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Florida car insurance laws

Shot of interstate outside of Tampa Bay.
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Florida is one of the most populated states in the country, with roughly 14,300,000 licensed drivers on the roads. But unfortunately, Florida drivers have a bad reputation. Roughly 26.7% of Florida drivers are uninsured, even though car insurance is legally required in the state.

Florida car insurance laws are unique and differ from many other states. Getting caught without the right insurance can lead to unpleasant consequences. If you’re a Florida driver, you need to know Florida car insurance requirements, penalties for driving without insurance in Florida and what car insurance coverages Florida drivers should consider.

Car insurance laws in Florida

Car insurance laws in Florida are relatively straightforward:

  • Car insurance is legally required: Drivers in Florida must carry no-fault insurance before they can register and legally operate their vehicle in the state.
  • Insurance must be purchased from a licensed provider: Florida drivers must purchase car insurance from an insurance company licensed in Florida.
  • Continuous coverage: Vehicle owners must maintain continuous insurance coverage throughout the registration period, regardless of the car’s location. The only exception is for military members.
  • Policy cancellation: Florida drivers who move out-of-state must surrender their vehicle’s license plates and registration before they cancel their insurance policy.

Liability insurance in Florida

Liability insurance in Florida is not technically required. Because Florida is a no-fault state, drivers must carry no-fault car insurance. Florida’s no-fault car insurance laws include the following coverages:

  • $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
  • $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage

However, the minimum policy limits for no-fault insurance may not be enough to cover the full cost of an accident. For instance, if a driver got into a crash and had medical bills totaling $20,000, insurance would only cover $10,000 worth of expenses, leaving the driver to cover the remaining $10,000 out-of-pocket. Additionally, no-fault insurance does not cover vehicle damages.

Is Florida a no-fault state?

Yes, Florida is one of twelve states that follow no-fault laws. In a no-fault state, a driver’s PIP insurance will pay for their medical expenses and lost wages after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. PDL insurance pays to repair damage to other people’s property.

One of the main differences between fault states and no-fault states is the type of insurance that is required. Most fault states require drivers to carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. In no-fault states, like Florida, drivers are required to carry PIP and PDL coverage.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Florida

Driving without the proper insurance coverage in Florida is illegal, and comes with heavy consequences. If drivers do not maintain no-fault insurance throughout the registration period, their driver’s license and license plates can be suspended for up to three years. They are also required to pay a reinstatement fee, which can cost up to $500.

Additionally, drivers who fail to provide proof of insurance documentation when requested by law enforcement may get their driver’s license suspended for up to three years. In some cases, drivers who get their license suspended must purchase FR-22 insurance to get it back, which proves they carry the state’s minimum required insurance coverage.

Additional auto insurance coverage options in Florida

No-fault car insurance offers valuable protection, but it leaves significant gaps in coverage. Most drivers in Florida benefit from adding extra coverage to their car insurance policy. Here are some of the additional auto insurance coverage options available in Florida:

  • Collision insurance: Collision insurance is an optional coverage that is offered by most car insurance companies in Florida. It pays to repair vehicle damage after an accident.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive insurance is another common coverage that pays to repair vehicle damage stemming from non-accident incidents. Examples include flood, theft, vandalism and falling objects.
  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance covers basic vehicle repairs if your car breaks down on the side of the road. It also covers towing, extrication, gas delivery, battery services, tire changes and more.
  • Gap insurance: Gap insurance is ideal for drivers who lease or finance their vehicle. After an accident, gap insurance pays for the difference between the car’s value and the remaining balance on the loan.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

There are dozens of car insurance companies on the market, but they are not all created equal. Some of the best car insurance companies are The Hartford, Erie, Amica, Nationwide and USAA.

How much does car insurance in Florida cost?

In Florida, the average annual cost of car insurance is $2,364 for full coverage insurance and $1,101 for minimum coverage insurance. However, car insurance rates are personalized. Each driver pays a different rate based on their ZIP code, age, credit score, claims history and more.

How can I save money on car insurance in Florida?

Most affordable car insurance companies in Florida offer discounts that can help drivers save money on their policy. Some common car insurance discounts are bunding a home and auto insurance policy, insuring multiple vehicles, taking a defensive driving course, being claims-free and having an anti-theft system in the vehicle.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, and NextAdvisor, among others