Although some states do not really require you to purchase car insurance, there are certain forms of insurance that Florida requires you to have. Keep reading to find out the facts you need to know about acquiring cheap car insurance in Florida, including the main factors that will affect your premiums.
The two main insurance types you need are called PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and Property Damage Liability Insurance, especially if you have owned a car for more than three months in the state. It is important to know that these three months do not have to be consecutive.
You must be covered for a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability, but the most common coverage is around $50,000. These are the only two forms of coverage that are legally required by the state of Florida but depending on where you live, it might be worth considering other forms of affordable car insurance in Florida as well.
Most people opt for some sort of comprehensive coverage, and it is wise to consider these options. There are a few different add-ons you can choose, which ensure you are covered for numerous potential accidents:
- Bodily Injury Liability: Averages around $100,000 to $300,000
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Most common is around $10,000 to $20,000
- Medical payments: Most people opt for around $5,000
- Collision: In this case, it is most common to opt for a $500 deductible
Factors Affecting Car Insurance Price
There are a number of things that will affect the prices you are quoted, from where you live to your age. Here is a brief rundown of some of the main factors that will be taken into account:
The cost of car insurance in Florida is determined primarily by your zip code. The cost can vary significantly.
For instance, if you live in Miami, the average is around $226 a month., but if you live in Tallahassee, you could expect to pay only about $82 a month. The primary factor for this is that there is a greater liability for car insurance companies, considering that cars usually suffer more damage in urban areas than in rural areas.
As is the case in most states, teenage drivers pay more for car insurance because they are considered to be more of a liability than adult drivers. In Florida, teenagers are allowed to take the test to obtain their learners permit at the age of 15.
That permit enables them to learn the basics of driving by requiring them to engage in 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which must be performed at night time. They are not permitted to drive unsupervised during this time.
Assuming they complete these hours and follow the rules safely for 12 months, they can apply to receive their Intermediate Permit. This allows them to drive unsupervised but ONLY from the hours of 6 AM to 11 PM for the first 12 months and from 5 AM to 1 AM for the second 12 months. After these 24 months, they are eligible for their full license with no restrictions.
Depending on where you live, the insurance cost varies for teenage drivers. To be expected, living in more urban areas is associated with higher costs; however, insurance for teenage drivers is significantly higher across the board.
Hialeah has the highest cost with a monthly average of around $564. Tallahassee, which has the lowest car insurance costs all round, still averages at about $218 per month.
3. Driving Violations
Disobeying highway safety laws will affect your insurance rates, and if you are caught violating two or more laws simultaneously (such as speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes improperly), you can be pulled over and written a ticket for aggressive driving.
Also, while getting a DUI is serious business in any state, in Florida, it means running the risk of your insurance company refusing to cover you in general. Liberty Mutual is notorious for dropping customers for DUI offenses. Although this is rare for a first offense, getting a DUI is guaranteed to raise the cost of your insurance.
The penalties for DUIs depend on what your blood alcohol level (BAL) is when you are pulled over. Under 0.15, the penalty can be up to a $1,000 fine or 6 months in prison. If your BAL is above 0.15, you can face a maximum penalty of $2,000 or 9 months in prison.
The ways a DUI affect your insurance, again vary, based on where you live. For instance, in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg, the rates increase from about $30 to $50 per month.
In other places, the rate increase is higher. In Fort Lauderdale, having a DUI can raise your insurance by about $70, and in Hialeah, the increase can be around $150.
4. Credit Score
In Florida, insurance companies are allowed to change their rates based on your credit score. Hence, it is worth considering having an idea about where your credit score stands when seeking out insurance plans.
Other Considerations of Auto Insurance in Florida
In order for you to make the best decision when it comes to the coverage you choose, here are a few things you should know about cheap car insurance in Florida:
1. Prices for Comprehensive Coverage
Depending on where you live, it might make financial sense to get full comprehensive coverage. For example, if you live in Fort Lauderdale, you can expect to pay around $165 per month for basic coverage, while comprehensive coverage will generally only cost an extra $17.
However, if you live in Hialeah, basic coverage averages around $265 and comprehensive coverage will set you back around $410. The starkest contrast comes from Jacksonville where basic coverage is only around $74, and comprehensive coverage can be as high as $286!
2. Coastal Areas vs. Rural Areas
Where you live is also important in considering what kind of coverage you need because the state does not cover things such as storm damage, which can be significant if you live in coastal areas of the state. The state also does not include roadside assistance, so if you live in a rural area and are tempted by the cheap base rate insurance, consider the possibility of your car breaking down far from town.
3. Additional Driver Insurance
Basic insurance in Florida also just covers the vehicle, not the driver. If you intend on having multiple drivers, you might want to consider getting additional driver insurance.
Which Car Insurance Company Works for Me?
There are a few major companies that provide affordable car insurance in Florida, and you may wish to obtain quotes from the following:
- Geico: A well-known provider of cheap car insurance USA-wide
- Ameriprise Insurance: Offers perks and bonuses for safe driving and also allow you to customize your payment schedule based on your financial situation.
- Amica Insurance: Known for their low prices and great customer service
- Hartford Insurance: Specifically for seniors looking for great coverage at a low price
The ability to get cheap car insurance in Florida will depend on some factors such as your age, driving record, and your zip code. While there are minimum requirements when it comes to coverage, you shouldn’t dismiss the idea of comprehensive coverage to save you money, especially when you consider that it could cost just $17 a month extra, depending on your home address.
Make sure you read the small print before signing up for any policy. Also, ensure that it offers you the exact coverage you need.