The Ultimate Florida Car Insurance Guide (Costs + Coverage)
|Road Miles||Total Miles in State: 122,391|
Vehicle Miles Driven: 201.04 Billion
|Driving Deaths||Speeding: 299|
|Vehicles||Registered: 14,946,691 |
|Most Popular Vehicle||Toyota Corolla|
|Average Premiums||Liability: $857.64|
Combined Premiums: $1,257.13
|Percent of Motorists Uninsured||26.70%|
State Rank: 1 (Most Uninsured)
As a resident of the Sunshine State, you’re probably used to seeing some marvelous views while you’re out on the road.
Whether it’s billboards advertising a day at Disney World or any of the state’s eclectic wildlife, a drive through Florida is rarely boring.
A strong auto insurance policy can help you prepare for any surprises you may encounter while sitting behind the steering wheel.
However, most people don’t always know precisely what they’re paying for when they first start looking for coverage.
With so many car insurance providers hustling for your business, how can you determine which one has your best interests at heart?
Well, never fear. We’ve got all the details on Florida’s numerous car insurance providers and automobile-oriented state laws.
Take a read-through and learn what you can about what kind of car insurance you need to pay for and why that coverage benefits you.
Want to get started? You can enter your zip code into our FREE online tool to compare rates in your area.
Florida Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
Are you feeling overwhelmed by your car insurance options? Don’t burn yourself out researching on Florida’s providers on your own.
Instead of spinning your wheels, you can come with us as we explore the coverage requirements and add-ons available to you throughout the Sunshine State.
This comprehensive guide to car insurance in Florida will help you conquer state car insurance by breaking policies down into manageable sections.
It’s our goal to help you secure the best deal possible on your car insurance while also ensuring that you’ve got the coverage that suits your lifestyle.
Let’s get started.
– Florida’s Minimum Coverage
Florida is a little different from other states in the union. The state minimum car insurance operates on a 10/10 ratio. What does that mean for you?
- 10 = $10,000 required Property Damage Liability Coverage (PDL)
- 10 = $10,000 required Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Because Florida is a no-fault state, no one driver will be held responsible for the financial consequences of a car accident.
Instead, the car insurance provider you sign on with will cover your and anyone else you’ve included in your coverage’s medical expenses and property damage, regardless of whether or not you caused the accident that resulted in that damage.
Being a no-fault state, Florida will not require you to have bodily injury liability coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage would normally cover anyone else’s medical bills should they have gotten injured in an accident that you were found to be at-fault for.
Instead, Florida only requires that you have property damage liability, or PDL. That said, though, you may want to consider adding bodily injury liability coverage to your policy, or at least discussing its benefits with your insurer of choice.
If you do end up including bodily injury liability coverage in your policy, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires a 10/20 ratio of financial distribution:
- 10 = $10,000 required of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any crash
- 20 = $20,000 required of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in a single crash
– Forms of Financial Responsibility
Should you ever get pulled over while driving through Florida, you’ll need proof of insurance with you in order to retain your license.
Proof of insurance in Florida consists of your self-insurance certificate as issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you don’t have proof of insurance with you while driving, or if your insurance provider informs the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that you’ve recently canceled your policy, you may face severe consequences.
Should you cancel your policy and not go driving through the Sunshine State, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will prompt you to update your insurance policy here.
Alternatively, you can take your insurance certificate to one of Florida’s many driver’s license offices in order to update your insurance information in person.
– Florida’s Premiums as a Percentage of Income
Your annual per capita disposable personal income, no matter where you live in the United States, is the amount of money you have available to you to spend as you will after paying your required taxes.
As of 2014, residents’ annual per capita disposable personal income was $38,350.
With the average annual full coverage rate in Florida coming in at $1,208.77 that same year, budgeting for full coverage is a fairly straightforward process.
The average Florida car insurance payment, as of 2014, would require residents to spend 2.15 percent of their income on coverage per year.
– Core Coverage
That statistic, however, pertains only to full coverage. There are various forms of coverage available to you as a Florida resident, and all of them are worth your consideration.
Florida’s car insurance costs are a little higher than the national average. Across the United States, residents typically pay an average of $1,311 per year on their car insurance. Floridians, comparatively, typically pay an average of $1,742 per year.
