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COVID-19 Impacts Florida Car Insurance Rates

Civil Trial Attorney
Wooten Kimbrough Damaso & Dennis, P.A.
(407) 843-7060

The coronavirus has hit our country hard. While our state may be lifting its lockdown, many drivers are still choosing to either stay home or are driving significantly less since the pandemic. This has drivers wondering whether using their vehicles less will result in lower insurance premiums.

The Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Economic Justice recently called on state insurance departments to encourage car insurers to offer premium relief to their policyholders. This call was made to help those who are struggling financially due to either being out of work temporarily or are experiencing a reduction income.

Ultimately, it depends on the car insurance provider as to whether you can reduce your insurance rates during this time. Many companies are offering deals, while others are not. Even though lockdowns are being lifted and businesses are opening back up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommend employees work from home, if possible. Farmers Insurance has reported a 58 percent reduction in miles people are driving in any given week after studying miles driven the week of March 29 to April 4.

If your insurance provider factors in your annual mileage when setting your insurance rates, this could result in a reduced car insurance premium. It is recommended that you contact your insurance provider to see if this option is available to you.

Many insurance providers are offering several different options including extending grace periods. Normally, car insurance companies will cancel someone’s policy within seven to ten days if a payment is missed. One issue to keep in mind if you do extend your grace period is that your total bill will still accumulate during this time, despite the fact your grace period is longer.

If you are struggling due to the current pandemic, your insurance provider may be willing to waive late fees or penalties. It is possible that you may qualify for new discounts that will help reduce your overall rate, including multi-policy discounts, multi-car discounts, car safety discounts, good driver discounts, and discounts for certain occupations, alumni associations, and professional association memberships.

Suspending coverage should only be used for circumstances where the driver will not be using his or her car at all. For example, Florida is home to many “snowbirds” who frequent our state for the winter only. During this time, if the person will not be driving, it may be recommended to drop coverage during this time. If someone cannot drive due to illness or other medical reasons, a suspension of coverage may also be necessary. A word of caution should be issued when it comes to suspending coverage. If the policyholder- or anyone else, does end up using the vehicle during this time and is involved in a car accident, the driver could be exposing himself or herself to serious legal and financial issues.

At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. we are taking virtual sign-ups and can handle your case remotely as needed to reduce exposure to and spread of the coronavirus.  We take calls from clients and injured victims 24/7, 365 days a year.  For current clients, please keep in touch with your attorney during this time and make sure you respond to all communications sent by your attorney so that you do not miss any important deadlines for your case.

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