The state of Florida stretches from the panhandle in the north to the keys that string along its southern tip. According to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau, nearly 21 million people live on this narrow land mass between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has more than 17 million of those residents on the books as licensed drivers. And nearly a third of those drivers are over the age of 60.
The sheer number of people in the state who are driving – and the way they drive – make Florida the third most expensive state for car insurance in 2018. Much of the problem lies with uninsured drivers; more than a quarter of drivers (26.7%) don’t carry car insurance.
The fact that so much of the state is urban and suburban contributes to the higher average premiums. Where there are more cars in close quarters, there’s more opportunity for accidents to happen. States with more rural areas and smaller cities, like Vermont, are among the cheapest for car insurance rates.
Tourism brings a lot of money to the state, but it also contributes to these high premiums. Tourists add cars to the already busy roads, and they are often in unfamiliar rental cars driving to unfamiliar destinations. All of these factors lifted Florida from the No. 5 spot on the most expensive insurance list last year to No. 3 this year.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Florida
How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida
U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60 years. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Florida?
See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
USAA offers the lowest average rates in Florida, with State Farm and Geico not far behind. Allstate has the highest average premiums in the state. No matter which company you choose, there are a few groups who will see better average rates in Florida – and a few who will pay quite a bit more.
The 60-year-old demographic has the lowest average rates of any age group, with an average of about $2,800. Young drivers of any gender will pay significantly more, with average rates starting around $6,000 and rising to $17,000 a year, depending on the insurance company.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||
Married 60-year old male
|Nationwide (as Allied P&C)||$7,314.60||$9,013.69||$3,347.30||$3,483.83||$3,039.80||$3,000.81||$2,710.48||$2,806.30|
In Florida, the length of your commute matters little to insurance companies; rates for 6,000 miles per year or 12,000 per year (which is closer to the national average of about 13,000 miles) are nearly the same. Drivers with poor credit will see a big jump in rates, however. The average rate of those with good or medium credit scores are close to the overall average for the state, but having a poor credit rating can nearly doubly your rates.
|Nationwide (as Allied P&C)||$3,596.12||$3,981.62||$5,441.06|
Accidents and traffic violations such as speeding tickets will of course raise your rate, but with most major insurers in Florida, the difference is only a few hundred dollars for one speeding ticket or one accident. Driving under the influence is another story though. One DUI will raise your rate several thousand dollars with most companies, though State Farm and Progressive have less of a penalty built into their rates.
|Company||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
|Nationwide (as Allied P&C)||$3,705.32||$4,114.99||$4,065.71||$5,472.37|
Florida Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements
The state of Florida has relatively low minimum requirements for car insurance. Drivers must have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and another $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
Personal injury protection is also known as no-fault insurance. It covers the costs of caring for injuries to you, your child, and other members of your household in the vehicle, no matter who caused the accident. It also covers you when you’re riding in someone else’s car, and it covers your children while they’re on the school bus. Property damage liability covers the cost of repairs for other people’s property when you (or members of your household) are at fault in a crash.
Florida does not require every driver to carry other common types of insurance, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and it’s one of only two states to not require bodily injury liability coverage. The other is New Hampshire.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida
It’s common for drivers with decades of practice on the road to have lower insurance rates, and that’s no different in Florida. That’s great news for the large number of older drivers who live in the Sunshine State, where the lowest rates we found from all insurers were for married 60-year-old drivers. On average, Insurance rates for that group were around $2,800. The lowest average rate of $1,500 came from USAA, and the highest was from Allstate, at just over $4,000.
Despite being cities with huge university student populations, it costs less to insure a car in Gainesville and Tallahassee in the northern half of the state. On average, it costs under $4,000 a year in those cities, while Miami and its suburbs (especially Hialeah) are the most expensive at around $7,000 a year.
Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Florida
Florida is one of the most expensive states for insuring a vehicle, and the Miami area is the most expensive place in the state. Auto insurance is so expensive in greater Miami that it skews the averages for the rest of the state, according to the Miami New Times.
A 2015 report noted that rampant car insurance fraud in Miami drives up rates, as well as conditions beyond most drivers’ control, like traffic congestion. However, Miami drivers can take responsibility for the rest of the reasons cited for such high rates: not yielding at stop signs, not bothering with turn signals, texting while driving, and “creative drivers who speed.”
As Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and Miami resident wrote in the Miami Herald in February 2000, when you’re driving in Miami, “You're out there with people who apparently took Driver's Ed from Saddam Hussein; people who observe the traffic laws to the same degree that the Unabomber observed the postal regulations; people who refuse to allow trivial matters such as steering to interfere with their cellular phone conversations, hair care, nasal hygiene, narcotics ingestion, etc.” While that’s a bit of an exaggeration, the congestion around Miami and the driving habits of its residents all lead to crashes, which lead to claims, which lead to higher auto insurance rates.
|Port St. Lucie||$4,534.00|
|West Palm Beach||$6,277.09|
How to Get Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida
One of the most common ways to get a discount on your auto insurance is to not have any accidents, or if you do have an accident, to keep a clean record for a few years afterward. For instance, State Farm offers a discount if you don’t have a chargeable accident for three years, with possible further discounts for longer-term accident-free periods. Most major insurers offer a similar discount for safe driving.
