When looking for cheap car insurance Florida we all want the same thing, to save on our monthly premiums. This search process is typically confusing, time consuming and even overwhelming. Throughout the article we will hopefully be able to arm with all the information you need to get the cheapest rate on your car insurance. You have to know which the state of Florida Car Insurance Requirements and Laws are, before you decide to purchase your car insurance.
You have to know which the state of Florida car insurance requirements and laws are, before you decide to purchase your car insurance.
Florida car insurance Requirements and Laws
In the state of Florida, every resident has to show that they can take financial responsibility for any road mishaps they or their vehicle get involved in. Florida has a Financial Responsibility Law and a No-Fault Law. Both these laws must be followed to get the coverage one needs to fulfill the financial responsibility requirements in Florida and drive a vehicle on roads and highways.
You can establish Financial Responsibility several ways:
- Buying a liability insurance policy from a licensed insurance company, legally allowed selling insurance in the state.
- With an insurance company, licensed by the Florida state, you can post a surety bond. With this bond, get yourself a Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
- A Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility can be obtained by depositing cash or securities with the FDHSMV.
- You can also get a Self Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility, by showing that you are in possession of a certain amount of capital.
The state also requires you to have minimum liability insurance for your vehicles. It does not matter whether you will drive the car or will keep it inside the garage, insurance is mandatory to register the vehicle. You can cancel your insurance only when you return your license plate to the DMV.
As we mentioned if you are a motor vehicle owner in the state of Florida, you may be required to carry two types of car insurance.
Florida No-Fault Law
The Florida Vehicle No-Fault Law (sections of Ch. 627 of the Florida Statutes) outlines the first insurance you need to carry.
As per the No-Fault law, in Florida you have to carry personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability insurance (PDL) on your vehicle. The law also directs that any person, belonging from anywhere and driving a car in Florida for more than 90 days, is living in the state, is employed in Florida or has school going children (minors) in the state, has to have Personal Injury Protection ($10,000) and Property Damage Liability coverage ($10,000).
These minimum requirements for car liability in Florida cover the insured driver in case of an accident, regardless of who is at fault in the crash. The drivers are compensated by the insurance providers for their own medical expenses; and for the property damage caused to others when an insured driver is at fault.
The policy also includes the following individuals and situations.
- The applicant’s children and other members of the family
- The applicant’s child when he/she is riding on a public school bus
- The applicant if he/she is a cyclist or pedestrian involved in a vehicular accident
- Any passengers in the applicant’s vehicle who don’t have their insurance cover or don’t own any vehicles
While these are the minimum car insurance policies made mandatory by law, you can explore the option of more extensive coverage. People do this in the event the minimum amounts fall short about grave injuries or longer medical treatments.
Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law
As per the state’s Financial Responsibility Law and No-Fault Law, the minimum amounts of liability coverage for each vehicle owner have been defined. The Financial Responsibility Law requires you to have insurance coverage about accidents and crashes where you are proven to be at fault.
The Financial Responsibility Law (Ch. 324 of the Florida Statutes) has also defined a second car insurance. This law has made it mandatory for motorists in Florida to carry additional liability insurance if they have been involved in accidents before. In other words, additional liability insurance becomes a must if you are a vehicle owner in Florida and have:
- Caused an accident involving bodily injury
- Convicted of a DUI citation and have had your license revoked
- Had your driver license suspended for too many points
- Been a habitual traffic offender and have had your license revoked
This said, you must remember that in the state of Florida, you cannot maintain your current car insurance policy issued in a different state. In Florida, all insurance policies must be issued through a state agent with an insurance company licensed to sell in Florida.
So, for you to buy automobile insurance in the state of Florida, you must ensure that the policy covers the minimum liability coverage of:
- $10,000 – Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) -bodily injury for one person
- $20,000 bodily injury to two or more people
- $10,000 property damage liability(PDL), or
- $30,000 Combined single limits
The State of Florida has implemented the Financial Responsibility Law to make vehicle owners and operators financially responsible about accident. These are clear laws you are expected to follow. In case you are unable to do so, or choose to ignore the auto liability requirements, then the Florida financial responsibility law comes into play.
