Fun fact: There are over 17 million licensed drivers in the Sunshine State.
Here’s another one: Florida car insurance rates are among the highest in the country.
The point is, you need great auto insurance in case you’re in an accident (along with the services of a competent Florida car accident lawyer). And to find the best car insurance, you have to shop around to get the maximum coverage in your budget.
To help with your search, we have created this guide to selecting Florida car insurance in 2021.
What are the Minimum Requirements for Florida Car Insurance?
For starters, you should know that Florida is a no-fault state. This means you have to cover the expenses from your insurance, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. The minimum auto insurance requirements in Florida are:
- Personal injury protection of at least $10,000
- Property damage liability of at least $10,000
Basic personal injury protection (PIP) covers 80% of necessary medical expenses (including bills for acupuncture and massage therapy), 60% of lost wages due to injury, replacement services for household tasks, and death benefits amounting to $5,000.
You can also go for ‘extended’ PIP coverage, which includes:
- 100% of necessary medical costs
- 80% of lost wages
- Replacement services and death benefits
While you can choose deductibles from $250 to $1,000 with basic PIP, there are no deductibles with extended personal injury protection.
If you want to go beyond the $10,000 coverage, some insurers offer ‘additional PIP’ of up to $90,000.
You can buy bodily injury insurance to cover the other driver if you are at fault in an accident. But you are not legally required to do so in Florida.
Motorists in the Sunshine State also have the choice to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage.
What are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements for High-risk Drivers in Florida?
High-risk drivers are those who have a serious infraction on their record, such as DUI. These motorists need to carry a minimum amount of bodily liability coverage. In case a high-risk driver causes an accident and injures another person and doesn’t have bodily injury insurance, they will have to pay a bond for the required coverage amount. Otherwise, their driving privileges will be revoked.
The minimum bodily injury liability coverage requirements are:
- $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident (for convictions prior to or on Oct. 1, 2007)
- $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident (for DUI convictions after Oct. 1, 2007)
High-risk drivers must fulfill these coverage requirements for three years after their license is reinstated. But that’s not all; they also need to have property damage coverage of at least $50,000.
Drivers with a DUI record need to file an FR-44 certificate to get their driving privileges reinstated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Drivers with other infractions have to file an SR-22 certificate.
Failure to do so will get their license suspended, and they will have to pay the required fees. The fine for driving under the influence is $500 to $1,000.
Can You Drive a Car Without Insurance in Florida?
One way to avoid paying high auto insurance premiums is to not buy insurance at all.
Unfortunately, you cannot drive in Florida without insurance. If you do and are pulled over, you can pay anywhere from $150 to $500 in reinstatement fee with subsequent violations. You can also get your license suspended for up to three years.
And it gets worse.
If you are driving without insurance and cause an accident, you can be held liable for bodily injury and property damage. Your license can be revoked until you pay the damages.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Really Need in Florida?
We have listed the minimum auto insurance requirements. However, you should protect yourself by getting wider coverage. While you may have personal injury and property damage insurance, what happens if you injure someone in an accident? You will have to pay the bills or face potential lawsuits that put your house, savings, and other assets at risk.
Here are your auto insurance coverage options in Florida:
Uninsured motorist coverage
Due to the state’s no-fault policy and minimum insurance requirements, many drivers in Florida simply have no coverage to pay for injuries caused to other drivers, pedestrians, or property. If you are injured in an accident, and you sue the person at fault, s/he may not have the right insurance for your claim. To avoid this unfortunate yet common scenario, you should consider getting uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Florida.
While your medical coverage may cover for injuries, you can get compensation for lost income as well as pain and suffering with UM coverage.
This kind of insurance protects your income and assets in case someone sues you for damages for an accident you caused. Umbrella insurance provides extra coverage above your typical auto and home insurance. This is ideal for high-income earners and those who have high-value assets.
Collision and comprehensive coverage
According to the FLHSMV, there is an average of 650 crashes per day and almost 200,000 car accidents every year. So you definitely need collision coverage.
However, factors besides accidents can damage your vehicle: crime, floods, fire, etc. So you should get a good insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage.
How Much is Car Insurance in Florida in 2020?
Based on the latest data, here are the state averages for collision and comprehensive auto insurance in Florida:
- Drivers with clean records ($2,475)
- Motorists with clean records but poor credit ($4,451)
- Motorists with one speeding ticket ($3,132)
- Drivers with one at-fault accident on their record ($3,454)
If you are just buying the minimum required coverage, the state average is $1,143 per year.
These insurance rates are on the high end of the spectrum. Of course, weather conditions and frequent floods contribute to high premiums. Plus, Florida has a substantial number of uninsured and high-risk drivers.
The fact that most auto accidents in the state involve a Florida personal injury lawyer also leads to high insurance prices.
Best Auto Insurance Plans in Florida
Here are some of our top picks from car insurance companies in Florida and their pros and cons.
When it comes to market share and financial strength, Geico is one of the best auto insurance companies out there. The company provides nationwide service and is in a good position to pay out the maximum number of claims.
- Pros: High customer satisfaction, good service, and discounts.
- Cons: No gap insurance, limited number of local agents, and limited coverage options.
Ranked number one in Florida as per J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Allstate is known for its range of coverage options at the best prices. A full-coverage plan from Allstate in Florida costs a little more than $2,100 per year.
- Pros: Good reputation with state regulators, and perks such as new car replacement and safe-driving bonus.
- Cons: Relatively low customer satisfaction.
Here’s a service that will help you get custom quotes from insurance companies based on your personalized information in just a few minutes online.
- Pros: Streamlined online experience, low prices, and good customer service.
- Cons: Hidden fees, vague cancellation policy, and lack of access with local agents.
Prudential is a Fortune 500 company known for its life and medical insurance policies. They only sell auto insurance through subsidiaries and other companies.
- Pros: You can get a variety of coverage plans and discounts via Prudential’s partners and carriers
- Cons: Prudential doesn’t sell car insurance directly
You need to consider several factors when looking for the right insurance plan. Explore your options, shop for estimates, and factor in your circumstances (local crime rate, your driving record, etc.).
A good insurance policy can cover you in the unfortunate event of a motor accident. Just remember you might need the services of a Florida car accident lawyer to pursue compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost income, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.