GreatFlorida Auto Insurance - Palm Coast, FL - James Cimorelli
Auto Insurance Agency in Palm Coast, Florida

James Cimorelli

Auto Insurance Agency in Palm Coast, FL

James Cimorelli - GreatFlorida Insurance - Palm Coast, FL.

386-446-0317

160 Cypress Point Pkwy
C-102

Palm Coast, FL  32164
Fax : 386-446-0355

Palm Coast, FL Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance | Palm Coast, FL

In the event of an accident, Auto insurance provides protection against monetary losses due to a car crash, as well as damages from a natural disaster or vandalism.

Palm Coast, FL drivers are required to have a minimum of property damage coverage and personal injury protection. James Cimorelli at GreatFlorida Insurance Palm Coast, FL, can familiarize you with legal requirements, additional coverage options such as bodily injury liability, collision, no-fault, uninsured motorist, comprehensive coverage and deductibles.

James Cimorelli at GreatFlorida Insurance in Palm Coast, FL shops all the major carriers to find the best policy and the best rate. Easy, Low-Cost and Worry Free. That's the GreatFlorida Insurance promise.

Simply call 386-446-0317 or complete our online quote request form.

Palm Coast, FL Auto InsuranceAuto Insurance FAQs

What is Florida Auto Insurance?

It is a contract between you and your insurer in which you pay the b a certain amount of money and, in return, the company will protect you from major financial losses due to an auto accident for a given period of time.

Whether you currently own an automobile or are a prospective buyer in Palm Coast, you can get a Free Auto Insurance quote today. 

Simply call 386-446-0317 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you in Palm Coast.

Why Do You Need Auto Insurance?

Insurance is your protection against economic disaster should you cause an accident that results in property damage or injuries to other people. It can help cover repairs to your vehicle and related medical costs.

What does auto insurance cover?

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – Pays for bodily injury or death resulting from an accident for which you are at fault and provides you with a legal defense.

  • Property damage liability coverage – Provides you with protection if your car accidentally damages another person's property. It also provides you with a legal defense.

  • Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury coverage – Usually pays for the medical expenses of the driver and passengers in your car incurred as a result of a covered accident regardless of fault.

  • Uninsured motorist coverage – Pays for your injuries and, in some circumstances, certain property damage caused by an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver. In some cases, underinsured motorist coverage is also included. This is for cases in which the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance.

  • Comprehensive physical damage coverage – Pays for damage to your car from theft, vandalism, flood, fire, and other covered perils.

  • Collision coverage – Pays for damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another object.

Can I get coverage with speeding tickets on my record? What about accidents or a DUI?

Yes. GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agency owners understand that not everyone has a perfect driving record. They represent insurance carriers specializing in your unique situation.

What is a deductible on my auto policy?

In the event of a claim, this is the amount you will have to pay before your policy pays.

What's the difference between comprehensive and collision?

Collision is the part of the policy that covers your vehicle against damage caused in an accident. Comprehensive covers your car for damages not caused by a collision. It also covers against named perils such as hurricane damage and theft.

What are the Florida state required limits for auto insurance?

Florida requires a minimum of $10,000 coverage for property damage and $10,000 coverage for Personal Injury Protection.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Coverage designed to provide protection should you be involved in an accident with a motorist who is at fault and has either no insurance or not enough to cover your medical expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage does NOT cover damage to your vehicle.

I just moved to Florida. Is coverage the same from state to state?

No. Each state has unique rules and regulations for auto insurance. It’s important to be aware of the differences here in Florida.

Do I have to turn in my out of state tags and get new ones from Florida?

Yes. Upon moving to Florida a driver has 30 days get a new registration on the vehicle.

What is the Florida Financial Responsibility Law?

The law that requires owners or operators of autos to provide evidence that they have the funds to pay for automobile losses for which they might become liable. Auto Insurance is the usual method for providing this evidence to the state.

What is the Florida No-Fault Law?

The Florida No-Fault law requires PIP (personal injury protection) be carried by owners of motor vehicles and imposes penalties for failing to do so.

Why should I buy my auto insurance from GreatFlorida?

