Kamis, 12 Januari 2012

Florida DUI Insurance: Raised Limits, Rate Hikes, Tough Choices


Many drivers immediately think about the effect on their auto insurance after a ticket or accident. How much will my insurance go up? Should I make a claim? In such predicaments a decision to pay the fine, go to court, or attend traffic school is easy to make. By comparison, the dilemma of DUI in Florida is difficult, complicated, and expensive. Insurance related questions always include; how do I reinstate my license and how much will it cost?

Liability requirements for DUI insurance are a minimum of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident of Bodily Injury Liability and $50,000 of Property Damage Liability. After a policy is issued it cannot be cancelled. Proof of such insurance, via Florida FR44 filing, is required for license reinstatement. Only Florida licensed companies are authorized to submit a filing. After buying a policy the company electronically submits your completed FR44 form to the Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility. This process is straightforward, quick, and has a $15.00 filing fee. The tough part is finding insurance at an affordable rate.

Many companies will cancel or non-renew the current policy of a DUI driver. When policyholders search for a replacement they frequently find agents without the necessary experience. If you are in the midst of such circumstances avoid the common mistake of assuming no company or agent wants your business. Help is available from certain companies, there are agents that specialize in this area, and both are not difficult to find.

FR44 filing through a motorcycle policy is acceptable and liability rates are lower for them since they generally inflict less damage. Also, vehicles with less than four wheels are not required to have $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP insurance) which is mandatory for all cars and trucks and is very costly. Additionally, a driver may comply without owning any vehicle through an operators policy which also excludes PIP. Rates vary greatly between policy types causing many to consider changing their vehicle or doing without one altogether.

Anyone can become a victim of an impaired driver so the elevated liability limits help protect everyone. Higher limits and costly insurance are also effective deterrents against repeat offenders. After three years DUI surcharge points are eliminated while discounts for continuous insurance, high liability limits, and payment in full remain. These same discounts and options are qualifying factors for the most favored rating tier with the lowest rates. Those who keep a policy with high limits beyond the 3 year mandatory period end up paying much less for more protection in the long run.

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