up button arrow
logotype
https://floridainsurance.org is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency

What is the Purpose of Insurance in Florida?

The purpose of insurance is to minimize loss arising from uncertainties and risks. It can also be called a financial safety net that helps one financially recover after a peril. Insurance reduces financial uncertainty and makes loss manageable by undertaking the risks involved in exchange for a premium.

Why Do we Have Insurance in Florida?

The reason why we have insurance is because it helps us recover financially after an insured loss. Nobody likes paying for insurance coverage, but everyone regrets not having it when an insurable event occurs and there is no coverage. Either you have to pay for the loss out of pocket, or someone else must pay it for you. Life is uncertain, and anything can happen at any point in time.

Florida is home to around 22 million residents, all of them with their particular insurance needs. Some need just the basic health insurance coverage, while others may have properties, businesses, and lives to insure.

Comprehensive health insurance is the most important insurance coverage for any person and over 3.5 million Florida adults lack this necessity (est. 2022).

With over 18 million vehicles registered in Florida, they all need insurance coverage. Basic Liability and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverages are required for all vehicles, and a multitude of other coverages may be either required or purchased as an optional add-on, depending on the type of vehicle and its use. Vehicles that are purchased or leased through a business must be insured under commercial coverage.

There are over 10 million residential dwelling units in Florida. Owner-occupied residences comprise 65% of the market, while 35% are rentals. At a minimum, all owners of these properties should have coverage to protect the underlying financial investment from possible loss or damage. The type of coverage you get depends on who owns the property and how the property is being used - are you the live-in owner or the landlord? The tenants of the 3.4 million rental units can protect their personal property too.

Florida is home to nearly 2.8 million businesses of all sizes, all of them with specific commercial insurance coverage needs. At the very least, every revenue-generating business usually gets liability insurance, while the rest of the optional coverages depend on the business type, property owned, and the lender & industry regulations.

In 2022, there were 4.6 million seniors in Florida. While all of us need life insurance to fund the final expenses after we die, properly structured and properly funded life insurance can be also a great tool for tax-free retirement income.

In 2022, 47% of Americans did not have active life insurance and 46% died with savings of less than $10,000, placing a potential financial strain on family and friends. While grieving their loss, not only does the family need to plan the funeral, but quite frequently it also needs to pay for it too. The average life expectancy across Florida differs depending on the county (69 - 86 y.o.), with a state average of around 80 years old (per capita).

What is Insured?

Any material or immaterial thing that is considered valuable to the owner can be insured. For instance, a vehicle can be insured under an auto insurance policy, a house under a homeowners or renters insurance policy, a business under commercial liability insurance, and even a person’s life can be insured under life insurance.

What is an Insurer?

An insurer refers to the insurance company that provides you with financial support when a covered peril in your insurance policy occurs. Insurers create insurance quotes, handle claims filed by policyholders, and provide financial compensations for covered perils.

What is an Insured?

An insured is a term used to refer to any person legally entitled to receive the benefits of an insurance policy in the form of a claim. An insurer makes payments to an insured after they experience a covered loss that qualifies for payment under the insurance policy. For instance, if you have collision coverage on your vehicle and you collide with a tree, your insurer will cover your vehicle’s repair costs.

What is an Insurance Policy?

An insurance policy is an agreement between an individual or organization and an insurance company. An insurance policy outlines the items and perils the insurer is willing to pay for and the responsibility of the insured party.

What Does an Insurance Policy Consist of in Florida?

An insurance policy in Florida consists of several standard forms, which include:

  • Declarations page: refers to the first page or first few pages of your basic information. It contains the insured’s name, address, location, policy term, and other essential information

  • Coverage page: contains the coverage types, coverage conditions, and the insuring agreement (including your deductibles, discounts, coverage limits, and endorsements).

  • Exclusions: refers to the perils, items, and circumstances not covered by the insurance policy

  • Policy conditions: contains the general requirements of the insured and insurers on matters such as property valuation and settlement

  • Endorsements: defined as policy forms that modify or alter coverage. It is a legally binding alteration to an insurance contract

What is Insurance Coverage?