  • Most customers save money because we offer some of the most competitive rates around.
  • You can reach us any time, day or night, any day of the year.
  • You deal directly with a local GreatFlorida Agent in Palm Coast.
  • We help you settle your claims quickly and fairly.

Simply call 386-446-0317 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent in Palm Coast will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Auto  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/1/2016

When filing your taxes, you want to take every opportunity possible to save money on expenses that can reduce your taxable income.

“Deductions are sometimes available on health programs and treatments such as smoking cessation, weight loss and alcohol and drug abuse, if it is not covered under your current health insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.”

Below is a list of some commonly missed tax deductions and credits that could be available to you.deduct-home-business-expenses

  • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction– Floridians do not pay a state income tax making taxpayers eligible to deduct state income tax paid on purchases. If you purchased a large item such as a car or boat, you can add the sales tax paid to the amount sown on the IRS tax table.
  • Charitable Contributions-Money donated to your church, a charity or even if you purged your closet or home of household items and dropped them off at Goodwill, those can be counted. Out-of-pocket expenses such as food ingredients needed to prepare meals for a soup kitchen or if you drove your car for charitable activities, you can deduct 14 cents per mile.
  • Tuition-There are Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit available for those taking classes. A tax credit is available for tuition, fees, books and other educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents.
  • Health Insurance-“Health insurance premiums for self-employed people, are 100 percent deductible from their gross income,” reports Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance.
  • Job Relocation-Your moving expenses are deductible if you took a first job and moved more than 50 miles away. You can deduct 23 cents per mile of getting you and your household goods to the new area, including parking and tolls.
  • Casualty, Disaster and Theft-Casualty, disaster and theft losses can be deducted on your tax form, but the IRS has some stipulations. The IRS states, “You may not deduct casualty and theft losses, (generally covered by homeowner’s insurance) unless you reduce the loss by the amount of any reimbursement or expected reimbursement.”
  • National Guard-National Guard and Reservists can claim overnight travel expenses.
  • Gambling Losses-Your losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported.
  • Child Care-A child care tax credit is offered, worth 20 – 35 percent of what you pay in childcare while you work.

Financial management company, Intuit suggests a tax credit is better than a tax deduction because it reduces your tax, dollar-for-dollar. As painful as filing your taxes is, take your time to think back over your finances for the year to save money on your taxes.

GreatFlorida Insurance is the leading independent insurance company in Florida, offering health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance and boat insurance. Call us today for a free quote.

The post Overlooked Tax Deductions appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
1/19/2016

What is important to you when it comes to selecting insurance? There is no right or wrong response, the answer is based on personal preferences.

A survey of over 400 agents and brokers from Insurance Journal found overall, regional insurance carriers scored better than national carriers. “Local insurance provides an opportunity for more personalized service, you’re not just a number” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency in Florida.

In order to guide you through your decision making process, below is a list of the top ten reasons to choose a Florida based insurance agent rather than a nationally based one.

  1. Customer Service – When calling a local agent, you will get them phone, giving you one- on- one service. Your personal agent is already familiar with your policy and coverage. When you phone a national insurance company, you will most likely reach a call center and a different representative every time.
  2. Personal Contact – Local insurers are better at building personal relationships and getting to know their clients. They ask you specific questions and examine your needs more to make sure you are not underinsured. They can also make you aware of discounts, special savings or bundling opportunities for your car insurance and homeowner’s insurance.
  3. Know the Area – A local insurance agent has intimate knowledge of your area. They can assess possible risks and will inform you if you require specific coverage. For instance, if your home address is in a flood zone and you require flood insurance not just homeowner’s insurance. They are also familiar with common claims in the area and can make recommendations due to that information.
  4. Human Resources – A local insurance agent can serve as your personal HR department if you own a small business. If one of your employees has a question regarding their health insurance, they can inquire with the agent.
  5. Flexibility – Local insurance agencies will offer more flexibility to customize coverage. National insurers usually work off a standard operating procedure.
  6. Second chances – No one is perfect. If your driving history has a blemish, local insurance agencies are less rigid and more accommodating to offer car insurance coverage. A national carrier often has their hands tied to strict company policy.
  7. Options -A local independent insurance agency, such as GreatFlorida Insurance, can comparison shop with different insurance providers for you. While a captive agent is obligated to one insurance company.
  8. Support a Local Business – Money spent locally, stays in your community. Forbes points out; local businesses will give back to the community, further increasing community character and economic benefits to build up the area.
  9. Prompt Service – Direct access to your agent usually means you get answers quicker and the claims administration process will be faster.
  10. Security – With the constant breach of security at large companies online, inputting your personal data can leave you more vulnerable. Knowing who you are submitting your personal information directly to feels more secure.

