Florida car insurance is required by law if you reside there and are driving a vehicle with at least four wheels. But how do you know which insurance company is right for you? With so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose. Here are Benzinga’s tips on how to find the best Florida auto insurance policy for you.
Car Insurance in Florida: Key Points
- Auto insurance coverage is required by law in Florida
- Only certain types of coverage are required
- There is a wide range of providers to choose from, so comparing quotes is key
What is Car Insurance?
Simply put, car insurance is an insurance policy for your vehicle. It not only covers any damage you may cause to your car, but also any damage for which you are responsible. For example, if you are driving your car and accidentally hit another car, your car insurance will theoretically pay for the damage to the car that you hit, as well as the damage to your car.
Best Cheap Florida Car Insurance Providers
- Best For:AARP members at least 50 years oldRating:
Car Insurance Coverage Types
- Bodily injury
- Property Damage Liability (PD)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Additional Personal Injury Protection
- Medical Payments
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Collision Coverage
What Are Florida Car Insurance Laws?
Florida is the only state in the United States that doesn’t legally require its residents to have a valid car insurance policy to drive. However, if you’re driving without insurance, Florida’s Financial Responsibility law states that you may be held liable for up to $20,000 of damage if you cause an accident.
You must post a bond to waive the car insurance requirement in the Sunshine State. The law also states that certain drivers who have been convicted of a DUI or who have caused an accident in the past must have a car insurance policy.
It's much more affordable to buy car insurance than to cover the costs of damage after an accident. Let’s take a look at how much coverage you’ll need as a Florida resident.
In Florida, car insurance is mandatory if you are driving a four-wheeled vehicle. To be considered legally insured, drivers need to carry at least $10,000 per accident for property damage and $10,000 per accident for personal injury protection.
The other coverages mentioned above are considered optional, which means that any damage you cause outside of property damage or personal injury protection must be paid for out of pocket if you only carry what the state requires you to have.
Bodily Injury per Person per Accident
Bodily injury liability coverage compensates anyone you injure in an auto accident. It helps cover the costs of other drivers’ medical bills but doesn’t offer you any protection as the policyholder. The minimum bodily injury liability insurance level that an insurance company can sell is $10,000 per person injured, but you may choose to waive this coverage as a Florida resident.
Bodily Injury for all Persons per Accident
This coverage offers the same protection as bodily injury liability per person but refers to the minimum total balance your insurance company can pay out per accident. The minimum level of bodily injury liability insurance an insurance company can sell is $20,000 per accident, but you can also waive this coverage.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability coverage compensates other people whose property is damaged during an accident you cause. Like bodily injury liability insurance, property insurance won’t pay to repair your property — only the property of someone who you collide with. If you choose to buy an insurance policy, you must have at least $10,000 of property damage liability coverage as a Florida resident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP is a type of coverage that helps you pay for your medical bills and sometimes lost wages after an accident. If you choose to buy an insurance policy, you must have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection.
Gap insurance is designed to pay the difference between a total loss and what you actually owe on the vehicle.
Most carriers offer glass damage coverage with no deductible (or a very low deductible.)
Emergency Roadside Service
Emergency roadside service may be helpful, but remember that many carriers will consider roadside assistance a claim (which could increase your premiums in the future.)
Florida Driving Laws
As a resident of the Sunshine State, you’re responsible for understanding and obeying local driving laws. Whether you were born and raised in Florida or you’re just passing through to visit Disney, you might be putting yourself at risk of a ticket if you don’t follow the state’s specific laws.
Let’s take a look at a few Florida traffic laws you’ll need to know before you hit the road:
Headlights: Florida law states that you must have your vehicle’s headlights on from dusk until dawn. You must also keep your headlights on when it’s raining or foggy. This alerts other drivers to your vehicle’s presence and makes collisions less likely.
Move Over Law: Florida’s Move Over Law goes into effect when a police officer or state trooper is parked on the side of a 2-lane road. If you see an officer ahead, you must slow your vehicle to at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit and move your car to the lane furthest from the officer.
Texting and driving: It’s against the law to text and drive in Florida, no matter your age or license status. There are currently no bans on driving while talking on your cell phone but you’re encouraged to use a hands-free device to limit your risk.
Seat belts: It’s against Florida law to operate a motor vehicle when any front seat passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt. You also cannot drive if any passenger under the age of 18 isn’t wearing a seat belt, no matter where in the car the passenger’s sitting.
