Florida Car Insurance Guide

Florida car insurance laws mandate that drivers have adequate insurance coverage on all registered vehicles. This helpful guide offers a closer look at Florida's minimum insurance requirements and driving laws, as well as coverage options for personal and commercial vehicles.

Personal Auto Insurance

Personal automobile insurance provides financial protection if you are involved in a car accident. A car insurance policy is essentially a contract between you and your auto insurance company. Your insurance provider agrees to provide those protections as defined in your policy; you agree to pay the premium.

All registered vehicles in Florida are required to be covered by the state's minimum car insurance requirements, which are personal injury protection and property damage liability coverage.

Florida Driving Laws

Laws are subject to change, and they often do, which is why it's so important to keep current on Florida driving laws. For example, texting while driving is a primary offense due to the passing of Florida House Bill 107, which went into effect July 1, 2019. Law enforcement officers began ticketing drivers for texting and driving on Jan. 1, 2020. The law also makes school zones and active work zones hands-free areas, meaning drivers can't even hold a cell phone in those designated areas.

The penalty for a first-time texting offense is a $30 fine plus court fees. Drivers caught texting in a school or work zone will receive a $60 fine and have three points added to their license.

Florida Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Almost every state requires a minimum amount of auto insurance to drive legally. This amount is referred to as minimum “limits,” which is the least amount of insurance coverage you can have and still drive legally.

Florida is a no-fault state, so the minimum car insurance limits are different from those of other states. Under the Florida Financial Responsibility Law, the minimum car insurance requirements for most drivers are:

  • $10,000 personal injury protection per occurrence
  • $10,000 property damage liability per occurrence

Under Florida law, you must provide proof of personal injury protection and property damage liability auto insurance before you register a vehicle with at least four wheels in Florida.

What is a No-Fault State?

In a no-fault state, each person injured in a car accident files a claim with their own insurance company and relies on their coverage to pay for their medical expenses. (If an injured party does not have their own auto insurance, they would file a claim under the policy insuring he vehicle they were occupying at the time of the accident.) If you were involved in a car accident in a no-fault state, your insurance would help cover you, regardless of who caused the accident.

In an at-fault state, however, the at-fault driver must have insurance to cover the other person's expenses, not their own. In this scenario, the at-fault driver's insurance would help cover the accident victim's expenses.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a required coverage in true no-fault states. It's often called “no-fault insurance” because it helps cover your and your passengers' medical expenses after an accident up to the limits of your policy, regardless of who is at fault. The “limit” is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for covered medical expenses.

PIP eliminates the need for accident victims to file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance. Instead, victims file a claim with their insurance company.

Once you've reached your deductible (if applicable), PIP coverage kicks in and pays 80% of your necessary and reasonable medical expenses and 60% of lost wages. PIP coverage can also pay Florida drivers $5,000 in death benefits.

Please note that PIP only applies to bodily injury. It does not cover damage to your car or other property, nor does it cover pain and suffering.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage (PDL) pays for damage you cause to another person's property while operating your vehicle. It can help pay for damage to another person's car, and other types of property, including fences, poles, or guardrails.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

People tend to think that because Florida is a no-fault state, drivers can't be pursued legally for injures they cause in a car accident. This isn't correct. If you cause injuries in an accident, the victim can file a claim for compensation for medical expenses that exceed the limits of their PIP policy.

This is where bodily injury liability coverage (BIL) can help. BIL can protect you financially if you cause a car accident that injures another person. It can pay for their medical expenses and, if necessary, your legal services.

The State of Florida requires all drivers to have sufficient financial responsibility ($20,000), but does not initially mandate it in the form of insurance. Most agents and carriers will offer BIL along with PIP and PDL.

