Following extensive research our methodology has identified the best car insurance in Florida for 2018. Here are the results.
There are so many factors at play when you start talking about the best car insurance you can find. Rates and services can vary wildly depending on your own personal history and preferences and even the area in which you live.
Plus, it’s not just about the lowest rate you can find. It’s just as important to ensure that you have reliable coverage when you need it, don’t wind up with a sky-high deductible that breaks the bank, and get good customer service. All of these factor in when looking for the “best” auto insurance in Florida.
Today, we are going to explore everything you need to know about Florida car insurance. We’ll go over your state’s requirements for coverage (and what happens if you break them), the factors that are likely to influence your cost of premiums, and which company is going to treat you the best.
We’ve spent hours poring over the data to bring you what we believe is the most comprehensive auto insurance article for the state of Florida. By the time you’re done reading, you should know exactly what you need, how much you’ll pay, and where to buy it. Let’s get started.
Compare Car Insurance Plans in Florida
The next time you’re looking for auto insurance in the Sunshine State, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options available to you. Luckily, we took the time to evaluate the providers to see how they measured up against one another.
Keep in mind that your rates and experience may vary. Much of this depends on the coverage you choose, your personal driving record, your credit, and even your location.
Based on our research and consumer ratings, here are our top picks for your next auto insurance policy:
- Best Overall Satisfaction: USAA
- Best Customer Service: Allstate
- Lowest Premiums: Hanover or Allied
- Great If You Have a Perfect Record: Hanover
- Best If You Have a Less-Than-Perfect Record: Infinity
Each state has its own legal requirements for auto insurance. Here’s a look at the minimums in the state of Florida, which is a No-Fault state, in regards to both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
In Florida, bodily injury coverage is called PIP, or personal injury protection. This coverage protects the policyholder/driver, their family, and their passengers. This is different from the liability coverage other states require (to cover other drivers in case an accident is your fault).
Property damage liability pays for any damages you may cause to someone else’s property. This could include other vehicles, as well as buildings, structures, or other property.
While you can choose any insurance policy you want from any company you want, you need to ensure that your coverage meets at least these required minimums before driving in the state of Florida.
|Bodily Damage Liability|
|Death or injury of one person in any one accident||$10,000 minimum|
|Property Damage Liability||$10,000 minimum|
Traditional bodily injury liability coverage is also available in Florida. This covers the injury or death of another person in an accident for which you’re to blame. However, Florida doesn’t require this type of coverage.
Self-Insuring in Florida
Florida also offers drivers the option to self-insure if they have a high enough net worth and want to avoid purchasing a liability policy.
If you want to self-insure in the state of Florida, you’ll need an unencumbered net worth of at least $40,000 (not including your primary residence).The state requires a balance sheet, and only vehicles registered in Florida are eligible for coverage. If approved, the state’s self-insured certificate provides protection limits for drivers of 10/20/20 ($10,000 bodily damage to one person, $20,000 bodily damage for 2+ people, and $10,000 property damage coverage) per accident.
For drivers choosing this route, your certificate will be valid for one year. After that time, you’ll need to submit an updated balance sheet if you want to continue self-insuring.
To learn more about self-insuring in the state of Florida and the documentation required, please visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website here.
If you do not have the minimum liability coverage required in Florida, you will not be able to register your vehicle or get license plates. You will be considered uninsured. And you’ll be unable to legally drive a motor vehicle in the state until you obtain the minimum coverage.
If you cannot present proof of a valid liability policy when pulled over or asked after an accident, you’ll get a ticket for driving while uninsured. Depending on whether this is your first offense, the penalty varies. The fines range from $150 (first offense) to $500 (third offense or beyond, within three years of the first offense). Each offense brings with it a license and registration suspension of up to three years, or until you take out a valid policy.
What happens if you’re under-insured or uninsured and get in a car accident in Florida? Well, you’re looking at a very tricky situation.
In addition to being cited for not having sufficient insurance coverage, you’re also responsible for any damage or injuries caused to others in an accident where you’re at fault. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning insurance companies will pay for damages and claims immediately, without needing to determine fault. So the other driver’s policy will cover their expenses. But this doesn’t mean you still won’t be sued for injuries or damage you caused. This has the potential to financially ruin even wealthy drivers.
So, you’ll get a citation for the lack of proper insurance coverage, have your license suspended for up to three years, and be financially responsible for damages caused. Anything else?
