Published: September 16, 2020Updated: July 18, 2022

What Is the Minimum Car Insurance in Florida?

Florida only requires two types of coverage: personal injury protection and property damage.

There are many reasons why people love the Sunshine State, be it the sweltering yet liberating heat or the lack of an income tax. Despite these, there is one thing Gators and ‘Noles alike simply can’t avoid: minimum car insurance requirements. *But hey, at least there are beaches surrounding the entire state. *

So, what is the minimum car insurance in Florida, and where can you find the cheapest auto insurance quotes and policies for your needs?

Read this helpful guide for answers to these questions and more!

What Is the Minimum Car Insurance in Florida?

Florida requires the following auto insurance coverage and limits.

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): You must buy $10,000 worth of PIP per person and per accident. If you get into an accident, each person will file a first-party personal injury claim, which is where PIP comes into play. It covers not only the costs of injuries and deaths, but also the costs of lost wages and childcare, unlike medical expenses coverage.
  • Property damage: You’ll also need $10,000 of property damage coverage. In an accident, the at-fault driver will pay for the other party’s property damages under this type of coverage.

Bodily Injury

Florida is one of the few states that does not require bodily injury coverage, along with New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Normally, property damage and bodily injury coverage make up liability coverage, but this isn’t the case in the Sunshine State.

Is Minimum Coverage Enough?

The minimum coverage required in Florida isn’t enough because it does not necessarily cover the full value of your car. We recommend at least $500,000 worth of property damage and PIP coverage. We also recommend adding collision and comprehensive coverage equal to your car’s actual market value. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for your damages out of pocket in at-fault accidents or incidents other than collisions, like car theft.

You should also get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to your PIP in case you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have enough insurance or any at all. More on the state of uninsured motorists in Florida is below.

TIP

If you can’t afford the limits we recommend, get as much insurance as you can afford to pay for in premiums.

The Cost of Car Insurance in Florida

As we said, the cost of car insurance in Florida is high, an average of $1,414.17 per year in 2019. Here is the breakdown:

  • Liability – $997.20
  • Collision – $355.69
  • Comprehensive – $153.00

Florida ranks second in the nation when it comes to the cost of car insurance, after Louisiana, with the most recent national data from 20191. That being said, this is only an average; you can pay anywhere from $842 to $5,983.52 annually.

Car Insurance Discounts

One way to save money on car insurance is to take advantage of car insurance discounts. In Florida, you can get discounts for the following:

  • Being accident-free
  • Being a federal employee, a good student, or military personnel
  • Bundling your policies under one provider
  • Driving a hybrid, new, or electric vehicle
  • Enrolling in paperless and automatic billing
  • Having a low annual mileage
  • Owning a home
  • Paying for your policy annually
  • Taking a defensive driving or driver training course

Each company offers different discounts, so ask your agent or broker how you can save.

Cheap Car Insurance in Florida

Here is the best cheap car insurance in Florida:

  • 21st Century.
  • Allied.
  • Allstate.
  • Auto-Owners.
  • Direct Auto.
  • Esurance.
  • GEICO.
  • Hanover.
  • Mercury.
  • Progressive.
  • State Farm.
  • Travelers.
  • USAA.

How to Buy Florida Car Insurance

If you’re ready to take the plunge, here’s how to get car insurance in Florida:

  • Pick your coverages. Decide which coverages you want aside from the minimum required. That way, you can make apples-to-apples comparisons when getting quotes.
  • Get an insurance quote. Or better yet, get quotes from multiple companies to find the lowest prices.
  • Talk to an agent or broker. Once you’ve found a quote and a company you like, speak to an insurance agent. Alternatively, a broker can shop the market for you and make independent recommendations.
  • Apply for a policy. Complete an application form, be it in person, online, or over the phone.
  • Pay for the policy. Once you pay for the policy, your coverage will begin on the policy’s effective date.

 

Optional Coverages and Definitions

Aside from the required coverages, here are a few other types of coverage that you should consider when shopping for car insurance in Florida.

