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Auto Insurance in Florida

The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is responsible for regulating auto insurance in Florida. As of 2022, there were above 18 million vehicles (private and commercial) in Florida. Over 3.6 million of those vehicles were either uninsured or underinsured. With more than 2,500 crash deaths occurring annually in Florida and above 100,000 crashes recorded between January and April of 2022, there is a need for drivers to have auto insurance policies to protect against financial losses in the event of accidents. A typical car insurance in Florida covers vehicle repairs if the damage is due to a collision or other covered incident like theft or fire. It also covers third-party claims due to bodily injury or property damage and medical costs (hospital bills, rehabilitation services, lost wages, and funeral expenses). Florida car insurance does not cover personal belongings like laptops, phones or clothes stolen from the car and engine failure caused by negligence, mechanical fault or wear and tear.

In Florida, drivers are required to purchase two types of auto insurance, based on two laws:

  1. Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law: According to this law, Florida drivers must have a minimum car insurance coverage of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PD).

  2. Florida Financial Responsibility Law: This law is for Floridian drivers who have caused accidents involving bodily injury/death or committed certain traffic violations (like DUI charges). Drivers with a history of traffic violations must purchase bodily injury coverage of $100,000/$300,000 and $50,000 in property damage liability. Drivers who have been involved in an accident that causes bodily injury or death must purchase a minimum of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.

Florida is a no-fault state which means that in the event of a car accident, each party turns to their auto insurance providers to make claims regardless of who is at fault. Florida car insurance rates vary by the insurer but the costs are calculated based on driving history, age, annual mileage, car type, and location. A typical car insurance premium in Florida costs between $173 and $331 per month for full coverage ($10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PD). For a better insight into the cost of car insurance premiums, consult with a Florida-licensed insurance agent knowledgeable enough to understand your needs and who can help you find an affordable car insurance option that fits your particular set of needs.

Why Do we Need Auto Insurance?

It is mandatory for all drivers to have Auto insurance in Florida. They must have a state minimum coverage of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD). Driving without carrying proof of up-to-date Auto insurance in Florida can lead to a driver's license suspension for up to three years and a fee of $500. In 2022, there were approximately 18,081,511 private and commercial vehicles in Florida, and about 106,491 crashes were recorded between January and April alone. This makes it important for drivers to have auto insurance coverage in the event of property damage, bodily damage, or death caused by their vehicles.

Having auto insurance provides financial protection in the event of a car accident. It covers liabilities and expenses associated with the accident. For example, if you cause an accident where the other driver was severely injured, your insurance will cover the injured person's medical bills and damage caused to their vehicle. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), 252,860 injuries were sustained in car crashes in Florida in 2021 alone. We need liability auto insurance to pay the cost to treat them. In addition, if you are brought to court because of the accident, your insurance will pay the legal fees.

How Does Auto Insurance Work in Florida?

Auto insurance in Florida protects you against financial loss in the event of theft, accident, and damages caused by vandalism and natural disasters. It provides:

  • Property coverage (covers damage to or theft of your car)

  • Medical coverage (covers cost of hospital bills, rehabilitation services, lost wages, and funeral expenses)

  • Liability coverage (third-party claims due to bodily injury or property damage)

How Does Car Insurance Work if I am not at Fault?

Florida is a no-fault state, which means insureds can file claims with their insurance regardless of fault. Florida no-fault coverage is also called personal injury protection (PIP). PIP both covers for at-fault accidents and even when you are not at fault. For instance, if you are involved in a car accident with another driver and sustained injuries, your insurance provider will pay the incurred injuries without considering fault. This is because if any accident occurs, the first insurance that kicks in is PIP which covers both drivers, and every driver in Florida must carry PIP. Your insurer pays for your injuries, and the other driver's insurer pays for their injuries. In addition, your right to sue the at-fault driver is somewhat limited. However, if the situation involves severe injuries, you may be allowed to file a claim against the other driver and their insurer. To qualify to sue the at-fault driver, the injuries you sustained must be life-threatening, permanent, or severe.

No-fault insurance coverage is also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), and the minimum PIP Florida insurance requirement is $10,000. Florida no-fault coverage pays for:

  • 60% of lost wages

  • 80% of medical bills

  • 100% of replacement services expenses (any services like cleaning, yard maintenance, and cooking that the injured person cannot perform due to the accident)

  • $5,000 death benefit, should the injured driver die due to injuries sustained in the accident.

The injured driver must make initial treatments within 14 days of the accident to be covered. Speak to a Florida-licensed insurance agent who can help you file a claim after an accident.

