well as government crash text information.

Below is the list for those in the market for a new vehicle this year or curious auto enthusiasts.

Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris iA

Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze

Compact Hybrid: Toyota Prius

Sports Car: Mazda Miata MX-5

Midsized Sedan: Kia Optima

Large Sedan: Chevrolet Impala

Small SUV: Subaru Forester

Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander

Luxury SUV: Audi Q7

Compact Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

Car and Driver also has their top picks for 2017 vehicles with a more extensive list of vehicles. “Hopefully, these lists can serve as a guide if you are planning to purchase a new vehicle this year,” says Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

GreatFlorida Insurance has available agents throughout the state to help you with all your car insurance needs. Give us a call today or visit us online.

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The post Consumer Reports Names Top Vehicles for 2017 appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/8/2017

The controversial Florida red-light camera program will continue. The Florida legislature refused a ban on the cameras. A tied vote led the Senate Transportation Committee to reject the measure.

“Reducing accidents is the purpose of installing red-light camera enforcement systems at busy intersections,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance provider.

Red-light cameras deter drivers from running red lights and turning on a red light before coming to a full stop. Also,turning right on a red light when a “no turn on red” sign is posted.

However, opinions across Florida are split regarding the red-light camera’s effectiveness. For the most part, studies regarding red-light camera use show a decrease in red-light traffic violations when used. Nevertheless, compelling evidence suggests an increase in the number of auto collisions at those same intersections where cameras are present.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles surveyed 148 intersections in 28 cities and counties across the state. The survey used crash data collected between July 2012 and April 2016. Crashes rose 10.14 percent when comparing data prior to installation and after installation according to the December 2016 report.

Also, collisions involving vehicles running red lights were down 3.14 percent. Consequently, the survey noted that not all crash reports give exact locations. This makes it problematic to associate the accidents with red-light camera intersections. But the increase in red-light camera intersection accidents follows a trend. Last year’s report shows a 14.65 percent rise.

“The most useful information will come from county or municipality evaluations. Nationwide studies on red-light camera effectiveness are often contradictory and lead to confusion about the safest scenario for drivers,” said Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

Money is a major factor in the debate. Some legislators believe the red-light cameras are about increasing revenue, not public safety. In fact, opponents of the red-light camera program say the technology has become a new revenue source for local governments. For instance, the $158 fine is split with state and local governments.

Statewide red-light camera revenue brought in almost $60 million in 2016 for the state according to the Florida Department of Revenue. Therefore, cities and counties divide $53 million with about half that going to the camera companies.

All that being said, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that fatal crashes from drivers running red lights increased by 30 percent per capita after cities turned off their red-light camera programs.

GreatFlorida Insurance has knowledgeable agents across Florida who are committed to finding you the most affordable car insurance to fit your needs. Call 888-478-7801 or online at www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.

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The post Red Light Cameras Hang Around appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/1/2017

Allstate Insurance AgentThe Captive Insurance Agency model, like that of Allstate and StateFarm, initially enjoyed much popularity among those interested in entering the P&C insurance industry.

Yet, over time, this captive model has gone through changes that have left many of their agents suffering.

In recent years, auto insurance premiums have begun to rise because of increased claims and rampant fraud, especially in Florida.

While a real problem, the captive insurance companies have responded by becoming selective in the customers they offer coverage to. Specifically looking for those people with good credit and good driving records. This leaves many captives with little to offer their clients. As one ex-Allstate Insurance agent put it, “We feel like we’re in the insurance rejection business”.

Adding insult to injury, increasingly lowered commissions continue to reduce profits for these same captive agents. They sell less and are paid less for what they do sell.

As a result of these issues, sales quotas fall short of what is expected, even mandated, and begins to threaten agent jobs. This unstable work environment communicates that these captive insurance companies are more interested in growing their profits, than in supporting their agents.  The unrealistic expectations force many agents to look for alternatives.

The Insurance Journal recently reported that morale is quickly sinking at one big blue insurance company due to lowered commissions (8% to 10%) and increased premiums.

Terminations are also forcing the sales of captive agencies because of unmet sales quotas. Some long-time agents are going as far as suing the parent insurance company in retaliation.

Captive Agents Look for Alternatives

Independent Insurance Agencies like GreatFlorida Insurance, Brightway, and We Ensure are reporting an active exodus of captive Allstate agents this last year. Wishing to speak on the condition of anonymity, some ex-captive agents shared their experiences and why they chose to become independent insurance agents:

“Eventually rate increases forced me out. Being a captive agent made me feel like a one-trick-pony and I could not do much for my clients. Allstate is a conservative underwriter. They want to insure the cream of the crop and that is a small niche group.”
– TJ an exAllstate agent in FL. 

“Allstate is looking for a particular person to fit their profile, a homeowner with excellent credit.”
– KS an exAllstate agent in FL. 

Commenting about agent commission rates, two former captive agents said, “When they are good, they are good but when they are bad, they are really bad.”

A Better Way

Independent Insurance Agencies offer greater freedom and options for the agent and their customers.

Speaking to Ana Miranda of GreatFlorida Insurance in Pinecrest, an ex-captive agent, she explained that as an independent, she can offer a variety of products represented by a diverse group of insurance companies. “There isn’t a risk that walks through that door that I can’t sell”.

“Existing captive agents have come to a tipping point where it no longer makes sense to stay where they are, leaving money on the table.”, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, the largest and fastest growing franchise of independent agents in Florida.

GreatFlorida Insurance works with top insurance carriers such as Progressive, Mercury, Safeco, as well as 95% of all the available carriers in Florida.

They also boast higher commission rates from 15% to 22% and with fewer writing restrictions, the potential to grow the agency as an independent is far greater.

For GreatFlorida, 2016 saw the largest number of converts from the captive model to the independent, in years.

Why GreatFlorida Insurance?

Recent ex-captive agents shared why they chose to join the GreatFlorida Insurance franchise.

“I now have more freedom to offer more choices. You are restricted when you are a captive agent. Now my customers have 4-10 auto insurance companies who can offer coverage.”

“Because GreatFlorida Insurance is one of the largest in the state, they can negotiate the carrier appointments and higher commissions for me. Going from 10% as a captive, to 15% with GreatFlorida for each new policy I sell, is a huge increase in my income.”

“Other independent insurance agencies wanted more money down and more in commissions. GreatFlorida Insurance was the most responsible choice for me.”

“I like the way they operate. Easy going and laid back. They’re hands off and force no minimums. Everything is real fair.”

Compare GreatFlorida Insurance to a Captive AgencyFlorida Insurance Franchise and Allstate

To learn more about the insurance policies and options available at GreatFlorida Insurance, visit www.greatflorida.com or call 888-478-7801.

For franchise options call our franchise hotline at 772-577-7555.

The post Why are Captive Insurance Agents Suffering? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.