That average makes Florida the state with the fifth highest car insurance payment average in America!
|Coverage Type||Annual Costs (2015)|
That said, the table above shows you the different insurance options that you’ll have available to you as a Florida resident.
These numbers were reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2015, however, so it’s guaranteed that they’ve since increased.
– Florida’s Additional Liability Coverage
Though the aforementioned forms of car insurance are the most commonly used in Florida, you may also want to consider additional add-ons.
As of 2015, 26.7 percent of motorists in Florida were driving uninsured or underinsured. That percentage leaves Florida ranking number one in the union for uninsured drivers.
Not too fond of that statistic? Neither are we. That’s why it’s recommended that you take a look into Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, even though such coverage is optional in the state of Florida.
If you have this coverage as part of your policy, you won’t have to worry about draining your or another driver’s bank account should an accident occur.
Personal Injury Protection and Medical Pay, or MedPay, are also optional in the state of Florida. Both, however, go far as ensuring that you don’t break the bank in the case of an accident, car theft, or other automotive misfortune.
– Loss Ratio
Loss ratios can help you determine whether or not a car insurance provider is financially secure. Effectively, these statistics tell you how frequently individual car insurance providers pay out on their clients’ claims.
Companies with higher loss ratios are more likely to provide you coverage in the long run, but they may not be too financially secure.
Alternatively, companies with lower loss ratios may have a strong financial foundation, but they won’t necessarily cover all of your expenses should you get in an accident.
The table below details the loss ratios for PIP, MedPay, and UUM throughout the state of Florida:
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||75%||62%||76%|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||74%||72.5%||81%|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)||73%||80%||86%|
– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
In addition to those option forms of coverage, there are other add-ons that you can utilize in order to ensure that your coverage is affordable but also comprehensive.
Click on any of the links below to explore your add-on options:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
– Florida’s Male vs Female Annual Car Insurance Rates
The automotive myth that men get charged higher car insurance premiums doesn’t always hold water in the United States. As you can see in the table below, it’s actually age that contributes to differences in rates than gender.
In fact, Florida is one state wherein young men pay less for their car insurance than young women do.
Both Geico and Progressive buck gender myths and charge their younger female clients more for their coverage than male drivers with the same driving histories.
– Florida’s Car Insurance Rates by County
Location also contributes significantly to the rate that you’ll be charged for your car insurance coverage. The table below details the highest and lowest rates as listed by county in Florida.
|Top 5 Counties with the Highest Average Rates||Rates||Top 5 Counties with the Lowest Average Rates||Rates|
If you think you’re paying more for your coverage than your neighbor, then, that might not actually be the case.
Of course, there are other demographic factors that contribute to how much you’ll have to pay in order to get the coverage you need, but we’ll get to those in a little bit.
With that demographic and rate-based information under your belt, let’s start exploring the various car insurance providers that you’ll have access to as a Florida resident.
Florida Car Insurance Companies
With so many car insurance providers jostling for your attention on a daily basis, it can be difficult to know which one has your best interests at heart.
You can easily find yourself waffling between smaller, family-run companies and the larger providers with their international reputations.
There’s no need to go into your car insurance quest alone. Take us with you, and we’ll help you find the best Floridian provider for you.
– The Largest Companies’ Financial Rating
One of the best places to start, when assessing the qualifications of a car insurance provider, is with their financial rating.
|Providers (by Size – Largest at Top)||A.M. Best Rating|
As you can see, ratings in Florida range from A++ to B++. The numerous plus signs indicate additional financial strength, whereas the letter grades work on a standard Western scale.
The higher the letter grade and the more plus signs a provider has the stronger they are financially.
– Companies with Best Customer Service Ratings
That said, financial strength only makes up one facet of a provider’s personality. Customer ratings are decent indicators of the mannerism a provider uses in order to interact with motorists and keep their audience happy.
As you can see, the Floridian champion for customer service ratings is MetLife, coming in at number one with 849 of J.D. Power ranking’s 1,000 designated points.
– Companies with Most Complaints in Florida
On the other end of the spectrum, there are customer complaints to consider.
While complaints don’t determine whether or not a car insurance provider is a stinker, they do say something about a) the company’s size, and b) the company’s HR operations. Take a look at the table below.
|Number of Customer Complaints||2017||2016||2015||Total|
As you can see, Windhaven tops the charts for most customer complaints throughout the state of Florida.