Florida Auto Insurance Market

As of 2020, there were about 437 insurance companies in Florida (excluding captive insurance companies), of which 111 of them were domestic property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies. In 2019, there were about 20.4% uninsured drivers in Florida but in 2022 over 3.6 million drivers were either uninsured or underinsured. As of 2022, Florida's automobile financial responsibility limit for property damage (PD) liability and personal injury protection (PIP) was 10/20/10. This means that the insured would receive a minimum of $10,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, with a minimum of $20,000 per accident and $10,000 of PD coverage per accident.

Florida ranks 3rd in property & casualty (P&C) premiums with over 59 billion (est. 59,149,880,000) in direct premiums in 2020. Auto insurance companies accounted for approximately 24 billion (est. 24,351,358,000) of that.

Private auto insurance recorded above 20 billion (est. 20,766,304,000) in direct premiums in Florida. Out of these, auto liability was written at over 14 billion (est. 14,758,285,000), and collision and comprehensive was written at above 6 billion (est. 6,008,019,000).

Commercial auto insurance recorded above 3 billion (est. 3,585,054,000) in direct premiums. Out of these, auto liability was written at above 3 billion (est. 3,069,055,000), and collision and comprehensive was written at above 5 million (est. 515,999,000).

How Much is Auto Insurance for a Month?

The national average cost of car insurance is between $65 and $137 per month for minimum coverage (or between $1,630 and $1738 per year). The average cost of auto insurance in Florida is between $173 and $331 per month for full coverage ($10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PD). Generally, car insurance rates in Florida differ by the insurance provider. However, insurers use various factors to determine their rates. For instance:

  • Your driving record: If you have been in multiple accidents, you might have higher car insurance rates than someone with a clean driving record/history. Additionally, if you've just gotten your driving license and have not had insurance before, you may end up paying more for auto insurance.

  • Age: Teen drivers tend to pay the highest rates for car insurance. This is because newly-licensed young drivers lack experience behind the wheel and are more likely to get into accidents than experienced older drivers. Drivers above 65 years old may also pay more because they are more likely to be involved in an accident and more likely to be injured in a collision. Hence, Florida drivers younger than 20 years or above 65 years are seen as high-risk.

  • The type of car you drive: Some types of vehicles, like expensive or newly purchased vehicles, cost you more to insure. However, if such cars have built-in security features like anti-theft devices, the owners may be eligible for discounts.

  • Annual mileage: If you drive more than 50 miles a day, an auto insurance company will charge you more. This is because you will be more prone to accidents if you are always on the road.

  • Gender: Males tend to pay lower premiums than women for similar coverage. For instance, while a man can pay $176-$180 per month for full coverage ($10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PD), a woman may be required to pay $196-200 for a similar policy.

  • Location: Where you reside in Florida affects your auto insurance premiums. Expect to pay higher premiums if you live in cities with high rates of car thefts. For example, more than 38,000 vehicles were stolen in Florida in 2020, of which about 900 of them were stolen in the city of Fort Lauderdale.

To save on your auto insurance policy, you can bundle your coverage with other types of insurance (like homeowners insurance), drive safely, raise your deductibles, and take advantage of discounts. Speak to a Florida-licensed insurance agent who can help you shop around for an affordable car insurance policy that will meet your needs.

What Types of Auto Insurance are in Florida?

In Florida, Auto insurance is divided into:

  • Private auto insurance and

  • Commercial auto insurance

  • Private Auto: Private auto insurance covers vehicles used for personal purposes (excluding livery vehicles and those rented to others) like driving for social, domestic, or pleasure purposes. It provides financial protection against losses arising from accidents, theft, fire, or natural disasters. Most private auto insurance can cover you when commuting to and from work. Private cars in Florida are expected to have the following types of Auto insurance:

  • Private passenger auto liability: Covers property damage or bodily injury and other coverages not involving damage to the vehicle itself

  • Private passenger auto no-fault: Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), pays for medical expenses and loss of income regardless of who is at fault. Every driver in Florida is expected to carry Personal Injury Protection coverage

  • Private passenger auto physical damage: Covers comprehensive, collision, and other coverages involving damage to the vehicle itself

  • Commercial Auto: Commercial auto insurance covers cars used for business purposes like taxis, delivery trucks, and service vehicles. It insures vehicles with load capacities over 1,500 pounds, vehicles at garages, repair shops, service stations and public parking places, and automobile companies. Some common types of commercial auto insurance are:

  • Commercial auto physical damage: It covers the repairs or replacement of your car if it is stolen or damaged. It includes:

  • Collision coverage: Helps pay for repairs or replacements when your car is physically or mechanically damaged due to an accident involving another car or objects like trees or fences. It also covers if the damage is due to an accident that involves your car rolling or falling over

  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays for any losses your collision insurance does not cover and provides other coverages that include damage to the vehicle itself

  • Commercial automobile liability: It covers liability claims for bodily injury or property damage and medical payments caused to others by your business vehicle. It does not cover damages to the vehicle itself.

