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Insurance Archives

Do Florida's Snowbirds Need Additional Insurance During The Winter Stay?

Do snowbirds need separate insurance when traveling to Florida for the winter season? According to Florida law, the no-fault law requires owners of motor vehicles that have been the state for at least 90 consecutive days or 90 non- consecutive days during the past 365 days to purchase a policy delivered or issued for delivery for Florida. The minimum coverage is: $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP)and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). So as a snowbird, that would cause some confusion and according to an article in the Boston Globe - it did. Mainly because their (Massachusettes) state auto insurance regulations exceeds those limits. In actuality, the state where the snow bird originally resides is what auto policy that would cover any issues during their stay in Florida, This is also affirmed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations who states that a snow bird's home state auto policy is sufficient as long as it meets the minimum requirements of Florida requirements.

Does Insurance Cover Street Racing?

WEAR Channel 3 reports a speeding driver lost control of the vehicle and caused a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate I-110. Five vehicles were traveling southbound on I-110 just north of Cervantes Street, according to the FHP. A 19-year-old male was clocked in his Mitsubishi Eclipse speeding at 117mph in a 55 mph zone with a group of other cars that were racing and driving recklessly. Other drivers were also racing prior to the crash. The report states the 19 year old lost control of his vehicle, hit a concrete barrior wall on the east shoulder of I-110 and hit the rear ofanother racer's vehicle, a Hyundai Genesis. The impact caused the Hyundai to hit the barrier wall, as well. The initiating racer drove back into the southbound lanes of I-110 where it collided with another racer's Mitsubishi Eclipse. The crash caused traffic to come to a sudden stop and caused a 33-year-old female's Hyundai Tiburon to collide with an unknown vehicle. That vehicle left the scene before authorities got there. The initiating vehicle's driver was arrested for causing the crash and charged with reckless driving resulting in property damage and racing on a highway. He also got a speeding ticket. The other two racers given court dates for racing on a highway. The FHP reports no one involved in the crash was seriously injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured in this accident and we have to ask - will there be insurance coverage for their injuries? According to my research, a standard auto or home policy won't cover any type of racing damage or liability. Common forms of amateur motorsports such as drag racing, autocross, rallies and track days are excluded from regular auto insurance policies. The fine print usually says something like this: "Liability arising from the sponsoring or taking part in any organized or agreed-upon racing or speed contest or demonstration in which your insured car has active participation, or in practice or preparation for any such contest." The sanctioning body for the type of racing you do may carry liability insurance. However, it will usually be bare bones coverage meant to protect those you injure. Most organizations aren't in the business of protecting drivers and repairing their vehicles. So, what's an amateur race car driver to do? If you are going to race at a sanctioned event, then some insurance companies will write policies for you. For example, a $30,000 track-day policy at Leland West (including coverage for damaged guardrails and wreckage removal) costs about $200. Other carriers to investigate include Lockton Motorsports and OnTranckInsurance. Policies are typically "agreed value" -- that is, you and the insurance company agree what your car is worth up front, and you pay a premium based on that amount. They typically cover only damage to the car, not any injuries the driver suffers or damage he may inflict on others. So what should we learn from this tragic incident? Take pause before drag racing. More likely than not, drag racing is an auto exclusion that your car insurance company might write into your policy. In this case, your car insurance company would not cover you if you are injured while drag racing. Source: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/car-racing-insurance.aspx

Why Is My Insurance Paying For My Medical Expenses?

In order to register your Florida automobile, you must meet minimal insurance requirements. The requirements are as follows: (1) $10,000.00 of Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") and (2) $10,000 of property damage liability.

Understanding Your Insurance Policy

Rarely does anyone (even those who sell insurance) try to read an entire policy. Most look at indvidual parts of the coverage, endorsements or the declaration page to seek answers or research a problem. Regardless, you should read and understand certain parts of your insurance coverage (whether it is auto insurance or homeowners) from the start, and it's a good idea to know how to read the rest of the policy in case you suffer a loss and need to make a claim. Your ability to read and understand your policy helps you to know, work and negotiate with whomever and hopefully avoid the trap of depending on coverage interpretations from others.

Florida Insurance Requirements

This past Thursday, there was a tragic accident that occurred right in the heart of Destin. A Niceville man was heading north on Danny Wuerffel Way around 8 p.m. on a 1985 Harley-Davidson when a 2007 Expedition, driven by a man from Arkansas turned left in front of him. The significance of the impact killed the driver, and his 17-year-old passenger was reported to be in serious condition at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Unfortunately, the Niceville man was not wearing a helmet. The Expedition sustained $6,000 worth of damage in the crash, according to the FHP media release, and the Harley-Davidson sustained $10,000 in damages. FHP is investigating the crash.

GEICO Auto Insurance Appeals Bad Faith Suit

I saw a very interesting appeal that went up to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Geico Auto Insurance has asked the Eleventh Circuit not to make them pay a $29.8 million verdict in a suit over an insured motorist's death in a bad faith suit by the man's widow, saying it hadn't been able to properly appeal the verdict.

Insurance Rates Based On Zip Code?

Auto insurance companies trying to set rates by zip codes, according to a recent article in Palm Beach Post. This was an attempt by a group of car insurance companies to have a state law that would allow them to set rates in a territory as small as one zip code. Since the Florida legislature is no longer in session, this attempt appears to be a dead bill that will have to wait another year. According to the Consumer Federation of America, this dead bill was a good thing. According to this think tank, there could have been a high potential for abuse, and potentially creating pockets of high rates, in effect shutting out customers from the wrong side of the tracks. It was "not credible and therefore not actuarially sound," said Bob Hunter, director of insurance for the group.

Florida Insurance Costs Rank Among The Nation's Highest

A new research project showed driving in Florida will cause your insurance costs rank to among the nation's highest. According to insuranceQuotes.com, lorida drivers pay 12 percent above the national average. The report makes it calculations using quotes from carriers representing 60 percent to 70 percent of the market. Why? One factor is a state requirement that forces Floridians to buy at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage that duplicates medical insurance drivers already have through Medicare or private health plans. That tends up to push rates in the few remaining no-fault states like Florida and Michigan, analysts say. Also, there's geography - which involves things like a higher risk of catastrophic weather, analysts say. Throw in some accident fraud and bad driving and there you have your above average premium

Insurance: Coming Changes In Florida Law

Insurance lobbyists are always trying to change Florida laws to make their business more profitable, regardless of the harm it may cause.  Currently, Florida law forbids car insurers from setting rates in a territory as small as one ZIP code given concerns it could be abused to discriminate against low-income, minority or other customers, but there is a bill which cleared Florida legislative committtees in both the House and Senate that could change everything.  

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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