Floridians Should Check Vehicles for Winter Weather and Insurance
People who live in Florida most likely live here because of the weather. We hate snow.
But every year the holidays entice many Floridians to embark on road trips to the north for family holiday gatherings. It’s usually a wonderful experience, but please take a few minutes to think about some common-sense tips.
If You’re Driving Your Own Car
Take your car to your favorite repair shop and ask them to check it for winter travel. Your engine coolant and wiper fluid may freeze up north.
Double check your insurance, make sure it’s paid up and everything is up-to-date. Driving on unfamiliar roads can sometimes lead to accidents and you don’t want to be uninsured.
Different states have varying car insurance minimums. So if you start your holiday road trip in Florida, which only requires $5,000 of property damage liability, and $10,000 worth of PIP, and get into an accident in New York, where minimums are about $50,000 greater, you would be under-insured to cover a New York driver’s damages. Luckily, car insurance companies usually recognize you shouldn’t be penalized for having the legal limit in one state, and crashing in another with higher limits. Thus, so long as you were not intoxicated or conducting any other policy disqualifying behavior, your company will likely bump your limits up to the state’s in which you crashed. To be safe, call and verify.
If You’re Renting a Car
If you rent a car, you need some sort of rental car insurance. Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, and the others all offer different options. Rental companies offer a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Supplemental Liability Coverage (SLC), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and Personal Effects Coverage (PEC). Of those four, you may only really need the first two. You pay for the LDW, about $9 to $20 per day, which essentially says the rental company will cover any damage that happens to the car. If you have collision insurance on your policy however, you may opt out of the coverage. If you have a credit card as well, you may charge the entire rental to the card, and your card provider will sometimes cover the LDW at no charge to you.
Once again, call and verify with your own insurance company what will be covered and what won’t should something happen if you have an accident in a rental car in another state.
Floridians aren’t accustomed to driving in the snow. It’s another world. Just remember to reduce speed, or get off the road if you feel the least bit uncomfortable driving on icy roads. Listen to advisories on the radio, and follow them.
Here’s a story with a video offering some safety tips for driving in the snow from the American Automobile Association: CLICK HERE
Lazarus and Lazarus – Florida Accident Attorneys
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus cares about your safety. Every day we meet with people who have been involved in serious accidents, and we know that many times the incidents were preventable. We think it is our obligation to inform all Florida drivers to observe traffic laws, don’t misuse your cell phone when behind the wheel, and never drink and drive.
If you or a loved one does need an accident attorney in the future, we would be happy to arrange a confidential consultation if you call us at 954-356-0006. Protecting your rights are our primary concern.