PROPERTY DAMAGE (PD)

Property damage liability (PD) typically covers the cost of repairs or replacement for damages caused to another person's vehicle or property. For instance, if you rear-end a car in front of you at a stop light, or knock over somebody's mailbox on the curb.

In Florida, all drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD). However, liability does not cover damage to your own vehicle. Hence, you may want to consider other coverages like collision or comprehensive coverage to cover for that.

What Does Property Damage Liability Auto Insurance Cover?

Property damage liability auto insurance covers:

  • Income loss from a business closed due to property damage. For instance, if you crash into a business storefront and it has to close for repairs, your property damage liability will cover the store owner’s income loss,

  • Repairs for damage caused to the another person's car,

  • Legal fees arising from a major property damage claim that requires you to go to court,

  • Repairs for damage or destruction to another person's property like a mailbox, fence, building front, house, and lamppost,

  • Recurring expenses from property damage. For instance, suppose there is damage to the property of an individual, and as a result, there is further damage to the foundation of their property that causes cracks in the structure like the walls of the building or the roof of the building every summer. In that case, the insurance package would cover the cost of fixing the damages as long as it persists.

The following Florida Auto insurance policies will provide coverage for property damage:

  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage is not mandatory in Florida, but it covers damage to your vehicle from causes other than a collision. For instance, if your car is stolen or damaged due to natural disasters, vandalism, or crushed by a collapsing garage, your comprehensive coverage will cover it,

  • Collision coverage: This is also not required in Florida, but is commonly purchased by vehicle owners to cover replacement or repairs of their cars if they are damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object like a fence or a tree,

  • Auto liability coverage: It pays for property damage or injuries caused to others due to an accident in which you are at fault.

BODILY INJURY (BI) - Auto Insurance in Florida

In Florida, drivers are not mandated to possess bodily injury auto insurance because drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP), which kicks in when an injury is sustained due to an auto crash. However, having a bodily injury liability coverage would be beneficial because it covers injuries you cause to someone else if you are at fault in an accident.

In Florida, drivers with a history of bodily injury liability and DUI charges are high-risk drivers. They are required to prove that they are financially responsible by carrying a minimum amount of bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. A minimum of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage is required from drivers with bodily injury liability history. In contrast, drivers with a DUI history must carry $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance and $50,000 in property damage liability.

What Does Bodily Injury Liability Cover?

Bodily injury liability typically covers:

  • Medical expenses: Emergency care services, hospital bills, and ongoing care costs

  • Lost wages: Your coverage can help provide compensation if the injured victims are unable to work or perform their job functions due to accident-related reasons

  • Legal fees: If the other party decides to file a lawsuit against you, your coverage can help cover the legal fees and any associated court fees

  • Pain and suffering: Your bodily injury liability coverage can cover emotional stress or prolonged pain from an accident

  • Funeral costs: If the accident, unfortunately, results in the death of a person, bodily injury liability coverage will cover the funeral costs

The following auto insurance policies will provide coverage for bodily injury in Florida:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM): This coverage is optional in Florida, but it helps cover you and others when injuries are sustained from an auto accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. With this coverage, you will be able to receive payments from your own insurer that you would have gotten from the at-fault party if they were not uninsured or underinsured. UM covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other expenses associated with the incurred injury. With nearly a fifth of Florida vehicles (more than 3.6 million, in 2022) uninsured or underinsured this coverage is very important

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): If you are injured in an auto accident, your PIP will cover it regardless of who is at fault. However, suppose the injuries from the accident are severe, life-threatening, permanent, or lead to death. In that case, the injured person may seek recovery for costs from the at-fault party. All drivers in Florida are required to have a coverage limit of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

  • Medical Payments coverage: This is an optional coverage for medical and funeral expenses incurred due to bodily injury from an auto accident.

  • Auto Liability coverage: Protects you when you cause an accident that results in property damage or bodily injuries to others.