You can find additional data on Florida’s car insurance complaints courtesy of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
– Florida Car Insurance Rates by Company
We know what really matters to you when considering car insurance providers, though: the rates.
As such, we’ve compiled a list of the top-five cheapest and top-five most expensive providers’ rates throughout the state of Florida so that you can easily compare your different options.
|Top 5 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Providers (Average Rates)||Rates||Top 5 Cheapest Auto Insurance Providers|
|Infinity Indemnity Insurance||$13,777||USAA General Indemnity||$2,643|
|Infinity Auto Insurance||$10,139||USAA Casualty Insurance||$2,545|
|Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance||$6,715||USAA||$2,281|
|United Automobile Insurance||$5,683||Florida Farm Bureau||$2,148|
|Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance||$5,370||Geico General Insurance/Government Employees Insurance||$2,021|
– Commute Rates by Company
You should also note that there are additional factors beyond your demographic that go into determining how much a provider will charge you for your car insurance rate. Take a look at a commute’s impact on Floridian car insurance rates:
|Allstate||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$7,653.06|
|Allstate||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$7,227.85|
|Progressive||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$5,583.30|
|Progressive||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$5,583.30|
|Liberty Mutual||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$5,542.32|
|Liberty Mutual||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$5,193.97|
|Nationwide||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$4,339.60|
|Nationwide||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$4,339.60|
|Geico||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$3,802.25|
|Geico||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$3,765.00|
|State Farm||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$3,517.12|
|State Farm||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$3,278.22|
|USAA||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$2,882.80|
|USAA||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$2,818.01|
– Coverage Level Rates by Company
Likewise, the amount of coverage that you want will change the cost of your annual car insurance rate.
– Credit History Rates by Company
Every car insurance provider in the state of Florida will take your credit history into consideration when determining what rate to charge you for your coverage. As you can see, the better your credit history is, the less you’ll have to pay for your insurance.
– Driving Record Rates by Company
And last but not least, your driving history absolutely factors into the amount you’ll be charged for your car insurance coverage.
|Allstate||With 1 DUI||$8,524.13|
|Allstate||With 1 accident||$7,700.66|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 DUI||$7,291.64|
|Allstate||With 1 speeding violation||$7,119.64|
|Progressive||With 1 accident||$6,519.19|
|Progressive||With 1 speeding violation||$5,915.72|
|Progressive||With 1 DUI||$5,490.35|
|Nationwide||With 1 DUI||$5,472.37|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 speeding violation||$5,285.32|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 accident||$5,026.31|
|Geico||With 1 DUI||$5,012.72|
|Geico||With 1 speeding violation||$4,116.12|
|Nationwide||With 1 speeding violation||$4,114.99|
|USAA||With 1 DUI||$4,070.81|
|Nationwide||With 1 accident||$4,065.71|
|Liberty Mutual||Clean record||$3,869.33|
|State Farm||With 1 accident||$3,690.25|
|State Farm||With 1 DUI||$3,397.66|
|State Farm||With 1 speeding violation||$3,397.66|
|Geico||With 1 accident||$3,368.94|
|State Farm||Clean record||$3,105.11|
|USAA||With 1 accident||$2,755.24|
|USAA||With 1 speeding violation||$2,341.64|
As you can see, even a single traffic violation can result in a significant spike in your car insurance rate. There’s financial importance to driving carefully.
– Number of Insurers in Florida
It’s also worth noting that, when looking at providers throughout Florida, you’ll be able to choose from a catalog of domestic and foreign providers.
A domestic provider is a car insurance company that’s local to the state of Florida. Foreign providers are providers who operate on a national level.
|Type of Insurer||Number of Insurers|
Whether a provider is foreign or domestic won’t impact the amount of coverage you need.
If you happen to be moving into Florida for the first time, you should check and make sure that a) your coverage is compatible with the state’s minimum requirements, and b) that your foreign provider is accepted in-state as a valid insurance provider.
Don’t worry too much, though. With 953 companies included under the state’s acceptable foreign partners, it’s more likely than not that you won’t have to switch providers.