GreatFlorida Insurance has been offering auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance throughout Florida for 25 years. Our independent insurance agents can find the right insurance for you, give us a call.buylocalbanner

The post Buying Insurance Local vs National appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
1/8/2016

“Hidden fees, add-ons, unnecessary insurance coverage and unfulfilled reservations are some of the complaints consumers have when it comes to renting a car, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance provider.

Are you familiar with the Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes to pick up his reserved car and they do not have his vehicle?

Jerry responds, “But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation. See you know how to take the reservation; you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation – the holding.”

A former car rental employee explained to the LA Times, that reservations are used for planning but will not guarantee you a vehicle. Supply and demand will dictate whether your reservation is honored. Most car rental companies do not charge for no-show reservations, so they take as many reservations as they desire.Florida-Rental-Car-Insurance

Do you really need extra insurance? “Before renting a car, check with your insurance agent for the type of car insurance coverage you currently have in order to avoid paying for double coverage,” urges Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.

Take into account, a car rental employee is a sales person. They have been urged to sell you upgrades as well as insurance.  If you do not have car insurance, consider purchasing car insurance from the rental company.

The most common types are, LDW- loss damage waivers, it protects the vehicle if stolen, vandalized or if a tree limb should fall on it.  CDW- collision damage waivers covers damage caused by a collision with another vehicle.

Some credit cards, such as American Express, offer automatic insurance coverage when you pay for a rental using that card. Also, certain homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the cost of belongings stolen in the car.

US News & World Report suggests the following tips for keeping costs down while renting a car.

  • Try renting a car from a company located away from the airport if possible.
  • Shop around
  • Do not pre-pay for gas, fill it up yourself.
  • Forgo the GPS rental and use your smart phone for directions.
  • Take the time to thoroughly inspect the rental car before you drive away.
  • Return your car on time to avoid possible late fees.
  • Check that tolls are covered by the rental car company.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers dependable and affordable car insurance. Give us a call today for your free quote.

Florida-Auto-Insurance

The post Car Rental Woes appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
11/30/2015

Frustrated Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty recently threw out the idea, “Let’s fix it or flush it. We have done everything to fix PIP you could have possibly have done.”  McCarty believes ending Florida’s Personal Injury Protection, PIP requirement would cut off the flow of money feeding PIP fraud.

“Personal Injury Protection, also referred to as no-fault auto insurance is to blame for widespread insurance fraud across  Florida,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Fraud schemes are so bad they have caused some insurance companies to pull out of offering auto insurance in Florida.”

Examples of how far reaching the fraud schemes go are evidence in recent arrests and lawsuits.

  • A Florida chiropractor was recently arrested for felony fraud charges for running a $1.5 million insurance fraud scheme.
  • The A&E show American Takedown featured the case, “Operation Cold Call” which uncovered a network of attorneys, doctors and clinic employees who were engaged in recruiting, paying and treating phony patients for treatments that did not exist for staged car accidents.
  • The Sun Sentinel reported a story of a criminal ring involving a bank, medical clinic owners, patient recruiters and sham accident victims. The ring purportedly conned Allstate out of $10 million.

PIP requirements were implemented as part of auto insurance coverage so car accident victims could receive quick payments for medical treatments required without having to wait for a determination on the responsibility of an accident. It was also intended to free up the courts from small claims cases.

Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance informs, “Policyholders recover expenses for car accident injuries from their own insurance company regardless who is at fault for the accident.” Drivers are required to purchase PIP to cover medical expenses and those of passengers. Florida PIP provides up to $10,000 in coverage for medical expenses.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of no-fault auto insurance have been rampant fraud. Florida is considered the car insurance fraud capital. Staged accidents or dishonest medical professionals file false or inflated claims to exploit the system. According to the Insurance Information Institute, fraud costs the Florida PIP insurance system one billion dollars a year.

GreatFlorida Insurance has experienced professionals located throughout the State to make sure you get the right car insurance. Contact us today.

Florida-Insurance-Fraud-Stats

The post Ending No-Fault Insurance appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
11/30/2015

“The holidays are an ideal time for traveling to see family and friends. It’s a time to celebrate but when the party is over, many drivers get behind the wheel- alcohol impaired,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

AAA reports Thanksgiving weekend as the most dangerous holiday for travel. This year they estimate an increase in holiday travel. You will have to operate with more caution as they approximate 47 million will be traveling over Thanksgiving, the most since 2007. Driving continues to be the most preferred method of transportation for travelers, thanks to low gas prices.

USA Today recently highlighted a poll that revealed many drivers are unaware that the legal drinking limit is.08 blood alcohol content or higher. While GreatFlorida Insurance represents auto insurance carriers that can provide auto insurance that can help in tough circumstances, suffering the consequences of a DUI can destructively change your life.

The night before Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as “Black Wednesday,” or “Drinksgiving” because it is one of the busiest nights of the year at bars.  DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports 40 percent of traffic related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.

Impairment begins with the first drink. Once you begin to drink it is easy to underestimate alcohol’s lingering effect. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveals alcohol continues to influence the brain and body after you have your last call. “Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream, impairing judgement and coordination for hours.”

The key is to make sure to have a plan in place if you decide to have a drink at a gathering.  Keep tabs on the number of drinks you consume. Try drinking water or another non-alcoholic beverage between drinks. Have a designated driver or alternative ride home, a friend, cab or ride share company.

GreatFlorida Insurance wants all our customers to safely and responsibly enjoy the holiday season. We provide comprehensive car insurance at great rates. Our agents will compare car insurance from several reputable companies across the U.S. to find an auto policy suitable for you.

infographic-drinking-duis-during-the-holidays

The post Safe Holiday Driving appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/30/2015

Car tires are often overlooked when it comes to your automobile, but let’s face it, you are not getting anywhere without them. They are the less sexy, workhorse on your vehicle.  It is imperative that your car tires are safe and reliable. Consumersearch.com tells us your brakes, steering and ride comfort all have to do with the quality of your tires.

“This week’s National Transportation Safety Board NTSB, report on tire recalls is disturbing,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

The NTSB reports, only one in five defective tires is being removed from the road through the safety recall process. They claim tire manufacturers are unable to contact most tire owners and warn them of a recall.

Another 24 percent of recalled tires experience damage or are removed from the road due to normal wear and tear. That leaves 56 percent of recalled tires on the road. “Based on the work we did, that system is not working,” said Dr. Rob Molloy, Director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety. “It’s completely broken.”

What’s the problem with the system? There is no requirement for most tire dealers to register the tires they sell with the manufacturer. Independent dealers sell 92 percent of tires and many of them do not make a record of the purchase making it difficult for manufacturers to contact tire owners in the event of a recall.

The NTSB reported, 55 safety recall campaigns involving, 3.2 million tires from 2009-2013. It is estimated over 500 people are killed and 19,000 injured in 33,000 tire related accidents yearly.

One case cited by the board occurred in Lake City, Florida last year. The driver of a 15-passenger van felt a vibration and pulled over to inspect the tires. Not finding a problem, he resumed driving. Soon after, a tire failed causing the van to careen off the road and roll over. Two people were killed and eight others were injured.

The defect was internal and could not be seen. The tire had been recalled over a year earlier, but it was not registered with the tire maker.

The panel of NTSB investigators unanimously recommended that Congress require tire registration and also suggested that drivers register their tires with the manufacturers.

Registering tires require sending your name, address and tire identification number to the tire maker. The number can be found on the tire sidewall and starts with the letters “DOT.”

GreatFlorida Insurance provides reliable auto insurance to cover all your needs. Contact us today to find affordable auto insurance.