LIABILITY - Auto Insurance in Florida

Liability coverage provides financial coverage if you are held legally responsible for someone else's injury or damage to someone else's property. It covers medical expenses, medication, and lost wages of the injured person. Liability coverage also covers repairs and replacement of the third party’s property. Liability coverage comes in two forms:

  • Bodily injury liability: Drivers are not required to carry bodily injury liability in Florida except if they have caused accidents involving bodily injury/death or committed certain traffic violations. Drivers who have caused injuries or death must purchase a minimum of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in bodily injury liability (BI) coverage. Drivers with a DUI history must purchase $100,000/$300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage and $50,000 in property damage liability.

  • Property damage liability (PD): This is mandatory in Florida. Drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability.

Auto liability is not limited to private vehicles alone; commercial vehicles in Florida are also required to have it. For instance:

Personal Auto vs. Commercial Auto Insurance

Personal Auto Insurance and Commercial Auto Insurance in Florida are similar in a couple of ways. They cover legal expenses, bodily injury, and property damage related to auto accidents. However, personal Auto insurance and commercial Auto insurance differ in the following ways:

  • Personal Auto insurance typically covers loss or damages to your car due to accident, fire, and theft. In contrast, commercial auto insurance covers losses affecting the business due to damages to the insured car or vehicles.

  • Business-owned cars have higher risks because they are driven more and used more frequently than private cars. Due to the higher chances of commercial vehicles getting into an accident, commercial auto insurance typically has higher car insurance premiums than personal auto insurance.

  • Commercial auto insurance typically has higher liability limits than personal Auto insurance, because it protects the assets of the business in case of a lawsuit.

  • Personal auto insurance covers people driving their own cars, but commercial Auto insurance covers an entire business, including multiple drivers, vehicles, trucks, and employees.

Despite the differences between personal auto and commercial auto insurance, the type of insurance required in Florida depends on the car’s usage and its ownership structure. Cars used for business purposes require commercial auto insurance, while cars used for personal purposes require private auto insurance. If the vehicle is leased or purchased in the business name, it requires commercial insurance. However, you would still need commercial auto insurance on your car even if you only make deliveries with your personal car, transport work equipment, or clients. Talk to a Florida-licensed property insurance agent to help you determine the right coverage you need for your private or commercial car(s).

Does Auto Insurance Cover the Driver or the Vehicle?

Personal injury protection (PIP) covers the insured driver, while the rest of auto insurance, such as auto liability, collision, and comprehension coverage generally provides compensation for the vehicle, not the driver.

For example, if you or a person listed on your policy gets into an accident while driving your insured car, your auto insurance policy will cover you or that person and your car if you or that other driver are at fault. However, if the costs of the accident exceed your auto insurance coverage, then the other driver's own insurance policy will provide additional coverage.

If the person using your car gets into an accident, but they are not at fault, the other driver's insurer would be held responsible. It is important to note that PIP does not apply in this scenario because it covers only you and not others.

How Does Car Insurance Work When you Get Into an Accident?

When you get into a car accident in Florida, several things happen, depending on the sustained bodily injuries and the caused property damage:

  • Bodily Injury: Every resident driver is mandated to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). Hence, suppose you get into an accident that injured you, your PIP coverage will cover you regardless of who is at fault. However, you must get medical treatment within 14 days to be eligible for compensation through your PIP policy. The PIP policy of the driver of the other vehicle will also cover the injuries they suffer up to the limits of the policy. However, a third-party claim can be made against your insurance if their policy limits are below their expenses. In addition, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against you if the injuries are critical, life-threatening, or permanent.

  • Property Damage: The damaged vehicles are either driven away from the scene of the accident or towed to an auto shop. Once the insurance company is notified of the damage, an insurance adjuster gets assigned to the case. The adjuster visits the storage location of the vehicle, to take notes and pictures for the file, and to collect repair estimates from the body shops. Armed with all the collected facts, the adjuster goes over the insurance policy to verify how much of the repairs the insurance will be able to cover, and authorizes the payment to the insured (minus the agreed-upon deductible).

How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Generally, Florida law only requires you to have:

  • A minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for your own medical bills and lost wages but not those of the other driver

  • A minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PD) for property damage to the other person's car

  • Commercial vehicles must carry more coverage in both the Property Damage and Bodily Injury

Per Florida Financial Responsibility Law, you are not required to have bodily injury liability coverage unless you have been in a car accident causing bodily injury or death or committed certain traffic violations. If you have been in an accident before, you must prove that you are able to bear the cost in the event of an accident resulting in liability damage. Hence, you must carry a bodily injury liability coverage of at least $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident. If you have been found guilty of a DUI charge, you must have bodily injury liability insurance of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 in property damage liability.

If you're leasing a car in Florida, you must have bodily injury liability coverage of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 of property damage liability in addition to state requirements.