Florida’s Automotive Laws and Legalities
It’s essential that you stay on top of the automotive laws and legalities of the state you’re living in. When you do, you become a safer driver and ensure that the drivers around you can be more secure on the road.
Don’t go digging for Floridian driving laws on your own, though. We’re here to help.
Let us guide you through the most important car insurance laws in Florida to better ensure that you’re not accidentally violating any rules.
– High-Risk Insurance
We’ve already mentioned that you absolutely need to have proof of insurance on you while driving through Florida.
If you don’t have a self-insured certificate as issued by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, you risk having your license revoked among other consequences.
|First Offense||Second Offense||Third Offense (and Beyond)|
|Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee ($150) is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured||Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee ($250) is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured||Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee ($500) is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured|
You’ll be required to file an SR-22 if you’re considered a high-risk driver. You’re a high-risk driver if you:
- Get caught driving without insurance
- Have too many points on your license from previous accidents
- Have had your license suspended or revoked previously
- Have been in a car accident that caused an injury or property damage
Should you have to file an SR-22, you’ll be required to carry it for a minimum of two years. You’ll need to have it on you for at least three years if your driving record is worrisome enough.
Alternatively, you’ll have to file an FR-44 if you get a DUI or DWI conviction and don’t have enough car insurance to cover the subsequent fees.
FR-44’s are assigned to drivers whose high-risk status exceeds that which is covered by the SR-22. You’ll be required to carry and FR44 for a minimum of three years after your conviction.
– Low-Cost Insurance
Florida, unfortunately, does not have any government-sponsored insurance program for its low-income families. If you’re looking to limit the cost of insurance for your car, don’t fret! There are a number of discounts that you can ask your provider about, including:
- Accident-Free Discount
- Affiliation Discount (this would be any discounts through your employer, school, team, etc.)
- Anti-Theft Discounts (i.e. if you have alarms, tracking systems, etc on your vehicle)
- Auto-Pay Discounts (if you were to set up automatic payments from checking – some providers refer to it as a Paper-Saving Discount)
- Good Student Discount
- Homeowner’s Discount
- Multi-car Discount
- Green/Hybrid Car Discount (if you own/lease a hybrid or electric vehicle)
– Windshield Coverage
Florida state law does require your insurance provider to provide you with windshield coverage, although you don’t need to have windshield coverage in order to comply with the state’s minimum coverage.
This means that your insurance company will be required to replace your fractured or broken windshield with one of the same quality, fit, and performance.
– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Florida
While automobile insurance fraud is extremely difficult to commit by accident, it’s still a serious concern in Florida.
The state has the highest rates of auto insurance fraud of the 12 total no-fault states in America, both in bodily injury and personal injury protection.
Charges of automobile fraud can be raised against you if you:
- Intentionally issue a claim describing an accident and subsequent impacts that never occurred
- Pad an existing claim
The consequences for committing automobile insurance fraud are severe – not to mention expensive. For starters, any Floridian who is convicted of committing insurance fraud will receive a civil penalty.
Anyone who serves as an accessory to car insurance fraud also receives a civil penalty as well as a minimum two-year prison sentence.
From there, the consequences that fall on the person who submitted a false claim break down by offense:
- First offense – fines up to $5,000
- Second offense – fines between $5,000 and $10,000
- Third and following offenses – fines between $10,000 and $15,000
You may think that you’re not doing anyone any harm by padding your insurance claim, then, but know that your wallet will not be happy with you if you’re convicted of auto insurance fraud.
– Statute of Limitations
On a lighter note, the statute of limitations in Florida describes the amount of time you have after an accident has occurred to issue a claim regarding any personal injury or property damage.
In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years.
You may think this is a lot of time, but when you’re dealing with the consequences of a car accident, time moves fast. Make sure you submit your car insurance claim as quickly as possible in order to receive the financial support that you need.
– Vehicle Licensing Laws in Florida
Vehicle licensing laws look different from state to state. Your age and residential status can impact how frequently you need to renew your license or the restrictions that may be placed on you as a driver.
Let’s take a look at some of the licensing laws in Florida so you can better understand what the state expects of you.