  • Bodily injury coverage: While bodily injury coverage isn’t a requirement in Florida, it could come in handy if you are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or has insufficient insurance.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage applies to incidents other than collisions: theft, vandalism, and weather-related events like natural disasters, hail, and floods. It applies to your car’s damages and comes with a deductible, which you’ll need to pay first before your car insurance company contributes.
  • Collision coverage: Collision coverage pays for damages to your car from collisions you’ve caused, whether with another car or even a pothole.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Finally, if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, this coverage will come in handy, paying for your property damages and medical costs if the third party is unable to.

 

Florida Car Insurance Laws

Learn even more about the car insurance laws in Florida.

Financial Responsibility Law

Florida’s financial responsibility laws dictate that all drivers must pay $10,000 if they cause a death or injury to one person in a crash, or $20,000 for accidents with two or more people. You can fulfill this through a regular insurance policy or self-insurance, which we detail below2.

No-Fault State

Florida is a no-fault state, which means that in a car accident, each party pays for their own medical costs, child care, and lost wages through personal injury protection. But like liability states, no fault still means that the at-fault driver will pay for the other driver’s property damage.

Non-Residents

If you are a non-resident, you’ll have to get a Florida insurance policy, license plate, and registration under the following circumstances:

  • You’ve accepted employment in Florida.
  • You’ve engaged in a profession, trade, or occupation in Florida.
  • You’ve enrolled your children in a Florida public school.

In any of these cases, you’ll need to begin your registration 10 days after your employment or enrollment begins. Also, get a new title from Florida, unless your lienholder or lessor refuses to release your out-of-state title.

Moving Out of State

For those leaving the Sunshine State, make sure not to cancel your Florida insurance before you’ve registered your vehicle in your new state and surrendered your plates and registration to a Florida DMV or tax collector’s office. You don’t want to get caught driving without insurance, which brings us to our next point.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

If you get caught violating Florida’s financial responsibility laws and driving without insurance, you could face penalties based on the number of offenses.

  • First offense: License and registration suspension until you pay the reinstatement fee of $150 and get coverage
  • Second offense: License and registration suspension until you pay the reinstatement fee of $250 and get coverage
  • Third offense: License and registration suspension until you pay the reinstatement fee of $500 for three years following reinstatement and get coverage

FR-44s

While Florida does not have the more common proof of financial responsibility, an SR-22, it does have an FR-44, which indicates proof of insurance higher than the minimum coverage. If you’ve gotten a DUI conviction, you’ll need to carry an FR-44 for three years after your license is reinstated, providing proof of the following coverages.

  • Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $50,0003

CARCO Inspections

But before you get physical damage coverage, you’ll need to get a CARCO inspection to make sure your car is in good physical condition. When you visit a CARCO location, an inspector will examine and take photos of your vehicle, filling out a form and submitting it to your insurer. An inspection is free and takes about 15 minutes4.

Diminished Value State

Like every state except Michigan, Florida is a diminished value state. That means that if you get into an accident that isn’t your fault, you might be able to claim your car’s diminished value from your insurance company. Whenever your car sustains damage and requires repairs, it loses a certain amount of value, so you won’t be able to sell it for as much as you otherwise could have. In other words, you could be entitled to receive that amount back to compensate for what the no-fault accident will “cost” you when you sell your car.

NOTE

If you have an older car that has been improved with new parts, you may receive more for it than when it was worth when you bought it — a negative diminished value.

Right to Sue

In Florida, there is no monetary threshold for personal injury claims. However, there is a serious injury threshold; you can sue only if you have a permanent injury or significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring.

Self-Insurance: Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility

If you have an unencumbered net worth of at least $40,000 for one vehicle and $20,000 for each subsequent vehicle, plus $85,000 for liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage, then you can self-insure in the state of Florida. However, most people don’t fit these criteria, so regular car insurance companies will be your only option.

Teen Driving Laws

Florida has many driving laws specifically for teens, such as the following.