How to Compare Car Insurance Plans in Florida
When shopping for affordable rates and insurance discounts, you have a lot of options. While price may be a consideration, it should not be the only factor. One of the more important comparisons you need to make is regarding the limits of liability. Although the $10,000 property damage and personal injury protection limit is what is required by law, it is often not enough. Be sure that you select higher limits with whichever companies you quote.
Also, compare the coverage quoted with each company. Some companies may offer additional coverages, such as rental car coverage or roadside assistance, while others do not. It is good practice to compare each policy, line by line, to ensure you are quoting the same coverage on each. This includes reviewing the deductibles selected for comprehensive and collision, if applicable.
Lastly, do not forget to review a company’s customer service or claims handling. Reading customer reviews is always a good idea before you purchase a new policy. You want a company that will handle your potential claims fairly and promptly, so do your research beforehand. You want personalized service and answers to all your insurance questions. You can ask about policy limits, how to file an auto claim and other things that will make the coverage more beneficial.
Car Insurance Premiums in Florida
Your costs for car insurance are influenced by a number of factors. Some of the things that affect how much you pay for coverage include:
- Your ZIP code
- The age of your vehicle
- Your vehicle’s theft statistics
- Your age and years of experience on the road
- Your credit score
- Your driving record
- The number of points on your license
- Whether you’ve had a DUI
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- Whether you’ve had a recent lapse in coverage
- How you’re using your vehicle
- The mileage on your car or truck
- The number of miles you drive every day
- Any discounts you claim
- Your chosen deductible
Each car insurance company uses its own individual formula to calculate rates. It’s possible to get the exact same level of coverage at 20 different price points from 20 different companies. That’s why it’s so important to get a quote from a few competing insurance providers before you choose a policy.
Remember, your premiums could rise after you file an auto insurance claim. Plus, cheap car insurance may offer less protection than you need. Weigh your options carefully so you will have peace of mind and enough coverage to keep you legal on the road.
Florida Auto Insurance Rates per Vehicle
Did you know that the type of car you drive can affect how much you pay for your insurance? Some of the vehicle factors that can influence how much you’ll pay for your insurance include:
- Your vehicle’s age: Expect to pay more for your insurance when you drive a newer car. Newer cars are more expensive to repair and replace than used cars.
- Your vehicle’s crash and safety ratings: Some vehicles are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than others. You’ll pay more for coverage if you drive a car or truck that’s been involved in more accidents. You’ll also pay more for coverage if you drive a car that scored poorly in safety tests, you’ll also pay more for coverage.
- Your vehicle’s theft rates: Your insurance company will charge you more for coverage if you drive a vehicle that’s statistically more likely to be stolen. But don’t assume that you’ll save because you don’t drive a Lamborghini. Statistics say that more common vehicles are the most likely to be stolen because thieves believe that they’re less likely to be caught.
Auto Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score
Wondering how to lower your auto insurance premium? The secret might be to raise your credit score. Drivers who have low credit scores are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, file an insurance claim and even commit insurance fraud. When you increase your credit score, your insurance credit score increases. As a result, your premium should decrease at renewal each year. If it doesn't, that would be a great time to check rates with other carriers.
Most drivers aren’t big fans of this practice and some states have taken steps to ban the use of credit data in insurance premium calculations. However, Florida insurance companies are currently still allowed to use credit data when they calculate your premium. You might want to reapply for insurance after you take some time to raise your credit score.
Let’s take a closer look at how your credit score might influence your insurance costs.
Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record
The best way to limit how much you pay for car insurance is to maintain a clean driving record. Drivers who have never gotten a ticket or been involved in an accident are less likely to need to file a claim in the future. This makes them less expensive to insure, which allows insurance companies to pass savings along and offer lower premiums.
Let’s take a look at what you might pay for coverage with a clean driving record. We’ll examine 3 common insurance package types:
- State minimum coverage includes only the basic liability protections legally required to drive in Florida.
- Standard coverage includes state minimum coverage plus comprehensive coverage and collision coverage.
- Full coverage includes state standard coverage (or greater), standard coverage and additional coverages like emergency roadside service and rental reimbursement.
Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions
Do you have infractions on your driving record? If so, you’ll pay more for insurance. Insurance companies know that drivers who have been involved in an accident or driving incident are more likely to file a claim in the future. These companies manage their risk by charging more for insurance based on your past driving record.
Let’s take a look at how your insurance premium might change if you have an infraction on your record. In this section, we’ll consider 3 common driving infractions:
- At-fault accident: Florida is a no-fault state, which means that blame isn’t assigned to either driver after a collision. However, if you’ve lived in an at-fault state and were found to be at fault for an accident in the past, you’ll still pay more for insurance.
