Basic car insurance in Florida is not particularly expensive, but drivers in Florida can often be faced with a dilemma when applying for Florida car insurance quotes. As a popular State for international tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads, a winter destination for snowbirds, and one of the most densely populated areas of the country, Florida is among the worst States in the country for road safety.
Road traffic statistics reveal an incredibly high number of road fatalities due to speeding, one twelfth of all traffic violation citations are written for not wearing a seatbelt and there are over forty thousand convictions each year for driving under the influence (DUI). With this in mind, people looking for car insurance in Florida may wish to be quoted on more than the minimum Florida car insurance requirements.
Florida Car Insurance Requirements
Florida is one of the few States which follows a No Fault system, meaning that your car insurance company will make payments for injury claims irrespective of who is to blame for the injury. However, limits apply to what auto insurance companies in Florida are prepared to pay for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and it may be important that you add Bodily Injury Liability to your car insurance policy, even though it is not legally required in Florida.
Minimum liability limits for auto insurance in Florida
$10,000 for personal injury protection
$10,000 for damage to property
Florida Auto Insurance Laws
In Florida, there are no alternatives to acquiring a car insurance policy, and proof of insurance must be carried in the vehicle at all times. Failure to present evidence of a valid car insurance policy in Florida when asked to do so after an accident or traffic stop can result in a fine of up to $500.00 and suspension of your driving license and vehicle registration. In order to get you driving rights restored, you will have to file a SR-22 (Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate) with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for three years – during which time you will be paying dearly for your car insurance.
If you keep a vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days a year, you are required to have Florida registration, a Florida license plate and a Florida auto insurance policy. When you leave Florida, you can surrender your license plate and registration to avoid maintaining your car insurance policy, but you will need to reregister your vehicle upon your return – at which time you will also need to provide proof of Florida auto insurance.
Recommended Florida Car Insurance Coverage
Even though Bodily Injury Liability coverage is not required on an auto insurance policy in Florida, many car insurance companies will automatically include it in their quote. Even a minimum amount of additional bodily injury liability is recommended for, if you are involved in an accident for which you are at fault, the $10,000 coverage for personal injury protection will not “cover” very much in the way of medical bills.
Furthermore, with a high proportion of uninsured drivers in the State (23 per cent) and many other drivers on the road potentially being underinsured, it is advisable to include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury on your Florida auto insurance and include rental reimbursement in your policy for any length of time that your vehicle may be off the road. In fact, with the high rates of vehicle theft in Florida (see below), you might as well get a fully comprehensive policy to protect your vehicle, yourself and your family and now, of course, you are talking big bucks.
Cheap Florida Car Insurance Quotes
Remember that dilemma we mentioned in the first paragraph? To get the car insurance in Florida that you feel is adequate for your families protection could add more than $100.00/month to your auto insurance rates, but there are things you can do to get cheap Florida car insurance quotes. The first piece of advice is to shop around. The car insurance market in Florida is very competitive and if you find one good deal, other car insurance companies may be prepared to beat it in order to get your business.
Other areas in which you can help yourself obtain discounted rates for Florida car insurance is to pay the full amount in one sum, add an approved electronic car recovery system to your vehicle (such as Lojack, Teletrac, or OnStar), avoid having gaps between your insurance policies and do not get caught not wearing a seatbelt! Some car insurance companies in Florida will even give you a discount if you pay by PayPal (it cuts down on their payment processing costs), so it is always worth asking to see if there are any discounts you can take advantage of.
Florida Car Insurance Ratings
Your individual car insurance quote will be calculated on a number of different factors which your car insurance company take into account when determining what element of risk you present to them. The car you drive, the area in which you live and even your marital status are factors which contribute towards your car insurance rating in Florida. By understanding these factors, it may be possible for you to make changes to your lifestyle which reduces the cost of your auto insurance in Florida.
- Year, Make and Model of Vehicle – The year, make and model of vehicle can have a big impact on your auto insurance in Florida. Even though an older car may be less valuable, a lack of safety features and potential damage to the environment will be reason enough for a higher car insurance rating.
- Where You Live – As you will see below, if you live in Miami your car is more likely to be stolen than if you live in Pensacola (in fact twice as likely), and factors such as living in a quiet rural area will be looked upon more favorably than residing in an urbanized area with a high volume of traffic – even passing traffic.
- Marital Status – Research has shown that married drivers are less likely to be responsible for road traffic accidents. Even young people will get better car insurance rates in Florida if they are married – although that may not be the best of reasons for walking down the aisle!
- Credit Score – A good credit score also shows that you are a responsible person, and in the eyes of Florida auto insurance companies, that responsibility translates into being a safer driver. Although it seems unfair that people already struggling with finances should be penalized with higher car insurance rates, it is one of the first things auto insurance companies will look at when you apply for car insurance quotes in Florida.
