Florida is the fourth most expensive state for car insurance, due to its no-fault insurance laws, subtropical weather and high percentage of elderly drivers. Most Florida residents pay nearly $50 more than the national average every month. According to The Zebra, car insurance in Florida costs $1,878 per year on average.
However, most car insurance companies in Florida offer steep savings that drivers can take advantage of. All it takes is a bit of comparison shopping to find the best auto insurance in Florida that meets your needs and budget. You can save money every year by picking the right insurance company. Because getting car insurance quotes is a customized process, there is no single company that is the best fit for every Florida resident.
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The factors that influence how much car insurance companies will charge you include your age, marital status, driving history and even ZIP code. Each insurer weighs those factors differently. The best strategy for finding cheap car insurance in Florida will always be to compare quotes.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Florida
These insurers were ranked at the top of J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study in the Florida region, and have an AM Best rating of excellent or better. J.D. Power is a global leader in customer service surveys, and AM Best evaluates companies’ financial solvency.
Statistics show that the average driver has an accident every 18 years. When an accident does happen, poor customer service from the insurance agency only makes things worse. Any insurance company worth recommending should have a proven track record of great service and financial stability. Here’s why we chose these five providers as the best car insurance companies in Florida.
Allstate was the top ranked provider in J.D. Power’s study, earning 5 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, policy offerings and customer service.
Esurance was the second runner up in J.D. Power’s study, which earned 5 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, price and coverage options available.
State Farm is a great all-around insurance provider. It is known for reliable customer service and a variety of ways to help you save money on your rates, like accident forgiveness and student discounts.
Geico is well-known for offering some of the most affordable auto insurance premiums of any provider on the market in Florida. They also offer discounts to help you save even more money on your rates.
Liberty Mutual is another solid choice for auto insurance. The company offers 24/7 customer service, no-obligation online quotes and discounts for good drivers.
Florida’s minimum coverage requirements for 2019
Florida requires $10,000 personal injury protection and $10,000 property damage liability coverage in order to maintain a valid license plate. That’s a shockingly low amount of coverage; it’s easy to imagine even a minor accident causing more than $10,000 in property damage.
How to find cheap car insurance in Florida
The auto insurance Florida providers on our list offer some of the most affordable rates in Florida. Remember that your rate is calculated based on a number of individualized factors, including your age, gender, marital status, the type of car you drive, your history of accidents and your credit score.
To give you an idea of the average monthly rate for each provider, we received quotes for a single, 26 year-old female driver living in Orlando.
- Allstate — $1, 524
- Esurance — $1,490
- Geico — $1,352
- Liberty Mutual — $1,620
- State Farm — $1,388
Before getting a quote, take a look at the provider’s discounts page. You’ll find a complete list of the discounts it offers, which could help you save a significant amount of money. Some insurance companies offer discounts that others don’t, like special savings for military, federal employees or other group affiliations. As you’re shopping around, find which company offers the most discounts that you can take advantage of.
Why is Florida car insurance so expensive?
Florida’s rates are among the highest in the nation for several reasons, but primarily because it’s a no-fault state. Residents are required to pay their own expenses after an accident, and they need to maintain personal injury protection, or PIP. Many Floridians are also covered for accident-related medical expenses through their health insurance, so many residents will be paying for the same thing twice.
The state’s no-fault car insurance plan has been in effect since 1972 and was intended to reduce lawsuits. However, the number of legitimate and fraudulent PIP claims began skyrocketing in 2008 and continues to rise. State bills have been introduced to repeal the no-fault system, so far to no avail. If it is repealed, Florida drivers’ insurance rates could drop. But that remains a big “if.”
Aside from no-fault insurance, Florida is the nation’s leader in careless driving accidents and logs more fatal crashes than any other state, with the exceptions of Texas and California. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Florida had almost 15 vehicle fatalities per 100,000 population in 2017, while the U.S. number was 11.4 fatalities. Considering that statistic and Florida’s dense population, it’s easy to see why rates there are pricier.
What if you’re not a full-time resident?
If you’re traveling to Florida for business or for an extended vacation, or if you’re there and driving more than 90 days within a 365-day period, you need to purchase minimum car insurance coverage. If you’re a part-time resident with valid Florida license plates and registration, you must be covered by a Florida insurance policy — and not just while you’re living in the state.
Should you get more than the minimum coverage?
Yes, absolutely. The minimum for collision in Florida is $10,000, and it’s been that way since the 1980s. Back then, you could replace a car for that cost. Nowadays, it takes a lot more money to replace one vehicle that’s been in an accident.
