Florida

Welcome to Florida

Florida is the weirdest state in the U.S. It’s not just the ongoing exploits of Florida Man and Florida Woman — the convoluted rules about car insurance are pretty bizarre, too.

But Compare.com can help! We’ll explain all the ins and outs of car insurance in the Sunshine State: why it’s so expensive, what the requirements are and how you can get cheap car insurance in Florida.

Oh, and if you don’t have time to read all this, you can just go ahead and start getting quotes for cheap car insurance on Compare.com. We love helping Florida drivers find the best deals. Anyway, let’s get started…

What are Florida’s auto insurance requirements?

Florida has the lowest state minimum requirements out there: $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability. Unlike in most other states, bodily injury liability — the part of your insurance that pays for injuries sustained by passengers in your car or in a vehicle you hit — is not required in Florida. It’s a wise idea to buy it, however, and most Florida drivers do.

Then who pays when someone gets hurt in a car crash in Florida?

Florida’s a no-fault state for car insurance. This means that instead of filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company when they’re at fault, you turn to your own PIP coverage. In Florida, PIP coverage pays for 80 percent of medical bills; 60 percent of lost wages; and $5,000 in death benefits (which is not much consolation, if you die.) That’s after paying the deductible. Not only that, but the maximum you can receive is $2,500, if you don’t suffer an “emergency medical condition” from the crash. That’s pretty stingy, if you ask us. Many drivers also opt to carry medical payment (MedPay) coverage, which can pay for your medical bills.

So if Florida’s a no-fault state, I can’t get sued — right?

Wrong. A lot of people think “no-fault” means they’re safe from lawsuits, and therefore can get along fine with the state minimum car insurance. But in Florida, someone who gets hurt in a car accident can sue the other driver if they a) suffer a permanent injury or b) end up with medical bills and lost wages that exceed their PIP insurance coverage.

Is it easy to get cheap car insurance in Florida?

You’d think Florida auto insurance would be really cheap, because the minimum requirements are so low. Nope! Florida is the sixth most expensive state for car insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average driver pays $1,140.84 per year. And that number can go wayyyyy up, depending on who you are and where you live. In Hialeah, Fla., one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. for insurance, a 26-year-old male driver with a clean driving record might pay an average of $3,272. That’s a lot.

Why is Florida car insurance so expensive?

In one word: Fraud. Scammers love PIP coverage, because it’s easy to get a payout without having to file a lawsuit. As a result, PIP coverage can account for 20 percent of your policy costs, up to $2,000 in some parts of south Florida. Another reason is increasing numbers of Floridians on the roads. People are driving more, so they’re crashing more, so insurers have to pay more claims, so they raise their rates.

How do I get cheap auto insurance in Florida, then?

This is where Compare.com can help. The number one way to get the best deal is to compare auto insurance quotes for Florida side by side. You’ll be amazed by how much quotes for similar coverage can differ — one company’s quote may be hundreds less than another’s.

When you start here, it takes less than five minutes to enter some basic information about your driving history, your car and the coverage you’re looking for. Then you’ll get multiple, personalized car insurance quotes. You can adjust your coverage levels, add extras like rental car and towing coverage, and see how the quotes change before you buy. To make a policy cheaper, try increasing your deductible (as long as you can still pay it).

Uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments, and collision insurance are not required by law; however, these supplemental coverages may be beneficial.

Remember that opting for the absolute minimum insurance isn’t the best idea. When you factor in medical and legal bills, plus damage to your car and other vehicles, an accident may cost far more than the minimum pays for. It’s better to pay a little more each month so you can have peace of mind. Be sure to check out our resources page for more details on your options.

Once you’ve found the best quote and you’ve signed up with an insurer, it doesn’t hurt to ask about additional discounts. You could save money on your Florida car insurance with an affinity group discount through your employer, your university or your membership in an organization.

I can’t afford Florida car insurance. What happens if I drive without insurance?

Don’t do it! Failure to meet the minimum insurance requirements for Florida can result in some stiff penalties, including:

  • Suspension of driving privilege: including registration and license plates, for up to three years (or until proof of insurance is provided)
  • A reinstatement fee: $150 to $500, depending on the number of violations

I just moved to Florida. Do I have to get Florida auto insurance, or can I keep my previous policy?

You need Florida insurance, which means a policy issued through a Florida agent with an insurance company licensed to sell in Florida. Read our Florida Car Registration and Licensing guide to learn what steps you need to take when getting a Florida driver’s license, registering your car, and more.

Is car insurance mandatory in Florida if I only live there part time?

Yes. Any vehicle with a valid Florida license plate and registration is required to have Florida auto insurance for the entire registration period. If you spend half the year in another state, and you really don’t want to pay extra for insurance, you have the option of surrendering your license plate and registration when you leave, then re-registering when you return. Honestly, though, that seems like more trouble than it’s worth. You’re probably better off just buying cheap Florida car insurance and hanging onto it.

Ready to see how much you can save? Compare Florida car insurance options and get multiple quotes for your vehicle. Start now.

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