Property & Casualty Insurance/Auto Insurance

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Question
I am a Florida resident attempting to lower my premium rates as we now pay for all the illegals who don't! Florida has a very laxed "driving without insurance" mentality.
This is my current coverage:

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab
2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara Luxury

Liability..............Bodily injury.............250,000/500,000
         Property damage...........100,000

PIP....................Bodily injury.............250,000/500,000

Comp with 250 ded...........on a 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara Luxury
Collision on a 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara Luxury

Loss of use............50 per day/1500 max

My current premium per year is just slightly less than $2000 with no tickets and my wife had a very small fender bender when she and another woman backed out of their respective parking spots at the same time. Damage paid out by both insurance companies was $401. All of that went to the other party as my vehicle only sustained minor scratches in the paint.

Here's my question:

Uninsured motorist- What does this pay? My own liability and medical should pay for any injuries we would sustain regardless is the other driver is driving without insurance.....correct??
Also, my collision and comp would also pay regardless???

It is pretty much a known fact that in the case of an injury lawsuit, most courts won't allow over the defendants limits unless such factors such as alcohol, drugs, or reckless driving were involved........so is it necessary to carry these limits? I do own my home and vehicles.

My vehicles are 2001 and 2006 respectfully. Blue book has them valued at $7500 and $12,000 respectfully but would an insurance company ever pay those values as I understand they use Black Book which is a car dealers best friend?? Does it make any sense to carry collision or comp at this time??

Would you have any suggestions as to tweaking this policy still protecting my interest but significantly lowering premiums??

I was considering:

Liability of 100,000/300,000....or even 100,000/100,000
abandoning uninsured motorist as my no-fault would protect me?
Property damage of 100,000/100,000

Thank you very much for your input. I'm a little leery asking my insurance agent in regards to getting an answer in my interest or their profits.

Answer
Good morning Dennis,

Let me start off by stating that I am not a licensed agent in Florida, so your final decision regarding coverage needs to be discussed with an agent who is familiar with FL law and coverage options.

Having said that, let me provide a bit of general coverage guidance.

1 - "Uninsured motorist- What does this pay?"  

This coverage is provided to pay for bodily injury or property damage costs you suffer as a result of being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist who is found legally liable for your injuries/damages.  

2 - "My own liability and medical should pay for any injuries we would sustain regardless is the other driver is driving without insurance.....correct??"  

No.

3 - "Also, my collision and comp would also pay regardless???"

No.

4 - "........so is it necessary to carry these limits? I do own my home and vehicles."

What is your net worth? Do you have disability insurance to cover lost wages?  Do you carry sufficient life insurance to replace your lost income in the case of death?  How much liability and uninsured motorist coverage do you need?  A review of what might be your family's financial position following an accident in which you and family members are seriously injured is needed.  

5 - "My vehicles are 2001 and 2006 respectfully. Blue book has them valued at $7500 and $12,000 respectfully but would an insurance company ever pay those values as I understand they use Black Book which is a car dealers best friend??"

The insurance contract spells out how the insurance company will settle upon the value of the vehicle.  Typically, the wording will give you the understanding that your vehicles are insured for their actual street value at the time of the accident.  It is the insurance company's agreement to make you whole - no more, no less than the value of the vehicle just before the loss.

6 - "Does it make any sense to carry collision or comp at this time??"

If you can afford to self-insure the value of the vehicles - all repair costs are out-of-pocket, then I would recommend that you drop collision, provided there are no liens, in which case, the lienholders will require the coverage to protect their financial interest.  I would continue to carry comprehensive coverage, as this will pay for damages to your vehicles for losses caused by perils other than collision - fire, theft, windstorm, flood, etc. - and the cost of comprehensive coverage is usually fairly low.

If you have a Personal Umbrella policy the higher liability limits for your auto may be a requirement of that contract.  Whether or not you are able to drop uninsured motorist coverage is probably dictated by FL law.

Finally, if you do not trust your current agent to provide solid counsel, then you need to ask family and/or friends to recommend someone they have grown to trust.  You should also sit down with your wife and seek her input.  Insurance provides peace of mind to many. Women respond to security.

Good luck!

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Hal McFarland, CIC, ARM

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Business insurance issues - Property/Liability/Commercial Auto/Workers' Compensation/Group Major Medical.

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27 years advising commercial clients.

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