In fact, yes. You’ll also be required to file an SR-22 certificate, which is a statement of financial responsibility. This brings with it higher required minimums for liability coverage, as well as more expensive insurance premiums from providers. An SR-22 in Florida bumps minimum liability coverage from 10/20/10 to 10/30/10.
If you get a citation for driving without coverage and are found guilty, you’ll need to carry an SR-22 for two years. If your citation is in relation to an accident, point suspension, or habitual traffic revocation, you’ll need to carry the SR-22 for three years.
One other penalty is the FR-44, which is required after drivers in Florida are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The FR-44 is similar to the SR-22, except much more costly. For example, it bumps minimum coverage from 10/20/10 all the way to 100/300/50 ($100,000 personal injury, $300,000 combined personal injury, and $50,000 property damage). The state will require you to carry this certificate for three years from the date of the original suspension. And your insurance premiums will skyrocket as a result.
Proof of Insurance
In any state, it’s not enough to simply pay for the required minimum auto insurance coverage. You need to actually carry proof of coverage on your person each and every time you get behind the wheel.
You can do this in many ways. In Florida,you can carry your paper insurance card (usually mailed to you or available online in PDF form) or show proof electronically through your insurance company’s app or another e-document.The latter is incredibly handy. But it’s also wise to carry a hard copy version in your vehicle, just in case your phone dies or is damaged in an accident.
Your insurance card will show proof of coverage. This includes the name of the policyholder(s), the policy number, all vehicles covered by the policy, dates of valid coverage, and the policyholder’s address.
If you choose to self-insure, as mentioned above, you’ll need to submit the required documentation in order to obtain a self-insurance certificate in the state of Florida. Then, you’ll need to keep this on your person at all times when driving.
Let’s take a look at how much auto insurance typically costs in the Sunshine State and how that compares to the rest of the country.
Based on data from QuoteWizard, the average total cost for auto insurance in Florida is $1,140.84, which comes out to an average of $95.07 a month. Broken down further, we find an average annual cost of $837.24 for liability coverage, average of $259.86 for collision coverage, and average of $111.71 for comprehensive coverage.
Of course, these are the averages. So you could see your actual policy cost vary greatly, depending on any number of personal factors. For instance, your age, where you live in the state, the vehicle you drive, your credit history, and your driving record all play a role in your premiums. Plus, you may or may not qualify for discounts.
As you can probably guess, there is no one answer to which insurance company is the cheapest in Florida. There are so many variables at play, and the company that’s cheapest for you may be the most expensive for, say, your parents. That’s why it’s so important to shop around with your own personal facts plugged in.
However, we took the time to compare some of the more popular insurance providers in the state to get an idea of how they measured up on average. We used the same search criteria with each one to get a good comparison: a single male, 30 years old, with a clean driving record and good credit. Our sample guy lives in Jacksonville, drives a 2013 Honda Accord, and is only interested in state minimum coverage.
Let’s take a look at how Florida’s most popular insurance providers measured up:
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium|
Let’s take a look at how our same example guy would fare if he instead lived in Miami:
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium|
Your results may vary based on your specific ZIP Code and the coverage you choose. However, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for the cheapest policy (especially if you’re only wanting state minimum coverage), Allied and Infinity are probably going to be the most affordable providers.
As mentioned, the question “How much does auto insurance cost in Florida” has hundreds of different answers. Each person will find a unique number depending on their own personal variables, such as:
- Marital status
- Driving record
- Credit score
- Vehicle(s) covered
- Whether your vehicle is financed, leased, or paid in full
- ZIP Code
- Whether you own or rent your home
- Miles driven each year and the purpose of those miles (work commute, pleasure, etc.)
- How much coverage you want
Because of this, there’s no way to precisely tell you how much you can expect to pay for insurance in the state of Florida. At least, not without knowing your personal information. However, as we mentioned, the average cost of auto insurance in the Sunshine State is about $1,141 a year.
Let’s see if we can’t narrow that down a bit more, though. Below, we’ve taken four personality “profiles” and found quotes for each from various insurance providers. This allows us to give you a better idea of what you, based on your unique variables, can expect to pay for auto insurance coverage.
We have four test subjects, each with unique personality profiles. All of them live in ZIP Code 32256, which is about average across the state. Keep in mind that cities like Miami, Tampa, and Daytona Beach could be potentially higher.
Subject number one is Little Timmy. He’s a stereotypical high-risk driver: a 22 year-old college student with two speeding tickets in the last three years. He has a financed 2012 Chevy Impala, drives about 15,000 miles a year, and has an apartment across town from campus.