Insurance coverage is the amount of liability covered for an entity by an insurer under an insurance policy. It is also a form of protection from monetary loss, or a form of risk sharing. There are different types of insurance coverages, including health insurance, life insurance, property insurance, etc. Insurance coverage covers unexpected financial losses. For example, if you purchased an auto insurance policy and you were involved in an accident, your auto insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. To be covered under an insurance policy, an individual or a business must pay an insurance fee called a premium. Your premium can be paid in a lump sum or spread across multiple payments.

Why Do you Need Insurance in Florida?

Auto insurance is the only required insurance policy, as indicated by Florida Transportation Code § 334.01, however, insurance is still a major necessity in Florida. For instance, over 19% of Florida residents do not have comprehensive healthcare insurance, which puts them at risk of bankruptcy due to unforeseen illnesses and emergencies. Having health insurance will reduce out-of-pocket payments for routine hospital check-ups, surgeries, childbirth, and so much more.

Also, general contractors and employers in Florida are mandated by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Therefore, any accident or injury that may occur while on the job will be handled by the employer or general contractor’s insurance.

Another major reason why insurance is a necessity for residents in Florida is that Florida is surrounded by water and is majorly affected by floods and hurricanes annually. The effects of floods and hurricanes can leave a lasting negative financial effect on an individual.

Listed below are some of the benefits of purchasing insurance in Florida:

  • Maintenance of Living Standard: If an insurance policyholder becomes disabled or injured and unable to work, disability insurance will cover the policyholder’s day-to-day living costs and even larger expenses like mortgages, allowing you to focus on recovery while maintaining your lifestyle

  • Covers Healthcare Costs: Health insurance can take care of your basic health care bills, surgery, vision care bills, and even the cost of prescription bills

  • Take Care of Your Family: In the event of a death, life insurance can cover college bills, mortgages, and so much more

  • Transfer of Risk: In the event of a covered peril, insurance reduces the financial burden of the insured individual or business, by covering the costs of fixing damages

  • Repair Your Vehicle: In the event of a covered peril, auto insurance will cover the cost of fixing your vehicle

  • Repair Your Property: Property insurance can help repair and even rebuild your home or business in the event of a covered peril

Unforeseen tragedies such as illnesses, accidents, natural disasters and death can put you and your loved ones under mental and emotional stress. Buying different Florida insurance plans like health, disaster, life insurance, and others ensures you are financially secure to scale through any unfortunate incident.

Speak to a trusted Florida-licensed insurance professional to discuss the best coverage that suits you, at the most affordable cost.

Is Insurance Really Necessary?

Yes. Insurance is a form of risk management, and buying insurance in Florida transfers the cost of a potential peril to the insurers for a fee. Insurance can be likened to a safety net, which catches you before you hit the ground. If a covered peril occurs, insurance will save you from being financially incapacitated by sharing the burden. However, the extent of coverage you get depends on how much coverage you purchased and the amount of your deductible. There are diverse types of insurance policies in Florida, and they include:

  1. HEALTH INSURANCE

Health insurance is a legally binding contract that requires an insurance company to pay some or all of an individual’s medical bills in exchange for a premium. Health insurance pays for surgery, medical, and prescription drug expenses depending on the insured’s policy agreement with their insurer. Your insurance company can make payment to your healthcare provider directly or have you pay out of pocket to be later reimbursed. Medical emergencies are unplanned and may incur excessive expenses. For instance, over 4.2 million Florida adults suffer from health issues, therefore health insurance is a necessity to save one from the financial strain health issues may cause. There are two types of health insurance:

  • Private Healthcare Insurance: refers to any form of health coverage offered by a private insurance company instead of the federal or state government. Private healthcare is usually financed by a group of employees, and their payments may be subsidized by their employer.

  • Public Healthcare Insurance: refers to healthcare provided by the federal or state government. Public healthcare is highly subsidized, making it affordable for low-income earners to afford it.

There are also several group insurance plans offered by the federal government like Medicare, and Medicaid, the premiums are low and affordable. Before enrolling for any of the health insurance policies in Florida, it is best to speak with a licensed health insurance agent to discuss which of the plans best suits you. Health insurance is a major necessity in Florida because it protects you from unplanned medical costs. You may also get free preventive healthcare services like vaccines and screening. Among the many benefits of health insurance are:

  • Savings on Increasing Medical Costs: There has been a dramatic increase in medical costs, and it is not reducing any time soon. In the event of medical emergencies, most people end up spending their life’s savings on medical expenses and in some cases can go bankrupt in the process. However, health insurance covers the cost of your medical expenses without you having to break the bank

  • Bonuses: An extra amount is added to your insurance cover for cumulative claim-free years and is given to you at the end of your plan

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you are covered in the event of any medical emergency gives peace of mind

  • Easy Access: Healthcare insurance gives you access to affordable medical care

Healthcare insurance is essential to daily living. An accident, illness, or a sudden disability can wreck you financially, but health insurance will reduce the financial burden and stress that comes with it.