- Vehicle Usage – The less you use your car, the less you will have to pay in car insurance premiums. Legislation to allow pay-as-you-drive car insurance has only just been passed in Florida, and drivers who use their cars for less than the 5,000 mileage minimum that was previously available on Florida car insurance applications, will benefit with cheaper Florida auto insurance rates.
Most Stolen Vehicles in Florida
Another factor which will contribute towards your Florida auto insurance rating is how attractive your vehicle is to auto thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau publishes a list each year of the most frequently stolen cars in each State. If your car appears on this list, you might want to consider changing it for another model to save on your car insurance rates in Florida.
The list for 2009 was as follows:-
1. Honda Civic
2. Honda Accord
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford F150 Pick Up
5. Dodge Caravan
6. Dodge Ram
7. Nissan Altima
8. Nissan Maxima
9. Toyota Corolla
10. Ford Explorer
Where You Car May Get Stolen in Florida
The National Insurance Crime Bureau also publishes a report on the 360 nationwide districts which are worst for auto theft. Their figures are calculated by dividing the total number of vehicle thefts by local population to give a balanced indication of which areas are worse.
19 metropolitan districts in the State of Florida made it into the top 360 – only Texas and California had worse auto theft records – and if you life in one of the ten districts listed below, you are likely to pay more for your car insurance in Florida (National position appears in brackets).
1. Miami/Fort Lauderdale (42)
2. Deltona/Daytona Beach (69)
3. Orlando/Kissimmee (83)
4. Tampa/Clearwater (87)
5. Jacksonville (96)
6. Gainesville (105)
7. Lakeland/Winter Haven (120)
8. Panama City (125)
9. Fort Myers (145)
10. Pensacola (148)
Typical Florida Car Insurance Rates
Because of the wide variety of drivers who use their vehicles to commute, to vacation and simply for low mileage pleasure, it is difficult to ascertain what constitutes a “typical” Florida car insurance rate. As a rule, car insurance rates in Florida are generally higher than the national average of $1,440, but this may be because car drivers are insuring their cars more responsibly that the Florida State minimum liability limits.
The list below shows the average car insurance premium paid in various locations around Florida in 2009. Your own insurance quote will reflect your own personal circumstances.
Car Insurance in Tallahassee – $1,315
Car Insurance in Pensacola – $1,381
Car Insurance in Jacksonville $1,442
Car Insurance in Naples – $1,578
Car Insurance in St Petersburg – $1,630
Car Insurance in Orlando – $1,653
Car Insurance in Fort Lauderdale – $1,951
Car Insurance in Tampa – $2,102
Car Insurance in Miami – $2,383
Car Insurance in Hialeah – $2,576
Florida Car Insurance Companies
Florida is not short of car insurance companies and therefore, as mentioned above, it is a very competitive market. You are advised to shop around, even if your present car insurance company is giving you an excellent deal, and ask for discounts in order to get the cheapest car insurance in Florida.
|21st Century||Equity||Ocean Harbor|
|Agency Insurance Company||Explorer||Omni|
|AIU||First Acceptance||Pacific Indemnity|
|Alfa||First Floridian Auto & Home||Peachtree Casualty|
|Allmerica Financial||First Liberty||Peak|
|Allstate||First National||Permanent General|
|Alpha Property & Casualty||Florida Farm Bureau||Progressive|
|American||Foremost||Property & Casualty Insurance|
|American Bankers||Garrison||company of Hartford|
|American Home Assurance||Hanover||Response|
|American International||Horace Mann||Security National FL|
|American National||Hudson||Seminole Casualty|
|American Reliable||Illinois National||Sentinel|
|American Southern Home||Insurance Company of the||Shield|
|American Vehicle||State of Pennsylvania||Southern-Owners|
|AMEX Assurance||Integon||Star Casualty|
|AMICA Mutual||Kemper Independence||State Auto|
|Artisan & Truckers||Liberty Mutual||State Farm|
|Auto Club South||Markel||Tower Hill|
|Bristol West||Mendota||Twin City Fire|
|California Casualty||MeraStar||United Automobile|
|Commerce & Industry||MGA Insurance||US Security|
|Coop De Seguros Multiples||MIC Insurance||USAA|
|Cornerstone National||National General||Victoria|
|Cotton States Mutual||National Interstate||Windhaven|
|Dairyland||National Specialty||Workmens Auto|
|Deerbrook||National Union Fire|
|Economy||New Hampshire Indemnity|
To make your quest for cheap car insurance in Florida a little easier, enter your ZIP code into the tool at the top of the page and get a number of quick, free quotes from Florida auto insurance companies. Then contact the best of the best, and ask them what they will offer you in terms of discounts for your business.