– Teen Driver Laws
It can be exciting to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time. Even so, it’s important for teen drivers to note the different requirements and restrictions placed on them during the different licensing stages they have to go through.
|Type of License||Age Requirements||Pre-Requisites||Passenger Restrictions||Driving Restrictions|
|Learners Permit||Minimum 15||–Complete the DATA course (can take it at age 14) |
–Take the DMV test (can take it at age 14.5
–At age 15, take a vision test at DMV
|Must be a licensed driver of 21 or older in the front passenger seat||Can't drive after sunset for the first 3 months and then can't drive after 10 p.m.|
|Restricted License||Minimum 16||–12-month holding period|
–Minimum supervised 50 hours of driving (10 must be at night)
|none||No driving from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. for 16 year-olds; No driving from 1 a.m.-5 a.m. for 17 year-olds|
|Unrestricted License||Minimum 18||Must satisfy all previous requirements||none||none|
– Older Driver License Renewal Procedures
Not only do teenagers have to deal with different licensing procedures, but once you turn 80 years old, older drivers do, as well.
Drivers under 80 years old in Florida are able to renew their license every eight years.
Drivers over the age of 80, comparatively, will need to have their license renewed every six years and will have to undergo a vision test every time their license is renewed.
However, older drivers won’t have to go into the DMV in order to have their vision checked unless they really want to. Florida makes license renewal via mail and online platforms readily available to drivers of all ages.
Drivers over 80 years old, in this case, can have their doctors fill out and send in a form to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles proving that they still have adequate enough vision to be on the road.
– New Residents
In the same vein as this ease, new Floridians won’t have to jump through too many hoops in order to have their license comply with state law.
Instead, all you have to do as a new Florida resident is exchange your out-of-state license for an in-state one at your local DMV. You’ll also have to pass an initial vision exam, but once you have, you’re free and clear until you turn 80.
– Rules of the Road in Florida
Not only is licensing law important to consider, but the rules of the road dictate the safety of every driver in Florida. Let’s take a look, then, at some of the laws Florida has in place that are meant to keep your day-to-day driving a little safer.
– Keep Right and Move Over Laws
“Keep Right” laws indicate that any driver who driving more slowly than the posted state speed limit should stay in the right-hand lane of an interstate.
Left lanes exist primarily for passing, and the last thing you want to do in a state like Florida is get in the way of passing traffic.
Likewise, “move over” laws are in place to help EMS, or Emergency Medical Services, get to people in trouble without having to worry about traffic.
If you see a vehicle with its lights flashing, it’s safe to assume that Florida law requires you to move to the side of the road.
Other vehicles you should move over for include:
- Utility Workers
- Utility Trucks
- Drivers with Hazard Lights on
– Speed Limits
You can see Florida’s listed speed limits in the table below:
|Rural interstates (mph)||70|
|Urban interstates (mph)||65|
|Other limited access roads (mph)||70|
|Other roads (mph)||65|
Note that, no matter where you are in the state, these speed limits represent the MAXIMUM speed at which you’re legally allowed to drive.
You might dream about being Speed Racer, but that last thing you want to do is get pulled over for speeding or put another driver at risk.
– Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws
Seat belt law compliance is considered a primary offense in Florida, which means that if an officer spots you not wearing a seat belt while driving, she can pull you over for that reason alone.
Any child 6 years of age or older must be wearing a seat belt while riding as a passenger in your car. Children six years of age and older are also allowed to sit in a car’s shotgun seat.
If a child within this age group is not wearing a seat belt, or if a child younger than this listed age is seen sitting in the front passenger’s seat, you may be charged up to $30 in fines for putting an underaged passenger at risk.
That said, any child 5 years of age or young must be in a car seat while in a car. You risk a $60 fine if a child of this age group is in your car and isn’t properly secured in a car seat that is appropriate for their age, weight, and height.
The only time a child under the age of six is allowed to ride in a car without a car seat is when that child is being transported during an emergency or has a documented condition that sitting in a car seat might worsen.
With the rise of Lyft and Uber, more and more drivers have sought out ridesharing as a source of income. If you’re interested in pursuing this line of work, you should know that only a few of Florida’s car insurance providers offer coverage for ridesharing services. This insurers include:
- State Farm
The state of Florida also requires a certain level of coverage for anyone operating in the ridesharing industry. If your employer does not provide you with car insurance, then your personal coverage must comply with Florida’s state minimum insurance requirements.
If your employer does offer your car insurance coverage, then your car insurance requirements will look a little different.