  1. LIFE INSURANCE

Life insurance is an agreement between an individual and an insurance company that guarantees that a specific amount of money will be paid to the individual’s (insured) beneficiaries after their death. Besides the most obvious Death Benefit, some life insurance policies can be used by the insured as a Living Benefit, to help pay for a Chronic, Terminal, or Critical Illness, or to use as a financial savings tool during breadwinner’s years to pay for college for the children or during retirement years. This insurance requires that the insured pays premiums yearly or monthly during their lifetime. There are two types of life insurance:

  • Term Life Insurance: Term life insurance guarantees payment of a specific financial death benefit if the insured dies within a specified duration. If the insured does not die within the specified duration, no death benefits will be issued, although they can renew their term insurance policy or convert it to a permanent life insurance policy. Common term options are 10, 20, or even 30 years.

  • Permanent Life Insurance: Permanent insurance lasts throughout the insured’s lifetime or until the policyholder stops paying the premium. Permanent life insurance can also be called cash-value (CV) life insurance because a cash value accumulation feature is added besides the standard death benefit. Once the cash starts accumulating in the account, the insured can borrow against the amassed cash value, create an investment portfolio, and pay the policy premium using the returns. Premiums go towards both maintaining the policy’s death benefit and allowing the policy to build more cash value. Permanent life insurance is typically more expensive than term life insurance. There are four other types of permanent insurance:

  1. Universal Life Insurance: Universal life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that covers the insured through their lifetime, and the premium is paid consistently (level). A major benefit of universal life insurance is that you can pause, pay a reduced premium amount, or use the cash value on the insurance policy to cover the premium cost for a certain amount of time. The disadvantage is that your coverage may lapse if you use up the account’s cash value. Hence, your death benefit payment may be reduced.

  2. Whole Life Insurance: The premium in whole life insurance is a fixed amount paid throughout the insured’s life, and it offers a death benefit and a guaranteed cash value growth. The advantage of whole life insurance is that as long as the premium payment is consistent, the beneficiary will receive the agreed death benefit upon the insured's death. The disadvantages of whole life insurance are high premiums, lack of investment control, and relatively small death benefits.

  3. Indexed Universal Life Insurance: It permits premium payments of varying amounts. This policy also permits the insured to apportion cash value amounts to either a fixed or equity-indexed account. Indexed universal life insurance also offers a guaranteed fixed interest rate. The index value is recorded at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month. The difference is compared, and if there is an increase, the interest is added to the cash value. Indexed universal life insurance benefits include guaranteed death benefits, low prices, flexible premium payments, and cash value accumulation. However, the disadvantages are that it benefits only large face value, is based on an equity index, and caps on accumulation percentages.

  4. Variable Universal Life Insurance: It allows flexible premium payments, but you must pay an agreed minimum amount to keep the coverage active. Variable life insurance permits the investment of the cash value in the stock market. The stock market fluctuations could result in a major profit or loss.

Various factors affect the cost of life insurance, and they include:

  • Age: The older the insured, the higher the premium. This is because the insured is more likely to die of old age and other diseases associated with old age. Likewise, if the insured is young and healthy, the premium may be lower. This is because a young, healthy policyholder’s tendency to die prematurely is slim.

  • Gender: Typically, women live longer than men. Therefore a female’s premiums may be lower than a male of the same age and with similar health conditions.

  • General Health: Medical exams include screening for conditions like heart diseases, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If the results return positive, the premium rates would be higher than the average.

  • Family Medical History: If there is a history of certain diseases or illnesses in your family, there is a tendency that you will also have it, which means your premium may be higher than the average because of the risk involved in insuring you.

  • Driving Record: A history of traffic violations (e.g., DUIs, speeding, reckless driving) can typically increase your premium.