If you are caught without the required coverage your driver license and the tags may be suspended for a period of up to three years. Additionally a reinstatement fee of $15 will need to be paid along with certified proof of full liability insurance on Form SR-22 for three years, before you will be allowed to legally get back on the road. In Florida you must carry the proof of insurance and financial responsibility in the car with you at all times.
If you fail to carry your insurance details or even do not have updated policies, then without proof of insurance, the officer can penalize you severely. You're driving privileges and license can be suspended for 3 years or until you’re able to show proof of insurance.
Moving to Florida
Florida can be a risky state to move. It is a requirement that every driver in the state carry car insurance, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles enforces this law. With over 15 million resident drivers, plus the millions of tourist who visit Disney World, the beach and the other attractions every year, traffic is busy and challenging. In 2016, there were 395,785 (Average Crashes per Day 1,081) accidents reported across the state.
The Florida law requires all Florida residents to get a Florida driver license within 30 days. If you do one of the following, it means that you are residing:
- If you enroll your child in a school in the state of Florida
- Employment acceptance
- Register to vote
- File for Homestead exemption
- If you're in Florida for more than six months
Penalties And Fines For Violation
If a vehicle owner has canceled an insurance policy, the insurance company needs to notify the Florida DMV organization. If the department doesn’t have the current car insurance policy for a particular car owner, notifications should be made by mail to the individual in question.
The notification indicates a date of suspension. If the individual doesn’t provide proof of insurance before that particular date, the DMV has no choice but to suspend the license, vehicle plates as well as registration. To reinstate, the vehicle owner needs to pay a certain fee as well as provide proof of current Florida vehicle insurance. Of course, if the evidence of insurance is provided before the suspension date, there are no penalties incurred.
To provide proof of insurance, a vehicle owner can visit the official DMV website in Florida, or provide his/her driver’s license in person at any DMV office. Also, he/she can contact the organization by phone and provide the insurance information for validation purposes.
If the insurance cover has expired and the individual has been issued a notification, yet he/she doesn’t own the car anymore, he/she should reveal the license plates, and the vehicle’s registration to the DMV to avoid suspension of the individual’s driver’s license. Optional car insurance covers such as comprehensive, collision, rental car, uninsured motorists or towing and labor are also available in Florida.
What is an SR22 Insurance in Florida
SR22 is a form that is used by car insurance providers to confirm the fulfillment of drivers required to keep at least liability insurance. Car insurance providers submit the SR22 form to Florida’s Bureau of Financial Responsibility for their customers who are required to have proof of insurance. Drivers are usually required to have SR22 insurance if they have been convicted for Driving Under the Influence or DUI.
For drivers in the state of Florida, the minimum liability insurance every driver should have is $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 for Property Damage Liability. As specified on Florida SR22, aside from the No Fault law requisites, Bodily Injury Liability is needed for drivers who meet specific measures. Aside from DUI or drunk driving, other drivers who are required to have SR22 insurance are those who brought about injuries in an accident, or those who have committed particular traffic infractions or suspension of driving privileges because of too many points in their driver’s license.
The lowest amounts of insurance coverage required for Bodily Injury with SR22 in Florida are $10,000/individual and $20,000/accident. There should also be $30,000 combined single limit for liability.
The car insurance premium for Bodily Injury Liability is no different from your car insurance provider in spite of a requirement for filing SR22. The extra charge for Florida SR22 would just be $15 for the filing fee. But drivers who are mandated to have Florida SR22 insurance normally pay higher car insurance premiums than others because of the reason for having SR22 like DUI.
When the car insurance provider has filed the SR22, falling short from your car insurance policy might end up having your driver’s license suspended. It would only be reinstated following the certification of mandatory liability insurance by filing SR22 with the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
Florida High Risk Car Insurance
Insurance companies in Florida and other states have different parameters for calculating car insurance premiums for ‘high risk’ drivers. These high risk drivers include regular people driving around the Florida roadways, but are more likely to be in accident.