Driving without a passenger requires:
- $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person in the car
- $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 of PD coverage per accident
Driving with a passenger requires up to $1 million in coverage for BI and PD. Before you start to panic, know that Lyft, Uber, and other ridesharing employers should have third-party liability insurance that allows you to be covered to this degree.
– Safety Laws
In addition to these driving laws, you’ll also have to comply with state legislation pertaining to DUIs and distracted driving. Let’s dig into some of those requirements so you can remain as safe as possible while on the road.
– DUI Laws
Cities like Miami, Florida, may be famous for their party scene, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with drinking and driving.
Driving under the influence (DUI) can see your license suspended or revoked, your wallet fined, your car impounded, or yourself charged with a felony. Take a look at the varying degrees of consequences in the table below:
|Penalty Type||First Offense||Second Offense||Third Offense||Fourth (or Subsequent) Offense|
|License Suspension or Revocation||180 days to 1 year||– 2nd in 5 years= min 5-year revocation|
– 2nd in 6+ years= 180 days to 1 year revocation
|– 3rd in 10 years of 2nd conviction= min 10-year revocation, may be eligible for hardship|
– Reinstatement after 2 years
|Mandatory permanent revocation with no hardship reinstatement allowed|
|Imprisonment||– 8 hours to 6 months|
– High BAC (.15) or minor in car= 9 months or less
– For a first conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year
|– 9 months or less|
– High BAC or minor in car= 12 months or less
– 2nd in 5 years= mandatory imprisonment at least 10 days with 48 hours consecutive confinement
|– If 3rd in 10 years, mandatory 30 days with 48 consecutive hours|
– If 3rd in over 10 years, imprisonment no more than 12 months
|5 years or less|
– High BAC or minor in car= $1000-$2000
|– $1000-$2000 |
– High BAC or minor in car= $2000-$4000
|– More than 10 years from 2nd conviction= $2000-$5000|
– High BAC or minor in car= $4000 min
|Other||– Car impounded for 10 days unless family has no other transportation|
– Mandatory 50 hours community service (CS) or additional fine of $10 for each hour of CS required
|2nd in 5 years= car impounded for 30 days unless family has no other transportation||3rd in 10 years= car impounded for 90 days unless family has no other transportation||–|
You may be tempted to drive home after a night spent out on the town or think that you’re sober enough to make it to a friend’s place safely.
Don’t take the risk, though. It’s not just the legal consequences that are severe. You place yourself and other drivers on the road at risk when you get behind the wheel intoxicated, so do yourself a favor and call someone else to make sure you get home safely.
– Distracted Driving Laws
With the rise of the cell phone, states all across America have had to institute distracted driving laws. Floridians consider distracted driving, or using a cellphone while driving, to fall under “secondary enforcement.”
This means that officers of the law cannot pull you over if you’re only seen making a call with your cell phone while driving; they need a primary motive before they can write you a citation.
In other words, Florida does not ban handheld cell phone usage while driving.
However, effective October 1, 2019, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) says that cellphones can “only be used in a hands-free manner when driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area.”
Texting while driving is also banned for drivers all across the state, no matter what age you are, where you live, or whether texting and driving is the only thing you’re doing wrong while on the road.
In fact, on July 1, 2019, texting while driving became a primary offense.
The penalties for texting and driving are below.
- 1st violation is a non-moving offense (no points added to driver’s record).
- 2nd violation is a moving violation (three points added to driver’s record).
The only instance you can text is if you are fully stopped. Officers must have your permission or a warrant to check your phone records if they pull you over for texting and driving.
However, the need for permission does not apply if you hurt or killed someone in an accident.
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Driving in Florida
Florida is a state full of interesting facts and features. If you want to learn a little bit more about what it’s like to own and operate a vehicle in the Sunshine State, we have plenty of data for you to sift through at your leisure.
– Vehicle Theft in Florida
When it comes to vehicular theft, you might assume that sports cars go the fastest. That’s not the case, in reality, and especially not so in Florida.
|1||Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2006||2006||2,070|
|7||Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||2015||2015||786|
|9||Dodge Pickup (Full Size)||2005||2005||534|
As you can see, pickup trucks and the Honda Civic are among the most popular cars with thieves.