  • Occupation and Hobbies: Individuals with high-risk occupations like firefighters, construction workers, and law enforcement officers tend to pay higher premiums. This is because they could be severely injured or killed while on duty. Also, your hobbies outside of work are a major factor; hence, engaging in adventurous activities like skydiving and racing may increase your insurance premium.

Although the average life expectancy in Florida is 80.2 years old, life insurance can serve the following purposes after the death of the insured:

  • Paying off your home mortgage

  • Paying off debts like credit card bills

  • Taking care of college tuition

  • The payout from life insurance can be used to cater to aged parents

The objective of life insurance is to provide care and financial benefits to the insured's beneficiaries in the event of a death. Life insurance is essential because no one knows when they will die. With life insurance, you will have peace knowing that your beneficiaries will be taken care of after you are gone. It should be noted that the Internal Revenue Services do not consider the death benefits as taxable income

  1. PRIVATE PROPERTY INSURANCE

In Florida, property insurance protects against risks to personal property such as fire, harsh weather damage, and theft. There are various specialized forms of insurance under property insurance, and they include:

Residential Insurance

  • Homeowners Insurance: Homeowners insurance covers an individual's house and the assets in the building from perils like theft, fire, and vandalism. There are over 6.5 million housing units in Florida that require a homeowners insurance policy. Without an insurance policy, you are left unprotected in the event your home gets damaged.

  • Condo Insurance: Condo insurance protects a condominium unit from financial losses resulting from water damage, theft, and fire.

  • Renters insurance: Renters insurance covers a renter’s personal belongings in a rented home from perils like theft, mild windstorm, and fire. (35% of residential dwellings in Florida are rentals)

  • Landlord Insurance: Residential landlord insurance protects both the landlord’s property and their liabilities.

Auto Insurance

  • Auto Insurance: With over 18 million vehicles registered in the state, auto insurance provides financial protection for road vehicles like trucks, motorcycles, and cars against accidents, collisions, or theft. In 2021 alone, over 400 thousand crashes occurred in Florida, resulting in 3,739 fatalities and over 250,000 injuries.

Property can be insured under two main categories: open peril and named peril.

  • Open Perils: Open perils refer to losses that are not listed in the policy, including nuclear accidents, water damage, theft, and war.

  • Named Peril: This refers to the perils named in the policy, including damage-causing events like fire, explosions, lightning, and theft.

There are several benefits of property insurance, and they include:

  • Protection against Property Damage: Property insurance protects the insured from unforeseen costly incidents that may occur on their properties.

  • Protection for Expensive Items: Property insurance safeguards expensive personal properties like artworks and jewelry.

  • Loss of Use Coverage: If a covered peril causes your home to be unfit for residential use, this coverage pays for the insured’s additional living expenses, like hotel bills and groceries.

  • Protection against Power Trips/Outage: Power trips and outages can occur at any time, and when they occur, they can damage devices or even cause fire outbreaks sometimes. Property insurance covers losses due to power outages.

  1. COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Commercial property insurance is a form of insurance that financially protects businesses from risks like property damage, liability lawsuits, employee injuries, and property theft and damages. There are various policies under commercial insurance, and they include:

Commercial PROPERTY

  • Commercial Real Property Insurance: This type of policy is used both by the owners of nearly 2.9 million commercial properties in Florida and by the tenant businesses that build out those spaces and occupy them for multiple years.

  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Covers business-owned vehicles and the vehicles not-owned by business but driven by business’ employees, in the event of accidents, theft, and vandalism.

Other Commercial Coverages

  • Commercial Crime: This policy covers the business in case of a crime by the employees (theft, burglary, fraud, etc.).

  • Business Interruption: Covers the business in case it must alter its operations and suffers loss of income due to an insured event.

Commercial LIABILITY

  • Commercial liability coverage covers risks like customer injuries and property damage. It protects the business against financial loss due to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Some liability coverages insure against the liability claims for losses incurred by the clients due to the action of the insured professional if the losses were incurred due to the professional advice given by the insured to the client. Similarly, medical professionals get malpractice coverage to pay liability claims in proportion to the damage they may cause in the line of duty, etc.

Factors that affect commercial insurance and its prices include:

  • The number of employees: The more employees a business has, the higher the chances of damaging properties that belong to clients. Therefore, it is expected for a business with more employees to pay a higher premium.

  • Location: Businesses located in areas with a high crime rate will typically pay more premiums than businesses located in areas with low crime activity.