Several insurers also offer lower rates for safe drivers who allow their driving to be monitored. Allstate was one of the first to introduce this with Drivewise, which is now an app that lives on your phone – no extra plug-in required. This program, which is similar to others, monitors speed, braking, and time of day that a trip is taken, all of which are factors in causing car accidents.
Another way to lower your auto insurance rates is to also insure your home or another car with the same insurer. Most insurance companies give discounts to policyholders who “bundle” their insurance with one provider.
The way you pay can make a difference too. Paying your annual premium in full rather than breaking it up into monthly or biannual payments can earn you a discount – or at least help you avoid extra processing fees that may be tacked on. And if you can set up automatic electronic payments, all the better.
Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Florida
Florida is one of only a few no-fault states. That means in the case of an accident, your own required personal injury protection coverage will pay for the first $10,000 in medical bills. It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was. If your medical costs rise above your PIP coverage and the other party was at fault, you may sue the other driver for the remainder of your treatment costs.
If you don’t own a car, you can still get non-owner insurance. Some people do this to maintain coverage while they don’t have a vehicle of their own so that when they do buy a car, the insurance isn’t as expensive as it would be for someone with a gap in coverage. Others, like those who have been convicted of a DUI in Florida and had their license revoked, are required to have non-owner insurance. In Florida, it’s known as filing an FR44, which lets that state know that you have insurance coverage even though you can’t drive. The state wants to be sure that you have a high liability coverage so that, when you do get your license back, you’re covered for injuring someone or causing property damage even in a car you don’t own.
In 2014, Florida became one of 37 states (at last count) that allows drivers to show officers a digital insurance card on their phone or other device if they are pulled over or involved in an accident. Apparently, drivers in Florida aren’t diligent about carrying their physical cards with them. In 2012, 326,000 tickets were issued for not having proof of insurance, but 250,000 of those citations were dismissed when the driver later offered proof. Having it on your phone certainly helps avoid this penalty.
Florida Driving Laws and Punishments
Florida is similar to many other states in that making a call in your car is legal, but texting is illegal. Like in many other states, texting while driving is a secondary offense. You can’t be pulled over for it, but if you’re pulled over for any other reason, such as speeding, and the officer saw you texting while driving, you’ll be cited for both infractions. Texting will add three points to your license, unless it results in a crash, in which case it adds six points.
There’s a laundry list of potential penalties for driving under the influence in Florida with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .15 or higher, including a minimum $500 fine, 50 hours of community service, probation, and DUI school. If you have a BAL of .08 or higher and there’s a minor in the car, you could go to jail for up to nine months. These are all for first offenses; the penalties only go up from there. Drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 who have a BAL of just .02 will automatically have their license suspended for six months.
If you let your auto insurance lapse in Florida, the insurance company is required to report it to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The DHSM will then notify you that you need to provide proof of new insurance. If you don’t have the required minimum insurance coverage in place, the state of Florida with suspend your driver’s license, the plates on your car, and your registration for up to three years. You can undo the suspension by presenting proof of insurance and paying a $150 reinstatement fee.
Florida Car Insurance FAQs
Is car insurance required in Florida?
Yes, car insurance is required in Florida, but the requirement is lower than in many other states. Only personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage are required. A minimum of $10,000 in coverage are required for each.
Which cars are required to be insured in Florida?
If your car is registered in Florida, it must have Florida insurance. Even if you park your car in the garage in your winter home then head north for six months, that car must be insured if it is registered. If it has a Florida license plate, it has to be insured.
When should I get car insurance in Florida?
You should get car insurance as soon as you register your car in Florida. Whether it’s newly purchased or you just moved to the state, as soon as you register it and get a Florida plate, you must have Florida insurance.
What happens if my car is not properly insured in Florida?
If you do not have proper auto insurance in Florida, your license can be suspended for up to three years or until you show that you have proper insurance in place. Reinstating your insurance will cost you a minimum of $150, but the fine can go up to $500 if you’re caught without insurance multiple times.
Is Florida a no-fault state?
Yes, Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay for your medical bills no matter who caused the accident.
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in Florida?
Florida does not require drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Is liability insurance required in Florida?
Yes, property damage liability (PDL) is required, with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. This will pay for repairs to a vehicle or other property when you’ve caused an accident.
Does Florida accept digital insurance cards?
Yes, Florida accepts digital insurance cards.