People often become confused when shopping for auto insurance in Florida. When stacked up against most other states, Florida's auto insurance laws and requirements are a little convoluted. They are also among the most extensive in the country. One thing's for sure: No one should driver without car insurance in the Sunshine State. The state's Financial Responsibility Law and No-Fault Law come together to produce some very serious consequences for drivers who fail to remain compliant. On the bright side, collecting auto insurance quotes is a great way to get the best price possible.
Collecting auto insurance quotes in Florida is a smart thing to do. However, there are other things a driver can do to zero in on the most effective and affordable insurance options. Learning a little about who drives in the state makes it easier to understand why auto insurance is so important. Studying up about Florida's auto insurance requirements ensures that the correct coverage is purchased. While insurance companies that are licensed to do business in Florida are aware of the requirements, drivers should be as well.
Who Drives in Florida?
In addition to being huge in terms of area, Florida has a large population. There are several major metropolitan areas in the state, and networks of highways, toll roads, freeways and other roads stretch from the panhandle to the Florida Keys. No one should get behind the wheel without decent auto insurance. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida's population in 2012 was 19,317,568. 13,882,423 people, or 71.9 percent of the population, were legally licensed to drive. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 7,124,172 people, or 51.32 percent of all licensed drivers, were female. 6,758,825 people, or 48.68 percent of all licensed drivers, were male.
It's true that insurance carriers do not consider gender when determining insurance premiums. However, they do take many other things into consideration. There are things drivers can control, like their driving records. Being a safe driver results in lower insurance rates. There are also things drivers can't control, and age is a prime example. Younger drivers pay more because insurance companies consider them to be riskier propositions. In Florida inNovember 2012, 687,180 people, or about 5 percent of all licensed drivers, were aged 19 or below. Additionally, 9.4 percent of all licensed drivers - 1,309,783 of them - fell into the group that includes people between the ages of 50 and 54.
Car Insurance Requirements in Florida
All drivers in the state of Florida must establish financial responsibility. The most cut-and-dry way to do that is by purchasing liability insurance. Another option is to post a surety bond and get a Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. Drivers may also deposit securities or cash to fulfill the requirement. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain a self-insurance certificate to show proof of financial responsibility.
Due to the state's no-fault insurance laws, the minimum requirements for auto insurance are more extensive than those of many other states. The basic minimum requirements are:
- At least $10,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $20,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
- A minimum of $30,000 in combined single limits
- Another $10,000 per person or incident in Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, coverage
- An additional $10,000 per incident in Property Damage Liability, or PDL, coverage
Drivers face fairly steep consequences for driving without auto insurance or some other proof of financial responsibility in Florida. Driving privileges are generally suspended. In some cases, they may not be reinstated for a full three years. Whenever they are reinstated, a driver must pay a fee of between $150 and $500.
It is well worth it to pay more for more extensive auto insurance coverage, but there's no need to spend a fortune. Collecting auto insurance quotes in Florida is easy, and it's a terrific way to find the best policies.