Whether you’ve moved to Florida for its beaches, for golf, for retirement, or to sport season passes to Sea World and Walt Disney World, you’re going to need Florida car insurance to drive legally in The Sunshine State.
Florida is a second home to many vacationers from around the globe, but if it’s your first home, this guide will help you ensure that your car is street legal and ready to drive.
Florida Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
Some may argue that Florida law sometimes has its hat on backward. As you know, it’s not uncommon for national newspaper headlines to begin with “Florida man…”
But when it comes to Florida car insurance, the state knows what it’s doing. In order to legally register and drive a vehicle in the Sunshine State, you must have:
- $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.
- $10,000 in property damage coverage.
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP).
- $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage.
Compared to other states, these coverages are quite low. If you feel that you need more insurance, you can talk to your agent about purchasing collision, comprehensive and other coverages.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Florida?
Despite the low minimum coverage requirements for Florida car insurance, you can expect to pay about 32% more than the national average for your policy. Full coverage options average around $1,878 per year, and minimum coverage insurance will cost you around $565.
As you shop for your car insurance, be sure to check if you qualify for discounts. You may be eligible for a reduced rate based on your driving history or your membership in organizations such as AAA or AARP.
In addition, keep in mind that your premium cost will range depending upon your:
- Marital status
- Address (where you park your car at night)
- Other factors
Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in Florida?
There are two primary reasons why you can expect to pay more for car insurance in the state of Florida. The first of these is that there are so many uninsured drivers in the state. It’s estimated that about 20% of drivers in the state do not carry any insurance.
The second reason is the number of high-risk drivers in the state. Elderly drivers are everywhere on the streets of Florida, and young tourists are hitting the streets in droves, too. Because there are so many high-risk drivers, Florida car insurance companies must raise their rate to accommodate the increased risk of accidents.
Lapses in Florida Car Insurance
Despite Floridians’ driving record and the sheer number of uninsured motorists on the road, penalties for driving with no insurance in the state are pretty lax.
If you’re stopped by the police and can’t provide proof of your insurance, your license may be suspended until you can provide proof that you’re covered. You’ll be hit with a fee of $150, unless you can prove that you were covered at the time of the traffic stop. In that case, you will owe nothing.
The penalty for driving without insurance increases with subsequent offenses.
If you’re involved in an accident and don’t have insurance, law enforcement will determine who is responsible. If you’re found to be at fault, you’ll be financially responsible for the cost of the incident.
Best Auto Insurance in Florida
Florida drivers who are legally covered by insurance were polled to determine the best auto insurance companies in the state. The following five companies consistently ranked best for customer service, coverage, and price of premiums:
- State Farm
Your insurance needs may differ, so be sure to shop around and obtain the coverage that’s best for you. And don’t forget about those discounts!
Driving in Florida
Are you ready to explore the beaches and the marshes of sunny Florida? Here are a few facts about driving in Florida that you may be interested to learn.
- If you tie an elephant to a parking meter in Florida, you’re still required to pay the parking costs.
- It’s illegal to park on or drive over a gravesite in the Sunshine State.
- It’s against the law to roll a barrel down the street in Pensacola.
- In Sarasota, the fine for hitting a pedestrian with your car is a bargain at just $78.
Conclusion: Auto Insurance in Florida
Despite its reputation for making headlines, Florida has a lot to offer. The Sunshine State is home to some of the best saltwater fishing and, of course, hosts ten major theme parks and dozens of other attractions. Be sure you keep your Florida car insurance up to date to avoid making headlines as “a Florida man…”.