- Speed violation: A speed violation occurs when you drive too far over the posted speed limit. In some rare cases, you might also receive a speed violation when you’re caught driving so far below the posted speed limit that you’re a danger to other drivers.
- DUI: This stands for “driving under the influence” of drugs or alcohol. A DUI is a criminal offense and is one of the most serious driving infractions.
What is Florida SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 isn’t coverage itself, but a guarantee from your insurance carrier that you are properly protected. Specifically, it’s a form filed with the state of Florida as evidence of financial responsibility. It is also a promise to the state that your insurer will issue a notice if you are no longer carrying enough coverage.
How easy this is to obtain depends on your specific insurer. If you already have an insurance policy, your insurer may simply add on the SR-22. However, if you’re not insured, now is the time to benefit and learn more about car insurance. When it’s time to get a quote, you won’t have to leave this page. Check out your options here.
There are several reasons why you might have to get an SR-22. These include:
- Reckless or negligent driving conviction
- DUI, DWI or other alcohol-related conviction
- Driving without insurance or being involved in an accident without coverage
- Several convictions within a short time period
- Needing to reinstate your driver’s license after a suspension or revocation
As we’ve noted, the phrase SR-22 insurance is actually a bit of a misnomer. SR-22 is an add-on to an insurance policy. Technically, it’s not the reason that your rates will increase (because they will) – that increase is due to the fact that you have had some trouble with your driving privilege. Keep in mind that some companies will straight-out refuse to insure you or issue you an SR-22, so you’ll need to find a company or an insurance agent who will be able to connect you to the coverage you need.
You also need to know that with an SR-22, your car insurance premiums will almost certainly increase. That said, this is not a guarantee of higher costs. You’ll need to get a quote in order to know exactly what you’re looking at when you go to get coverage.
When you contact your insurance agent to add an SR-22 to your policy or to get a quote on coverage with an SR-22, make sure you have this information available:
- State of residence
- Driver’s license number
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Date your license was suspended, if applicable
- Any other information you feel is relevant
While many companies can get you back on the road in a matter of minutes or hours, technically it can take up to 2 weeks for the Department of Motor Vehicles to process your SR-22. During the 3 to 5 years you must maintain an SR-22, you have to maintain continuous insurance coverage and be careful of any driving violations. Make sure you don’t miss any insurance renewals or you could not only lose your SR-22 but your license again.
Laws Specific to SR-22 Insurance in Florida
Florida laws hold that SR-22 drivers must hold $10,000 of bodily injury coverage for a single person, $20,000 if 2 or more are injured and property damage in the amount of $10,000.
There are 3 types of SR-22 forms that may be required. Which one you need depends on the reason for your conviction.
- Standard SR-22: Mandated for 3 years after you’ve had an accident or suspended license while uninsured
- A 6-month noncancelable SR-22: Mandated for 2 years after getting caught driving without insurance
- An SR-22/FR-22: Unlike some other states, Florida mandates that you have both an SR-22 and FR-22 if you have certain convictions, including a DUI, an accident caused by an uninsured driver, or a history of reckless driving. The Department of Motor Vehicles will let you know if you need this. There is a one-time $25 filing fee.
Florida has 2 types of SR-22 insurance:
- Owner SR-22 insurance: If you operate or own a vehicle, this pertains to you — it’s basically your standard-issue policy along with the SR-22 form.
- Nonowner SR-22 insurance: On the other hand, if you don’t usually drive or own a vehicle, this applies to you. It’s less pricey, but it covers less than your standard SR-22, for example, medical expenses are not included.
Florida Car Insurance Provider Reviews
There are many great car insurance companies in Florida, and it might be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, this list has some of the best Florida car insurance companies so you can narrow it down a bit.
Best Overall in Florida: Allstate
Allstate provides coverage for everything from homes to boats. It’s one of the largest insurance providers in the United States and it also offers an impressive range of coverage and discounts for Florida residents — you can find everything from state-minimum coverage to full comprehensive coverage policies.
Allstate also offers a generous range of discounts to help you save on your insurance. With Allstate, you can save when you sign up for your policy at least 7 days before it goes into effect, enabling automatic payments, paying your policy in full and much more. You can also bundle multiple Allstate policies together and save even more money
With additional coverage offerings such as accident forgiveness, safe driving bonuses and deductible rewards, Allstate stands out as the best company for optional features. They also offer additional coverages that are rarely offered in the car insurance industry. Examples of these coverages are new car replacements and rideshare coverage for folks who drive for Uber or Lyft.