Some Florida financial responsibility law measures also apply if you operate a commercial vehicle or nonpublic sector bus. For instance, commercial vehicles must show proof of financial responsibility by adding the following minimum levels of combined property damage liability and bodily liability insurance to any other insurance requirements:

  • $300,000 per occurrence for a commercial car with a gross vehicle weight of 44,000 pounds or more

  • $100,000 per occurrence for a commercial car with a gross vehicle weight of 35,000 pounds or more but less than 44,000 pounds

  • $50,000 per occurrence for a commercial car with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or more but less than 35,000 pounds

Different commercial cargo types are subject to different additional liability insurance requirements. While a door delivery service minivan may need just $300,000 of liability, a hazmat transport delivering oil needs $5 million of liability coverage.

Drivers of nonpublic sector buses, excluding school buses, must also carry proof that they can pay for damages for liability if accidents arise from the use of their buses, in addition to any other insurance requirements. These additional requirements include:

  • $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person

  • $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident

  • Either $50,000 in bodily injury or property damage to another person's vehicle per accident or a minimum of $300,000 in combined property damage liability and bodily injury liability insurance

In addition to PD and PIP, you may need to purchase comprehensive and collision coverages even if it is not required by Florida law. This is because these coverages will protect you against damages when your car collides with other vehicles or objects or damages from covered perils. However, since there are no minimum requirements for collision and comprehensive coverages, you can just get the amount you need and the deductibles you can afford. Generally, the amount of coverage you purchase should be able to restore your car to the state it was before the accident occurred. Make sure to speak with a Florida-licensed property insurance agent who can access your needs and recommend the right auto insurance coverage that will suit those needs.

Does FL Auto Insurance Cover:

Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Yes, car insurance in Florida covers rented cars. It provides financial protection against physical damage to the rental car and for liability protection while driving it. For instance, if you collided with another car while driving the rented car or it was stolen, your collision or comprehensive coverage will bear the financial implication. If you damage another person's property or vehicle while in the rented car, your auto liability coverage will cover it. Discuss with a Florida-licensed insurance agent before renting a vehicle to determine if your auto coverage will extend to the rental vehicle.

Can I Use my Insurance When Renting a Car?

Yes, you can use your own Florida car insurance when renting a car, so you may not need to purchase extra protection from the rental car company. However, personal car insurance will only cover a rental car used for personal travels. You should get commercial coverage if you want to rent the vehicle for business purposes. Speak with a Florida-licensed property insurance agent for more information regarding rental car coverage.

Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs?

Yes, car insurance in Florida covers vehicle repairs if the damage is due to a collision or other covered incident, such as theft or fire. Routine repairs due to wear and tear or mechanical breakdowns are not covered. Your collision coverage will cover repairs if your car hits another car or object like a fence or tree. It will also pay for repairs if you are in a single-car accident that involves your car rolling over. If your car damages are outside of a collision, your comprehensive coverage will cover the repairs. Also, if you caused damage to another person's car, your auto liability coverage will cover the repairs. Discuss your questions with a Florida-licensed knowledgeable property insurance agent for further information regarding auto insurance coverages that will pay for the repair of your car regardless of who is at fault.

Does Car Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?

Yes, car insurance in Florida covers windshield replacement through comprehensive and collision coverage. For instance, if your windshield cracks due to a hailstorm or a tree branch falling on your car, your comprehensive coverage will cover the windshield replacement. If your windshield is cracked after you hit another car or drive into a pole, your collision insurance will likely cover the windshield replacement. Also, if you are involved in an accident that causes damage to the other driver's windshield, your auto liability insurance coverage will cover windshield replacement.

Note: According to the Florida law (Title 37, ch.627, section 7288), as of 2021 there is no out of pocket expense (deductible) for car glass repair if you use your comprehensive coverage to replace it.

Does Car Insurance Cover Engine Failure?

Florida car insurance does not cover engine failure caused by a mechanical fault, negligence, or wear and tear. However, there are a few exceptions where auto insurance coverage may pay for engine failure. Auto insurance coverages like auto liability, comprehensive insurance, and collision will cover engine failure caused by covered perils such as collision, flood, vandalism, or fire.

Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items?

No, car insurance in Florida does not cover personal items like laptops, phones, or clothes stolen from your car. However, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover personal items stolen from your vehicle, even if the car was not on your property when it happened.

Get your auto insurance needs assessed by a knowledgeable and state-licensed property insurance agent who has access to multiple car insurance companies. An experienced Florida P&C agent can explain and compare the benefits of the available options, and can help you pick the most optimal choice.