The-penny-test-tires-FLtire-info

The post Peril on Wheels appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/26/2015

The appeal of buying a new car includes the pride of ownership, desiring the most updated features a vehicle has to offer, warranty coverage and nothing more than routine maintenance for the first several years. When you buy a new car, you do not want to end up back at the dealer’s service department getting an issue resolved. Results from the 2015 Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey prove not all new cars are created equal.

The data was provided by Consumer Report subscribers that are also new car owners. Information was gathered from over 740,000 vehicles for 170 models.

Most reliable brands: Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, Subaru, Kia and the Buick, (the only American made car to make the list).

The most reliable car is the Audi Q3, other top autos on the list were, the Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Crosstrek. The popular brand, Honda fell to 8th place mainly because of problems with its infotainment system and glitches with the transmission in new models, it is still considered a top pick.

Least reliable brands:  Fiat-Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Cadillac, Infiniti, GMC, Chevrolet and Nissan.

The least reliable cars include: Fiat 500L, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, Ford Fiesta and the Nissan Pathfinder. Owners reported most issues were covered under warranty. Common problems were found with the fuel pump, the transmission, infotainment systems along with general squeaks and rattles in the cars.

Excluded from the survey were, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Scion, Smart and Tesla, due to a lack of data. At one time, Consumer Reports named the Tesla S, “the best car ever driven.” They stripped the vehicle of this honor due to reported squeaks, sunroof leaks and charging problems reported by owners.

Consumer Reports said of the survey results, “We recommend you wait a year or more after a brand new car design is introduced before taking the plunge.”

If you are looking for a reliable car, you naturally want reliable car insurance to match. GreatFlorida Insurance compares rates and coverage to find the best car insurance to suit you and your vehicle. Call GreatFlorida Insurance today for a free quote.

Florida-Auto-Insurance

The post Florida’s Most and Least Reliable Cars for 2015 appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/26/2015

What is the best way to get from point A to point B?  Calm down, this is no obscure common core math problem; it is a question many ponder as they prepare to travel. Being six weeks out from Thanksgiving and about ten from Christmas,  people are contemplating the decision, “Should we fly or drive to our destination for the holidays?”

According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse Survey, 71 percent of Floridians plan to take an overnight trip between October and December. Now that gasoline prices are cheaper, many Floridians are opting to drive rather than fly. The study reports 43 percent plan to fly, while 47 percent will take advantage of lower gas prices and drive.

“For many the issue usually boils down to money,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “While there are some deals on air travel during the off-peak season, I think many customers are frustrated that a significant price drop in oil/gas is not being reflected in the costs of peak-season air travel.”

Aside from high prices, another issue working against airlines is air travel in general.  The American Customer Satisfaction index rates airlines as one of the least favorite industries among American consumers.

So, do you load up the car or shell out for a pricey airline ticket? You have the option to contend with possible lost or damaged luggage, long lines, delays, awkward pat downs from TSA and cramped seating. Could it be worse than coping with mind-numbing traffic and complaining passengers?

As a general rule of thumb, personal finance app, Mint recommends if the destination is less than four hours away, drive. If budget is the driving force in your decision making, BeFrugal.com has a fly or drive calculator to help you in making the decision to fly or drive for your next trip by estimating the time and costs of driving and flying.

The AAA survey found the top factors in deciding to fly or drive include:

  • Cost of airfare
  • Trip distance/length
  • Amount of luggage
  • Gas prices
  • Number of travelers
  • Traveling with pets
  • Afraid of flying

Is safety is an issue? For the record, driving is more dangerous than flying. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 32,719 people were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. While in sharp contrast, there were 265 deaths on commercial flights worldwide the same year.

If energy efficiency is a priority in your decision making process, the U.S.  Department of Transportation says the greenest way to travel is by bus or Amtrak.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers excellent customer service and competitive pricing on auto insurance. With over 115 offices throughout Florida, GreatFlorida Insurance is convenient and their independent agents take the time to compare prices to find  customers the best deal on auto insurance. Go online for a free quote of give us a call today.