- Extensive discounts offered
- Large agency presence
- Insurance only sold in 6-month policy terms
- Prices not as competitive as other companies
AM Best Rating: A+
Cheapest in Florida: Infinity
If you value a comprehensive app for managing your insurance policies, be sure to consider a policy from Infinity. Infinity offers a full-service mobile app for both Android and Apple users. You can manage your policy, add new coverage, pay your premium or find the nearest preferred repair shop if you’re involved in a major accident.
You can even submit a claim directly through the Infinity app — just snap a photo, upload your claim and get back on the road. Infinity is one of our top choices to blend affordable coverage with a comprehensive app for Florida drivers.
- Very affordable
- Online claims process
- More customer complains than similarly-sized companies
AM Best Rating: A
Best for Bundling: Florida Farm Bureau
Car insurance can be expensive — especially if you live in a major urban area. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get state-minimum coverage, consider a policy from Florida Farm Bureau. In our review, Florida Farm Bureau offered some of the lowest rates in Florida’s largest cities, including Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Florida Farm Bureau also offers some unique policy add-ons if you do choose to extend your coverage. You can buy additional insurance that covers your pets if you’re involved in an accident and you can even buy coverage that helps you pay for public transportation if your car is totaled and being repaired.
Florida Farm Bureau is known for their package policies, but they also offer their customers the option to not only bundle other policies as well. In addition to the typical auto and home insurance bundles, Florida Farm Bureau offers financial products as well. Life insurance, retirement planning, mortgage insurance and bank loans are examples of some of the products they offer.
- Numerous product offerings
- Company has strong financial ratings
- Unable to obtain quotes online
- Basic coverage only for car insurance
AM Best Rating: A+
Best Value: Progressive
Progressive is a leader in the car insurance industry and for good reason. Their prices are competitive compared to other companies and they offer extensive coverage as well. Rideshare coverage, and pet injury protection are some of the coverages offered, making it the best value for your money.
- Their "Name Your Price" tools allow customers to easily compare rates
- Quotes can easily be compared online
- Does not have a high rating for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power
AM Best Rating: A+
Best for Customer Service: USAA
USAA is consistently rated very high in customer satisfaction among its members. Their insureds love how easy they are to work with, especially in regards to their claim service. Agents are willing to help and are available by phone, email and a live chat through the website.
- Excellent customer service
- Offers insurance and banking products for members
- Coverage is only available for military members and their families
AM Best Rating: A++
Best for Switching Coverage: Gabi
Gabi is a newer company, delivering a fresh way to compare auto insurance quotes. Not only that, but they even take care of switching carriers for you. Their website is easy to navigate, and customers love how much money they are able to save by switching!
- Website is easy to navigate
- Quotes are delivered in minutes
- Not all insurance companies are available to quote
Get the Florida Coverage You Need at a Price You Can Afford
There is no shortage of options when it comes to Florida car insurance. In fact, it may be difficult to narrow down which one is best for your needs. Finding affordable insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. However, the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best rate possible is to take some time to collect a number of insurance quotes. Getting a quote is simple — most companies now allow you to complete everything online and see what you might pay in as little as 60 seconds. As long as you reference this guide while comparing, you will know what to look for and hopefully save some money in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What coverage do I really need?
In addition to the coverage and limits required by your state, it is a good idea to look at coverage for your car as well. Laws are typically set up to only require you to pay for damage you cause to other property and not necessarily your own. To ensure you have coverage for your car, you will want to look at comprehensive and collision coverage as well. Reach out to a licensed insurance agent to discuss what is right for you!
How can I save money on my car insurance?
By being accident and violation free, your car insurance price will be less than it would be otherwise. However, there are additional discounts companies may offer. Most insurance companies will grant a discount if you have completed a defensive driving course or discounts for good students (usually if the student earns a “B” cumulative average). Companies are also now starting to offer safe driver discounts based on your driving behavior on the roads. Ask your current or prospective company about what discounts are available.
Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?
It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.
How does my personal credit play a role in my insurance premium?
Insurance carriers run an insurance credit score to help determine policy premiums. This number is a derivative of your credit score. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk. Check out the best companies for all credit scores now.
What kind of discounts are usually available for car insurance?
The most common discounts available are multi-policy and auto-pay, but every company is different. Other discounts that are widely available are loyalty, good student and anti-theft device discounts. See our top providers with the best discounts and get a unique quote.