A person is a high risk driver if his actions, health, experience, or knowledge makes him a threat to his safety as well as of those on the roads. A high risk driver is someone who is any of the categories listed below or can even be a combination of more than one of these categories:
A new driver : Someone who has just gotten his or her license lacks the knowledge of the roads, and the experience to negotiate through the roads and traffic. An offender: Someone who makes a habit of violating the State and local motor traffic laws. By these breaches of the traffic laws we mean infractions like speeding, driving without a seat belt, etc.
DWI offender : Someone who flouts the state/federal criminal codes by committing DUI (Driving under the Influence) or DWI (Driving When Intoxicated). Reckless driving is also a violation of criminal codes.
Rash Driver : A driver who has been involved in an unusually high number of accidents in a short time. This ‘unusual’ number varies for every state; usually it is two accidents in a year.
Physically Unfit : Some drivers who have certain diseases or conditions which could hamper their driving unexpectedly are also high risk.
When we talk of a combination of categories, it can be best understood with this example: New drivers who are teenagers, are thought to be high risk drivers by most car insurance companies. So, if a teenager gets car insurance, the premium will be quite high. Older first time drivers are also considered high risk by companies, but not as high as teenagers.
Insurance companies look closely at the records of insurance applicants. If the driver has multiple speeding tickets, then it acts as a big red flag for insurance companies. The insurance company will think that since you like to flout the speeding norms and rules, there is a far greater chance of your being involved in a traffic accident than a driver with no speeding tickets. This is what notches up the premium of the insurance policy of speeding offenders.
If you have been convicted of DUI or DWI, then you fall in the risk category for most companies. If a driver has been involved in multiple accidents, regardless of who was at fault, they was also put in high risk category by the insurance companies. Your DWI/DUI conviction, as well as involvement in older accidents sends a message of reckless driving to the insurance company. For risk drivers, the insurance premiums are much higher than drivers with clean records. In some cases, car insurance companies refuse coverage to high risk drivers.
If you have handicap or visual or hearing impairment, you also fall in the ‘high risk’ driver category, despite your clean driving record. These are the factors that need to be understood by drivers looking for high risk car insurance.
Car Insurance Rates Florida
If you are wondering how much is cheap car insurance in Florida. For someone with a middle-aged and less expensive car, car insurance rates Florida yearly average minimum prices are :
Florida Minimum Car Insurance Coverage : $1,004 - $1,269
Florida Minimum Full Coverage Car Insurance : $1,282 - $2,571
Florida Minimum Car Insurance Coverage for Young Drivers : $1,724 - $1,985
Florida Minimum Full Coverage Car Insurance for Young Drivers : $2,002 - $2313
Average cheap car insurance Florida per month : $83 - $192
Car insurance prices vary according to many factors. Full coverage car insurance consists of adding different coverage to your policy. Prices are shaped according to your preferences. Not only the state where you live in, but also the price may vary depending on the city where you live.
Most populated cities in Florida
- St. Petersburg
Important Factors Influencing Car Insurance Florida
|City Speed Limits||55 MPH most county roads as posted|
|Freeway Speed Limits||70 MPH as posted|
|Blood Alcohol Limits||BAC is 0.08% percent. If you are commercial driver 0.04%. If you are under 21, this rate drops to 0.02% BAC|
|Open Container Law||Florida prohibits possessing open containers of alcohol in a vehicle. This law concerns both the driver and the passengers. There are a few exceptions to the law.|
|Cell Phones Laws||Speaking on the phone when driving in Florida legal. But messaging while driving is prohibited|
|License Suspension on DUI||Fines $ 500-2,000 , Up to 6 months in prison, 6-12 months license suspension and IID required to drive again.|
|License Suspension on DWI||Same DUI|
Cheap Car Insurance Florida - Helpful Tips to Find the Best Deal
Looking for cheap car insurance in Florida is not difficult and there are ways to find the cheapest car insurance. Searching online, simply enter your basic information into the quote calculator of an insurance company, and you will get a quote. You can search and take the lowest rate you find, but that is not the best way to shop.