Florida-Auto-Insurance

The post Flying vs. Driving in Florida. appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/7/2015

If you are concerned about last weekend’s potential storm, the occurrence of the rare “Super Blood Moon” or ensuing doomsday predictions, one thing is for sure- our world is unpredictable. In order to deal with life’s uncertainties, the Federal Emergency Management Association, FEMA is declaring October as National Preparedness Month.

“This year’s emphasis is to make sure you have an emergency plan today, do not wait,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. This sounds very basic and almost trivial, but once a situation occurs, organizing and making a plan is too late. Your family could be scared, scattered and not sure what to do.”

Ready.gov has been set-up by FEMA, as a resource to help families prepare. The website provides information on protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency. It also details, how to make a plan, assemble an emergency kit, methods for supporting community preparedness and a plan to protect your business. Activities are available for parents and educators to get kids involved as well.

It has been close to 10 years since the last hurricane occurred in Florida. In a recent poll, Weather.com reports most people under the age of 34 are optimistic that a hurricane would not hit Florida this year. With a lack of storm activity over the years and 1 million new Florida residents in the state since the last storm, naivety could cause some Florida residents to be ill prepared.

Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in 2005 leaving almost 4 million people statewide without electricity for several days. Widespread flooding and property damage, common during a severe storm can prevent access to clean water and shut down businesses.  It is essential to have some supplies on hand in these instances.

One way to prepare for life’s unexpected moments is to make sure you have dependable insurance in place. GreatFlorida Insurance provides auto insurance as well as homeowner’s insurance to protect you and your family. If you are looking for top notch auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance, give us a call today, so we can help you achieve peace of mind for the future.

supply-kit-checklist1

The post Are You Prepared? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
9/17/2015

Florida-CyclingRiding a bicycle gives you a chance to enjoy fresh air, save money and get exercise. The U.S. Census Bureau reports from 2000-2012, bikers commuting to work has increased by 60 percent. Unfortunately, Florida has a reputation as not being a safe place to enjoy this recreational activity.

The subject of drivers vs. cyclists can also set off a heated debate. While we are not advocating a firestorm, the truth lies in the startling facts. Florida newspaper, New-Press, reported on the subject reveling 120 people were killed on bikes in Florida last year.  Most of the victims were males over 20 years of age.  985 bike crashes happened in Miami-Dade County.

“It is beneficial for drivers and bicyclist to look at the road as being shared, said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Mixed transportation can cause everyone on the road to slow down a bit, pay closer attention and create a safer environment.”

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a study citing an increase in bicyclist’s deaths across the United States.  Between 2010 and 2012, biking fatalities have increased 16 percent, with Florida being among the top states.

The lax laws could be partly to blame. If a driver accidentally kills a pedestrian or bike rider in Florida, they receive a fine as opposed to a criminal charge. The maximum fine a judge may impose for a moving violation is $1,000. Other penalties, such as court costs could be included.

Jonathan Adkins, GHSA Executive Director believes better education for motorists and cyclist as well as promoting helmet use, stricter motor vehicle laws and implementing infrastructure changes, (such as designated bike lanes) could help prevent a greater number of fatalities.

It does not take an engineer to figure out that a cyclist being struck by a 3,000 pound vehicle is going to be injured. A 2013 study from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that a person struck by a car traveling 25 mph has a 10 percent risk of dying. At 40 mph, that risk increases to 50 percent.

The News-Press found the most common cause of a bike crash was a motorist failing to yield.  But, motorists are not always to blame. Visibility especially at night can be a real problem for drivers who cannot see cyclists. The law requires rear and front lights on a bike; you cannot just depend on reflectors or reflective clothing.

Other tips that can keep bicyclists safe include, always wearing a helmet, keep your bike properly tuned-up and make sure you ride on the road, not the sidewalk and the correct side of the road.

GreatFlorida Insurance always promotes road safety so motorist, cyclists and pedestrians can share the road. Make sure you are protected in the unfortunate case of an accident. GreatFlorida Insurance offers quality auto insurance and health insurance throughout the state. Contact us today to get a free quote on auto insurance or health insurance.

Florida-Auto-Insurance

The post Motorist vs. Cyclists appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.