  • Seat belts: Drivers ages 6 to 17 must wear seat belts in the front seat. This law is under primary enforcement, so police officers can stop you for this violation on its own5.
  • Moving violations: If you get any moving violations within the first year that your license is issued, your learner’s license will be extended for one year from the date of your conviction or when you turn 18, whichever comes first.
  • School attendance: Those not in compliance with school attendance can get their license taken away until they’ve attended school for 30 days in a row.
  • DUIs: For those under age 21 found driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 or higher, their license will be suspended immediately for a period of six months for the first offense or one year for a second offense. If they refuse to submit to a breath test, the penalty would be a one-year suspension for the first offense or 18 months for the second offense.
  • Six points: Young drivers with six points on their license within 12 months will get their license restricted to business purposes only for 12 months or whenever they turn 18, whichever comes first. Any additional points they incur during this period tack on 90 more days of restriction.
  • Parental consent: Driving legally as a minor in Florida means that your parent or guardian signed a Parental Consent Form. However, just as they gave you this power, they can take it away, rescinding their responsibilities for their kids’ driving privileges and canceling their license.
  • Nicotine/tobacco products: If those with a learner’s license are convicted of having nicotine or tobacco products, their learner’s license will be revoked for 30 days at a minimum.

See below for more driving restrictions and requirements for young drivers in Florida.

Type of license Learner’s license 16-year-old driver’s license 17-year-old driver’s license
Hours you can drive First 3 months after license is issued: Daylight hours

After the 3 months are over: Until 10 p.m.

6:01 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. 5:01 a.m. to 12:59 p.m.
Who must accompany you in the car Licensed driver 21 or older Licensed driver 21 or older, unless you’re driving to or from work Licensed driver 21 or older, unless you’re driving to or from work
How long you have to hold license Minimum of 1 year or until 18th birthday, whichever comes first N/A N/A
Other requirements 50 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours of nighttime driving N/A N/A

Pricing Discrimination

Insurance companies in Florida can legally take credit scores and gender into account when determining rates. Unfortunately, this means that people with poor credit and men pay more for car insurance, all else being equal.

Cancellation and Non-Renewal Notice Laws

If a company wants to cancel your insurance policy midterm, they have 45 days to notify you before the policy expires, or 10 days if they are canceling due to nonpayment. For non-renewals at the end of your policy, the company has 45 days to alert you before the expiration date6.

Total Loss Threshold

In Florida, a car with repair costs of 80 percent or more of their actual market value will be considered a total loss. If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, you’ll get reimbursed for your car’s actual market value, as it’s not worth repairing.

Registration Information

First and foremost, you’ll need car insurance to register a car in Florida. Here is some more information you should know.

Initial Registration

To register your car the first time, you’ll need the following:

  • $225 initial registration fee (if you don’t have a Florida license plate)
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of insurance
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (which you can find at https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/forms/82040.pdf)

Registration Renewal

You can renew your registration for one to two years up to three years before it expires, either online or in the mobile app.

  • Online: Visit GoRenew.com and pay the $2 processing fee.
  • Mobile app: Download the MyFlorida mobile app, and pay the $4 processing fee for credit cards or the $3.75 fee for debit cards.

Failure to Renew in Time

If you let your car registration expire, you’ll be responsible for delinquent fees.

License tax Delinquent fee
Up to $25 $5
$25.01-$50 $10
$50.01-$100 $15
$100.01-$400 $50
$400.01-$600 $100
$600.01 and higher $250

Uninsured Drivers in Florida

Although uninsured motorist coverage isn’t a requirement in Florida, car insurance companies must offer it to you to satisfy the law.

In Florida, a whopping 20 percent of drivers are uninsured. In other words, it’s estimated that in Florida, 1 in 5 drivers — about 3.17 million people — are uninsured. Florida ranks sixth in the nation for the highest percentage of uninsured drivers; its rate is 39 percent higher than the national average of 12 percent7.

Recap

It’s no secret that driving in Florida is expensive and dangerous, with many uninsured drivers lurking. That’s why it’s important to get full coverage car insurance, not just the minimum the state requires. Paying more in premiums now means paying less later if you’re involved in an accident.

Citations

  1. 2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. NAIC. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  2. The 2021 Florida Statutes. Online Sunshine. (2022).
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm

  3. DUI Frequently Asked Questions. FLHSMV. (2022).
    https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/education-courses/dui-and-iid/dui-faqs/

  4. Get Your Car Inspected: Find an Inspection Site. Carco. (2022).
    https://www.carcogroup.com/policyholder-resources/inspection-site-locator

  5. Seat Belts. GHSA. (2022). https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/Seat%20Belts?state=Florida

  6. 2017 Florida Statutes. The Florida Senate. (2022). https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2017/627.728

  7. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Internet Research Council. (2022). https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UM%20NR%20032221.pdf