Subject two are your typical 42-year-old parents. They have a mortgage on their average home, own a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox outright, and are still paying off their 2014 Toyota Sienna. They drive about 16,000 miles a year whilst carting their kids to and from soccer practice. Both are college graduates and have great credit, but Jane did rear-end someone a few years ago.
Next, we have Straight-Laced Sally. She’s a 35 year-old college graduate with a condo, 2010 Toyota Camry, and great credit. She drives about 10,000 miles a year and has had a perfectly clean driving record for the past decade.
Lastly, there’s Grandpa Joe, 65. He drives his 1998 Honda Civic about 8,000 miles a year, owns his home, and hasn’t had an accident or ticket since his 40s.
While you probably don’t perfectly match any of these profiles, there’s likely one that you can relate to more closely than the others. So, let’s take a look at how their monthly insurance premiums measure up in Florida, when looking for basic, state-minimum liability coverage. (Quotes provided by thezebra.com.)
|Little Timmy||John & Jane Smith||Straight-Laced Sally||Grandpa Joe|
|United Automobile||$234||$192||$135||not given|
|State Farm||$247||not given||not given||not given|
|The General||$364||not given||$117||not given|
Based on these quotes, we see that accidents/citations seem to have the biggest impact on auto insurance premiums, followed by the driver’s age.
Not every state is like Florida when it comes to auto insurance. Here are some ways the state stands out:
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. It’s one of only a few states in the country with this law, in fact.
Florida’s no-fault law means that the first $10,000 in medical claims stemming from any auto accident will come from the your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. This is thanks to the PIP (personal injury protection) aspect of your auto insurance policy, which protects you, your family members, and the passengers in your registered vehicle.
This allows for quick payouts in the case of an accident, as well as the potential for reduced premiums (in theory; Florida has some of the highest premiums in the country, though). Limitations on this coverage can deter litigation following an accident for damages above the state minimum.
In cases where an injury necessitates a payout higher than the minimum threshold, motorists can still sue. However, the no-fault law ensures that smaller, less serious injuries are paid out quickly and avoid being unnecessarily inflated.
Credit Is a Factor
Not every state allows insurance companies takes your credit history into account when calculating your auto insurance premiums. Florida, however, is one of the states that does.
Your credit history can affect the cost of your premiums in either direction, depending on how good (or bad) your credit history is. And if your credit is bad enough, you may even have trouble finding coverage with many companies.
So Is Location
Where you live in the state – and even within each city – can impact your premiums, as well. Depending on your ZIP Code, you may see your auto insurance rates rise or fall.
Your location won’t be the most impactful factor in your rates for coverage, of course. That honor goes to your driving record and whether or not you have a history of accidents and/or citations in the last 36 months. However, your address can and will play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance in Florida.
If you’re curious about the top auto insurance companies in the Sunshine State, you’re in luck. We took a look at five of the most popular providers in Florida, and the state market share that each one holds.
As you can see, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance (through its subsidiary, GEICO) holds the majority share at 19.17% of the market. They are followed by State Farm (17.06%), Progressive (13.04%), Allstate (11.83%), and USAA (6.33%). Combined, these five companies provide just over 67% of the state’s auto insurance.
Now, let’s take a look at how these five insurance companies compare to one another when looking at customer satisfaction ratings. We checked out the scores for each one from two of the most popular ratings bureaus: A.M. Best and JD Power.
Berkshire Hathaway Insurance/GEICO
The Berkshire Hathaway Insurance company–operating under its subsidiary company, GEICO–boasts the biggest auto insurance market share in Florida. Here’s how they are rated in financial stability and customer satisfaction, respectively:
- A.M. Best: A++ rating
- JD Power: #8 in the state with a 3-star rating in overall satisfaction
This company is the second-largest auto insurance market shareholder in the state. Here’s what its customers think:
- A.M. Best: B++ rating
- JD Power: #11 in the state with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating
Allstate is the third-largest insurer in Florida with a ~13% market share.
- A.M. Best: A+ rating
- JD Power: #6 in the state with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating
This company insures just under 12% of drivers in the Sunshine State to account for the fourth highest market share, but ranks very high in customer satisfaction (number four in the state).
- A.M. Best: A rating
- JD Power: #4 in the state with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating
The fifth most popular insurer in the state, USAA holds only ~6% of the market share. However, the company has traditionally excellent customer satisfaction ratings.
- A.M. Best: A++ rating
- JD Power: #2 in the state with a 4-star overall satisfaction rating
If you want to learn more about being an insured driver in Florida, the state offers a number of online resources on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website
Topics: Auto Insurance • Insurance