  • Business Experience: Financial stability and business longevity can affect your premium. A business that has been active for several years is easier to trust and insure than a new or struggling business.

  • Company type: Every business comes with its share of hazards and risks. For example, a construction company may have more risk of injuries and accidents, while a financial consulting company may be more worried about the professional liability resulting from its advice.

Commercial insurance is a necessity for businesses because of the following benefits:

  • It Protects Your Business Assets: In the event of a covered peril like fire or theft, commercial insurance will help you cover the losses.

  • It Gives the Business Credibility: Potential clients need to see that a company is legitimate before conducting any form of business activity with the company. Commercial insurance will give your clients the reassurance they need.

  • Employee Protection: Commercial insurance can cover the medical expenses of employees that are injured on the job.

  • Loan Access: Financial institutions may limit the issuance of loans only to properly insured companies. A company being insured gives a financial institution confidence that the company would be able to pay back the loan.

  • Legal Protection: Businesses get sued over the most basic things these days; commercial insurance can help cover the legal expenses that may come with a lawsuit.

Commercial insurance is a necessity for businesses in Florida, especially small businesses, as they help cover costs related to property and liability damages. Without commercial insurance, many businesses would have to pay out of pocket for expensive damages, thereby destabilizing the business.

  1. LIABILITY INSURANCE

Liability insurance is also known as third-party insurance. It covers claims resulting from injuries and damages to people and their properties. Liability insurance also covers the legal costs and any payouts incurred by the insured if found guilty of an incident, like an auto accident. For your vehicle to be properly registered in Florida, you must show proof of automobile liability insurance. The main purpose of liability insurance is to pay third parties rather than the insured entity, unlike the other types of insurance.

There are various types of liability insurance in Florida, and they include:

Residential Liability:

  • Homeowners insurance - Personal Liability: Protects the homeowner in case if someone makes a claim or files a lawsuit for accidental bodily injury or property damage while on the insured property. Example: If a delivery person slips and falls on the front door step of your home and sues, liability coverage will pay the claim and the legal fees up to the limit of the coverage.

Auto Liability:

  • Auto insurance - Liability: For both private and commercial vehicles, bodily unjust and property damage liability coverage is required for every vehicle that drives on public roads. It protects the others from the damage you may cause while operating a vehicle.

Commercial Liability:

  • General Liability (GL) is a broad commercial liability policy, which covers the business for claims of property damage and bodily injury, which are caused by the insured business and/or its operations.

  • Cyber Liability Insurance: This coverage is for the companies that can suffer liability losses in case of a data breach.

  • Employer’s Liability Insurance: This policy financially protects the business from liabilities resulting from the death or injury of an employee.

  • Product Liability Insurance: This policy protects businesses that manufacture products for sale. It protects against the legal battles that arise from products that cause harm to its consumers.

  • Indemnity Liability Insurance: This policy protects businesses from claims due to financial harms caused by negligence.

  • Director and Officer Liability Insurance: This policy protects a company’s board of directors or officers against liability in the event of the company being prosecuted.

  • Umbrella Liability Insurance: This policy protects against crippling losses, and it is usually used when the limits of other underlying liability policies have been reached.

See more liability coverages under COMMERCIAL subsection above.

Liability insurance helps cover claims of property damage or bodily injury made by a third party. It is imperative to speak with a licensed insurance agent in Florida to ensure you are purchasing the proper insurance plan.

  1. Disaster Insurance

Disaster insurance, which is also called hazard insurance, covers unpredictable natural disasters like wind, hail, flooding, earthquake, hurricanes, landslides, and storms that can damage your Florida home or business properties. There are different coverages under disaster insurance, and they include:

  • Flood Insurance: Flood insurance is a form of property insurance that covers losses caused by water damage, specifically due to floods. Flood insurance policies can also be purchased for commercial and residential properties. Factors that affect the cost of a flood insurance premium include the property’s location, size, age, and location.

  • Earthquake Insurance: Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that covers losses done to your property or personal belongings by earthquakes.

  • Windstorm Insurance: Storm insurance covers damages resulting from windstorms. This policy also covers damages resulting from lightning, hail, and strong winds.

You should consider buying the coverage of the most prevalent disaster in your geographical area. For instance, if you live in a hurricane prone flood zone, you may need to purchase flood insurance for your home or business. Contact a licensed insurance agent in Florida to get more information about disaster insurance and the specific insurance policy for your geographical location.