Think about it this way: Statistically, the average driver has an accident every 17.9 years, and the average medical cost of an accident that permanently injures someone is $93,800, according to the National Safety Council, and that’s not including property damages. If you wreck an expensive car or injure multiple people, damages could easily skyrocket from there.
Let’s say you get in a wreck with someone who maintains minimum coverage, and you permanently injured that person to the tune of $60,000 (a low estimate, by the way). The victim could take you to court and you might wind up being responsible for $40,000 out of pocket. With the upgraded coverage, you’re responsible for $10,000 if the worst happens. It still isn’t a good situation, but it’s much better than a $40,000 judgment.
You should also consider adding underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. More than a quarter (26.7 percent) of Florida’s drivers are uninsured, the highest rate in the nation, according to the Insurance Research Council.
What is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?
If you’re trying to decide whether to get collision or comprehensive coverage, or both, you need to know the difference. Collision coverage will kick in if you hit an object, such as a guardrail or a tree, or if your car hits another vehicle. Collision coverage also is useful if you have a rollover or incur damage as a result of driving into a pothole.
Comprehensive coverage kicks in if your car is vandalized, stolen, damaged because of a natural disaster or an object falling on it, or if your car hits an animal.
What if you don’t have any insurance?
If you’re caught without insurance or you are underinsured, your driving privileges will be suspended for up to three years. To get your license reinstated, you’ll need to cough up $150 (up to $500 for subsequent violations) and provide proof of valid insurance. The long-term repercussions, however, include a tainted driving record, higher premiums and possibly even jail time, especially if you are involved in an accident without being insured.
Do you need SR-22 insurance?
Technically, SR-22 is not a type of insurance. If you have ever had a car accident while uninsured, been cited for driving under the influence, or you get a lot of traffic tickets in a short period of time, you may be required to file for SR-22 insurance.
You can pick up SR-22 insurance through your regular policy provider, who will simply file the paperwork in order to make you compliant. SR-22 insurance is much more expensive than regular car insurance. Once your violations drop off your record, you will be able to quit using the SR-22 policy.
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Shop around for the best deal
Many car insurance companies don’t calculate premiums based on your level of risk alone; they also consider how likely you are to shop around for better rates and how much of an increase you’re comfortable paying. It’s a common practice called price optimization. According to a study by Earnix, 45 percent of large insurance companies analyze your personal data (credit score, online shopping habits and social media activity) with a proprietary algorithm that decides how likely you are to look for better deals. That allows providers to charge you just enough to maximize profit but also to keep you from raising an eyebrow.
In sum, customer loyalty is being rewarded with gradual rate increases that are often masked by less valuable “good driver” discounts. Who wants a company like that?
Shopping for a new policy with other car insurance companies every one to two years is a great way to make sure that insurers will offer competitive rates that reflect you as a driver, not predictive analytics. Plus, it can help you avoid falling prey to price optimization in the future. Companies can see when you apply for quotes. And the more frequently you do that, the less reliable of a revenue stream you become for your current insurer, who definitely doesn’t want to lose you as a customer.
Florida is one of 15 states that have officially addressed price optimization and its effect on drivers. Moving forward, insurers that have used price optimization are required to submit a filing to eliminate that use.
It can be expensive to insure a new driver. Whether you have a newly licensed teenager or you got your driver’s license late in life, a driver with no driving history can be expensive to insure. Rates dramatically decrease after a new driver turns 20 years old. If you are a new driver or if you have a new driver on your policy, shop around to find a good deal that will include these higher-risk individuals.
One premium discount to look for is for good drivers in your household. These individuals have clean driving records — that means no speeding tickets, accidents or other infractions — and their skill on the road can translate to your savings.
However, if you have bad credit, meaning that your credit score is in the 580 to 669 range, you will likely pay more for your car insurance than most drivers on the road. This is because drivers with poor credit, on average, get higher insurance payouts for claims than those with good credit. As with new drivers, you need to look for ways to save, such as with a good driver discount or by bundling car and home policies. You should also keep in mind the value of your vehicle. For example, if your car is old, you don’t want to waste your money on collision and comprehensive coverage for a vehicle that isn’t worth much.
Best car insurance Florida
- State Farm
Because accidents do happen, consider getting more than the minimum state coverage. Buying more than the minimum can be less expensive than you think. Get some quotes; it’s the only way to find the best car insurance for you. It doesn’t take long at all. You could save almost $1,000 a year.