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.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance 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
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
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.
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.
Average Cost of Coverage in Florida
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.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida
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:
Let’s take a look at how our same example guy would fare if he instead lived in Miami:
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.
Top Car Insurance Companies 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