Deductible vs. Premium

To gain a better understanding of insurance, you need to understand deductibles and premiums. We will talk further about its effects and how they affect each other.

What is a Deductible in Insurance?

An insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay on an insurance claim before the insurance company pays the rest. Insurance deductible can also be described as the amount of money taken out of your insurance claim payout before payment is made.

What Does Deductible Mean in Florida Insurance?

A deductible is an amount an insured must pay out of pocket in Florida towards covered damage or loss before their insurer will pay for the policyholder's claim. For instance, if your deductible is $2,000, and you experienced a covered loss of $10,000, $2,000 will be deducted from your claim payout, and your insurer will only pay $8,000 to you. A deductible can either be a specific amount or a percentage; the amount is established by the terms of your coverage.

Percentage deductibles are usually applied to homeowners insurance policies, and they’re calculated based on the insured value of the house. For instance, suppose your home was insured for $500,000, and your insurance policy has a wind deductible of 3%; in the event of a loss, $15,000 ($500,000 x 0.03) would be deducted from your claims payout. So, if your roof is damaged and needs to be repaired for $25,000, your insurer will pay you $10,000 after you have paid your $3,000 share.

While some deductibles are applied per insured event (usually in Auto insurance), Medical and some property deductibles (namely Florida Hurricane deductible) are annual amounts or percentages that must be met out of pocket, prior to the policy taking over the payment.

PROs of Deductibles

Deductibles have several benefits like:

  • A high deductible will lower your monthly/annual premium

  • A deductible allows you to pick an amount that you can easily pay out of pocket

  • Deductibles reduce the temptation to turn in small claims

CONs of Deductibles

There are also downsides to deductibles, and they are:

  • If you do not cover damage in excess of your deductible, your insurers may never have to pay any of your expenses

  • You may be unable to pay your deductible out of pocket in the event of an emergency loss

  • If you selected a low deductible, your premium might be very high

  • If you select a high deductible, in the event of a covered peril, you may not be able to afford it

Make sure to always balance your needs with affordability by speaking with a licensed Florida insurance agent.

What is a Premium in Florida Insurance?

An insurance premium in Florida is the amount an insured Florida resident pays for an insurance policy. If you fail to make timely payments, or within the state-defined grace period, it may lead to the cancellation of your policy, thereby leaving you unprotected.

What is Insurance Premium?

A premium is the amount of money you pay insurance companies for the coverages they offer, so when you hear insurance premium, think of insurance price. Your insurance premium is dependent on the type of insurance you buy, for example, life insurance, auto insurance, property insurance, etc. Premiums can be paid monthly, annually, or quarterly. It all depends on your policy and your ability to pay the full amount up front or having to break it down into more manageable chunks. As a general rule, private insurers provide a monthly payment option as a free or low cost solution, while commercial Florida insurers prefer to get paid up front. If a business wants multiple payments for commercial coverage it needs to use the services of a third-party premium financier.

Speak with a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent to learn more.

How is Insurance Premium Determined?

Insurance companies employ the services of actuaries. Actuaries assess the likelihood of a peril using probability by considering a variety of factors which include:

  • The Type of Coverage: Insurance companies offer different options of coverages; the more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium will be. For instance, if you purchased auto insurance with just liability coverage that only pays for damages done to a third party, your premium would be lower than when you purchased comprehensive coverage.

  • Age: The older a person gets, the riskier they are to insure. Generally, with health/life insurance, premiums tend to go up with age. This is because individuals tend to have more health challenges as they get older, which could lead to death.

  • Personal Information of the Insurance Applicant: Some insurance companies use insurance scores, which can be determined by personal factors like credit score and claims history. A person with a poor credit score is viewed as high risk and would typically pay more premiums.

  • Geographical Location: An applicant's location affects all the different types of insurance. For instance, with auto insurance, the premium of a policyholder that lives in a high crime area would typically be higher than that of a policyholder that lives in an area with low crime activities. This is because the vehicle could be stolen or vandalized by criminals.

Actuaries also calculate the costs associated with unforeseen perils and create projections using the calculations. With the calculations, they can determine how much claims they would pay in the event of peril and how much should be charged to make a profit and also pay claims.

In life insurance, the premium is determined using three main factors: Mortality, Interest, and Expense.