What might not surprise you in the rate of theft across Florida’s largest cities:
|City||Population||Motor vehicle theft|
|Bal Harbour Village||2,623||2|
|Bay Harbor Islands||5,881||4|
|Daytona Beach Shores||4,260||7|
|De Funiak Springs||5,584||4|
|Fort Walton Beach||20,568||33|
|Green Cove Springs||6,994||10|
|Indian Creek Village||90||0|
|Indian Harbour Beach||8,256||4|
|Indian River Shores||3,989||0|
|Indian Rocks Beach||4,150||2|
|Jupiter Inlet Colony||417||1|
|Key Colony Beach||819||0|
|Lake Clarke Shores||3,472||2|
|New Port Richey||14,944||31|
|New Smyrna Beach||23,007||36|
|North Bay Village||7,431||14|
|North Miami Beach||43,417||116|
|North Palm Beach||12,352||8|
|North Redington Beach||1,429||1|
|Palm Beach Gardens||50,333||54|
|Palm Beach Shores||1,177||5|
|Panama City Beach||11,890||1|
|Port St. Joe||3,394||1|
|Port St. Lucie||169,877||73|
|Royal Palm Beach||35,478||36|
|Sea Ranch Lakes||702||1|
|South Palm Beach||1,203||1|
|St. Augustine Beach||6,490||6|
|St. Pete Beach||9,407||20|
|Sunny Isles Beach||21,735||23|
|Village of Pinecrest||19,092||24|
|West Palm Beach||102,510||386|
Naturally, Miami is home to the majority of car theft in the state.
– Fatality Rates in Florida
On an equally cheery note, we can assess the fatality rates throughout the whole of the state thanks to data provided by the NHTSA. For starters, let’s take a look at the difference in fatality rates between urban areas and rural areas.
|Florida Traffic Fatalities||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
This nine-year trend reveals that fatalities are, unfortunately, on the rise across the state of Florida. The rural parts of the state, though, see fewer fatalities over the course of a year than the rural parts do.
– Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
The weather and light conditions of the average day in Florida also contribute to the number of fatalities the state sees in a year.
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
Hurricane season runs from June to late November, and while the weather can vary significantly in that block of time, it’s best for most Floridians to double check the daily forecast before heading off to work or school during this time.
– Fatalities by Person Type
Your position in a car or in relation to a vehicle can also impact the rate of vehicular fatalities seen in Florida.
|Person Type||Vehicle Type||Number (2015)||%||Number (2016)||%||Number (2017)||%|
|–||Light Truck – Pickup||213||7%||289||9%||256||8%|
|–||Light Truck – Utility||271||9%||262||8%||306||10%|
|–||Light Truck – Van||73||2%||94||3%||77||2%|
|–||Light Truck – Other||2||0%||8||0%||2||0%|
|–||Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||150||5%||138||4%||125||4%|
Occupants, naturally, see the greatest impact of fatalities, but motorcyclists and pedestrians are also at risk of harm if someone on the road isn’t driving as safely as they could be.
– Fatalities by Crash Type
There is also notable variance in the types of crashes that the state of Florida sees over the course of a year.
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||2,403||2,494||2,938||3,176||3,112|
|Involving a Large Truck||197||190||225||293||292|
|Involving a Rollover||431||371||481||573||538|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||957||940||1,071||1,203||1,122|
|Involving an Intersection||764||803||1,009||1,043||1,134|
As you can see, most fatalities in Florida involve a single vehicle, but a significant number also involve any vehicle disembarking from a roadway or interstate. Intersections, too, are particularly dangerous.
– Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Florida Counties
Much like with other driving factors, the area of a state in which a person lives will impact the number of fatalities they may see – not endure, just see – in a year’s time. Take a look at the five-year trends for Florida’s 10 largest counties.
|5||Palm Beach County||137||130||187||181||162|
|Sub-Total 1||Top Ten Counties||1,329||1,400||1,612||1,767||1,674|
|Sub-Total 2||All Other Counties||1,074||1,094||1,326||1,409||1,438|
– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
Speeding has also served as the cause of a number of accidents over the years. Take a look at the spread of speeding fatalities as they’ve occurred in Florida’s counties:
|*Sorted by Highest Fatalities Per 100K Population in 2017|
|Palm Beach County||37||31||18||2.59||2.13||1.22|
|Indian River County||2||3||0||1.35||1.98||0|
|St. Lucie County||3||3||4||1.01||0.98||1.28|
|St. Johns County||2||1||4||0.88||0.43||1.64|
|Santa Rosa County||1||0||2||0.6||0||1.15|
The number of fatalities involving speeding in urban areas will definitely turn your head. As such, if you’re driving through an urban area in Florida, do what you can to abide by the posted speed limit.
– Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver
We’ve already touched on the consequences of drinking and driving.
It’s important, though, to note that there are still a number of fatalities taking place over the course of a year in Florida that involve a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
|Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver||Fatalities||Fatalities Per|
|St. Johns County||2||1||4||0.88||0.43||1.64|
|St. Lucie County||3||3||4||1.01||0.98||1.28|
|Palm Beach County||37||31||18||2.59||2.13||1.22|
|Santa Rosa County||1||0||2||0.60||0.00||1.15|
|Indian River County||2||3||0||1.35||1.98||0.00|
You should note that these statistics include intoxicated teenage drivers. In 2016 alone, Florida law enforcement arrested 109 teenagers for driving while under the influence.
Florida ranks at number 47th in the United States for 18-and-under DUI arrests.
– EMS Response Time
If you happen to get in a debilitating car accident, Emergency Medical Services can save your life. The response time of EMS will vary based on the location of your accident, as you can see exhibited in the table below:
|Rural vs. Urban||Time||Number||Percent||Number||Percent||Number||Percent|
|Rural Fatal Crashes||0 to 10||8||72.7%||6||54.5%||0||0%|
|–||11 to 20||1||9.1%||3||27.3%||0||0%|
|–||31 to 40||1||9.1%||1||9.1%||0||0%|
|–||41 to 50||0||0%||1||9.1%||0||0%|
|–||61 to 120||1||9.1%||0||0%||0||0%|
|Urban Fatal Crashes||0 to 10||23||100%||25||96.2%||0||0%|
|–||11 to 20||0||0%||1||3.8%||0||0%|
|–||31 to 40||0||0%||0||0%||1||100%|
As you can see, the EMS in Florida can respond to the vast majority of accidents throughout the state within 10 minutes of receiving a call informing them of the occurrence.
This means that, even if you do get in an accident where someone is injured, there’s a fair likelihood that the EMS will be able to quickly come to their aid.
As we wind down our guide to Floridian car insurance, let’s take a look at car ownership, commute time, commuter transportation, and the ever-feared traffic congestion throughout the Sunshine State.
– Car Ownership
The average home in Florida sees two cars parked in the garage or driveway, As you can see in the chart below, this is fairly on par with the national average.
– Commute Time
If you’re driving to work on a hot Floridian morning, you can expect that drive to take an average of 25.8 minutes. This is a little longer than the national average, but it’s nowhere near a dreaded super-commute.
– Commuter Transportation
The vast majority of drivers in Florida also prefer to commute to and from work alone.
Carpooling makes up 9.2 percent of the cars on the road on any average day, of course, but it seems like the need to choose your own radio stations wins out over driving home with friends after a long day.
– Top Cities for Traffic Congestion
It won’t surprise you to learn that some of Florida’s biggest cities, courtesy of INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, rank internationally for their traffic congestion.
Miami, in particular, comes in spot 14, making it among the most congested cities in the entire world.
It also ranks 5th out of 297 cities in the United States. If you’re looking to move to Miami, then, or even just vacationing in the area, keep this statistic in mind.
You can also take a peek at the amount of time commuters spend in traffic when visiting or traveling through Florida’s other most congested cities:
|City||Hours Spent in Traffic||Peak (Time in Traffic)||Daytime (Time in Traffic)||Overall (Time in Traffic)|
So long as you’re smart about when you hit the road, you should be able to avoid the worst of Florida’s congestion. There’s only so much timing can do, though, to keep you out of it forever.
And with that, we come to the end of our comprehensive guide to Floridian car insurance!
You can reference this guide at any point to get a refresher on the way Floridian car insurance works, how the rules of the road may impact your driving, and what the state requires of you in terms of minimum insurance.
Have we inspired you to dig into the car insurance rates in your area? Enter your zip code into our FREE online tool, and you’ll get a free quote