To get a better quote, take the calculation to an agent in the company and discuss all the deductions that would apply to you. Make sure to talk to a live person before making your decision because they might be able to find discounts that you were unaware of. Don’t quit at the first quote.
What to Look for in a Car Insurance Policy
Car insurance is not all created equal. Discounts can be applied for many reasons, and any insurance company will consider tickets or accidents from the past three years. It is important to be upfront with an agent before you purchase, so there will be no surprises.
Common discounts to look for:
- A Safe Driving Bonus
- A company that does not raise your rates with one accident or ticket.
- Total coverage of your vehicle in any accident.
- Plans, even senior insurance, will lower your rate the higher deductible you have.
- Safety features on your car provide discount.
- Free specialized classes will deduct points for adults and are available for teens to learn the Florida laws and become safe drivers.
- Home location will determine rates.
These are only a few of the typical discounts to look for. Another way to save money is to bundle your insurance policies together with one company. Individual insurance agencies love to give discounts if they carry more of your insurance portfolio. Try adding your car insurance with your Homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or condo insurance. Most companies give you savings and benefits when you do this. Compare costs with each of your insurance companies to find the best deal available.
Tips for Buying Cheap Car Insurance Florida
- You can search for better deals even in the middle of your six month term. The new company will simply pro-rate the premium.
- Insurance is sold on commission, so don’t fall for the highest rate an agent offers you. Discuss the possibilities.
- Insurance gives you peace of mind as you drive, day-in and day-out. Find an appropriate policy for your lifestyle.
- A professional insurance agent will work hard to find the right car insurance policy for your needs.
Common Mistakes When Buying Cheap Car Insurance in Florida
You have to look for the best car insurance provider when it comes to car insurance companies. You love your car, there’s no doubt about it. However, to protect your investment, you must find the cheapest car insurance company that fits your needs. Below you will find the seven most common mistakes people make when shopping for cheap car insurance in Florida.
#1: Not Knowing the Insurance Company well
Most of the time, when you buy a car, the salesman will recommend an insurance company of their choosing or an in-house carrier. However, most buyers simply fall to this trap. Not knowing well the insurance company might cause a lot of stress later on when you need it for your car. After all, it is your money and your car.
#2: Choosing the Cheapest
Choosing the cheapest does not always mean that it is the right car insurance agency for you. Then again locating the best vehicle insurance companies must be well thought of. Aside from the price, just like in the first point, know well the insurer. It could be cheap, but how about its services? Aside from being cheap, a good car insurance company must also provide a satisfying service. You should also look deeper into their policies and all the details of the coverage.
#3: Over Insuring Your Car
It is hard to determine the exact amount your car really needs. Talk to a friend or an acquaintance that you know has experience or is knowledgeable when it comes to insuring your car.
#4: Under Insuring Your Car
To find an car insurance company that fits your need, you should take into account the maximum sum the company will pay every time you get accident. A thousand dollars might seem to be enough, but if the damage to your car is severe, the replacement of parts may not be enough.
#5: Withholding some Information to the Insurer
Insurance companies ask lots of information before you sign up with them. Give to them all the information they need. Withholding important information about you or your car could cause problems later on when you’re making claim. Be wary when your car insurance agent does not ask too many questions.
#6: Acquiring the Wrong Insurance Company
You and your new car insurance policy should be a perfect fit. Your vehicle is an investment that most probably took you years before you could acquire it. The policy of your insurer should be clear to you even before you sign up with them. You should start by knowing that not all cheap vehicle insurance policies will fit your need.
#7: Insured but Reckless
Because you and your car is insured does not mean that you should drive recklessly on the roadway. Still, keep in mind that the best insurance is defensive driving. Be it South Florida’s highways, or the city’s narrow street, care is always necessary. The bottom line is you can never predict when an accident will happen. Having the necessary automobile insurance coverage in place that fits you and your car’s need is king.
In conclusion, the best way to find cheap car insurance in Florida is to fully understand what you’re up against and then make your decision based on your objective criteria. Keep in mind the seven most common mistakes made by cheap car insurance Florida vehicle owners.