How Do Deductibles Affect Premiums?

Generally, when you select a higher deductible, it means you will be paying a larger amount of your initial claims payout, saving your insurers money; in return, you pay a lower premium and vice versa. If the insured is willing to pay more on a deductible, it equates to paying a lesser premium. In other words, if a policyholder picks a lower deductible, it means the policyholder would be paying more premiums but will be required to pay less in the event of a claim. However, if a policyholder picks a higher deductible, the policyholder would pay less in premium but will be required to pay more in the event of a claim.

How Do you Pay Insurance Premiums in Florida?

In Florida, premiums can be paid:

  • Monthly: Monthly payment is the most common and preferred mode of payment for private (non-commercial) insurance, whereby you make payments every month on or before a certain date to keep your coverage active. This option breaks down your total amount into bits and allows you to add it to your monthly budget without it crippling you financially.

  • Annually: When you buy insurance with an annual premium payment plan, you can make a lump sum payment annually to keep your coverage active. This option typically provides the lowest available price you can pay for this coverage from this insurer.

  • Quarterly or Semi-annually: This option is less common because you still need to make a lump sum payment periodically without receiving any discount.

More frequent payments tend to be more expensive, especially for commercial coverage, where the premium financier charges interest on top of the financed premium cost. The average commercial premium financing in Florida costs 7% - 12% extra.

Health Insurance

Generally, if you receive your healthcare coverage through your job, your employer may pay up to 50% or more of your premium, and the rest would be deducted from your paycheck at the end of the month. If you obtained major health insurance coverage through an insurance agent, or on your own on the marketplace, you will need to pay the premium monthly. Some insurers, especially short-term Florida health insurance companies may offer a discount, if the premium is paid up-front.

Auto Insurance

You can make monthly, quarterly, or upfront premium payments on your auto insurance in Florida. You can set up automatic payments to avoid forgetting to pay.

Residential Insurance

There are two major ways to pay for your residential insurance in Florida, and they include:

  • Paying through your mortgage lender

  • Paying directly to the insurance company

If you are financing your home through a mortgage lender, the lender allows you to add the cost of your insurance premium (through an escrow) to your monthly mortgage payment. The other method is to pay the insurance company directly through their preferred source. This option allows you to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your policy type and your insurers.

Commercial Insurance

In order to get the lowest cost for businesses insurance in Florida, paying as an annual lump sum is always preferable. If the high up front costs of coverage cannot be accommodated in the budget, the business can get a premium finance loan, which pays the policy in full and then allows the business to make monthly payments. Most commonly, the business has to pay 1/6th of the annual premium (2 months) as a deposit, and pays the rest of the financed amount in the course of 10 month, including accrued interest. Speak to a licensed commercial insurance agent for more details.

Life Insurance

The frequency of your Florida life insurance premium depends on you and the type of life insurance policy you purchase. Most commonly, the payment is done:

  • Monthly,

  • Semi-annually,

  • Quarterly, or

  • Annually.

Permanent life insurance allows for the payment of premiums using the cash value account. If the premium is made using CV balance, it is made as a lump-sum annual amount.

Disaster Insurance

Disaster insurance premiums are generally paid on an annual basis. If the coverage is paid through mortgage escrow, the homeowner gets to split up the annual cost into more manageable monthly payments.

What is Insurance Rate?

An insurance rate is the amount of money required to cover losses, expenses, and operational costs in the insurance company. In other words, the insurance rate is the amount of money an insured policyholder must pay to receive a specific amount of insurance coverage. Generally, the more insurance coverage a policyholder receives, the higher the insurance rate. Insurance rates and insurance premiums are used interchangeably, but they are quite different. An insurance rate is the cost of one unit of insurance in one year, while an insurance premium is the rate multiplied by the number of units purchased.

What is an Insurance Quote?

An insurance quote is the estimated cost of a new insurance policy. Gathering multiple quotes from different insurance companies through a knowledgeable and licensed insurance professional is the key step involved in purchasing an insurance policy.

A Florida-licensed insurance agent can help you:

  • Assess your insurance needs and limitations,

  • Explore the insurers and coverages that best suit your needs and are offered on the local insurance market,

  • Lay out the available options based on the features and their associated costs,

  • Explain the differences and pitfalls of each choice - as they relate to you, and

  • Help you with an application.