Although Florida car insurance laws do not require all drivers to purchase BIL, you may be legally required to carry it if you:

  • Have been convicted of a DUI
  • Have a suspended driver's license due to traffic violation points
  • Receive a citation for driving without insurance
  • Are in an accident that causes injury

Drivers who are convicted of serious offenses, such as a DUI/DWI, may be required to carry the following BIL limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence
  • Personal injury protection: $10,000 per occurrence
  • Property damage liability: $50,000 per occurrence

Depending which of the above circumstances applies, you would be required to also file either an SR22 or an FR44 with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Read more under SR22 and FR44 Insurance in Florida.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you purchase bodily injury liability coverage, your policy is required to include uninsured motorist coverage (UM) at the same limits as your bodily injury liability coverage. UM can protect you if you are involved in a hit-and-run or an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. You have the right to reject UM coverage so long as you do so in writing.  If you do not reject UM, you have the option to purchase non-stacked (limited) UM coverage at a reduced rate. This means that you will only have UM coverage limits that apply to one car, typically the one involved in the accident.

Rejecting this coverage could save you money on your premium, but it will also leave you at greater financial risk.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Florida

Florida drivers are required by law to maintain auto insurance coverage throughout a vehicle's registration period. If you are caught driving without insurance in Florida, you could lose your driving privileges for up to three years and have to pay up to $500 to reinstate your license and vehicle registration.

The penalties for driving without insurance in Florida vary whether it is a first, second, or third offense:

 

Fines

Other Penalties

First offense

$150 reinstatement fee

Driver's license and registration suspension for up to three years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time

Second offense

$250 reinstatement fee

Driver's license and registration suspension for up to three years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time

Subsequent offenses

$500 reinstatement fee

Driver's license and registration suspension for up to three years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida

It's against the law to operate a vehicle without a valid license in the State of Florida. The penalties for driving with a suspended license typically involve fines, jail time, or a combination of the two. Driving with a revoked or suspended license in Florida can result in any of the following:

 

Fines

Other Penalties

First offense

Up to $500

2nd degree misdemeanor; immediate vehicle impoundment; no more than 60 days in jail

Second offense

Up to $1,000

3rd degree felony; immediate vehicle impoundment; no more than 1 year in jail

Subsequent offenses

Up to $5,000

3rd degree felony; immediate vehicle impoundment; no more than 5 years in jail

SR22 and FR44 Insurance in Florida

SR22s and FR44s, though similar, are two different insuring filings. One of these filings will be required to restore your driving privileges. An FR44 is required if you are convicted of a DUI/DWI. An SR22 is required if you are cited for driving without insurance or commit serious traffic violations, among other infractions. In Florida, insurance companies are required to file SR22 and FR44 certification records electronically to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

What is an FR44?

Florida and Virginia are the only two states that use FR44s. An FR44 is an insurance filing that is sometimes referred to as DUI insurance, but it's not a type of insurance. “FR” stands for “financial responsibility.” An FR44 is a certificate that verifies that a driver's insurance coverage meets the mandated financial responsibility requirements. Your auto insurance company is responsible for filing the FR44 with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Under Florida driving law, a driver may be required to file an FR44 for three years if convicted of:

  • Injuring another person while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Driving with a forfeited license due to a conviction, or due to a “finding of not innocent” in the case of a juvenile
  • Violating the provisions of any federal law, the law of any other state, or local ordinance similar to the above

The main difference between an SR22 and an FR44 is that an FR44 requires you to purchase more liability insurance, increasing the limits to:

  • $100,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $300,000 for injury or death of two or more people
  • $50,000 for property damage liability

What is SR22?

SR22s are used in many states, including Florida. Like an FR44, an SR22 is certification provided by your insurance company that verifies you have an insurance policy in place that complies with Florida's minimum car insurance requirements. You may be required to file an SR22 form if:

  • You are convicted of a DUI/DWI
  • You are cited for failing to maintain auto insurance in the past
  • You commit serious driving violations
  • Your driver's license is suspended

Read more about the difference between SR22 and FR44 here.

Florida Non-Standard Auto Insurance

Non-standard auto insurance is an option for drivers who are considered “high risk” by some insurance companies. Drivers are considered high risk if they have a history of traffic violations, accidents, or DUI/DWI convictions.

Shop Affordable Car Insurance in Florida

How can you find the cheapest car insurance in Florida? First, it helps to understand how auto insurance rates are determined. Florida car insurance rates can vary depending on a few factors, such as:

  • Your vehicle
  • Your driving record
  • Your age
  • Your ZIP code
  • How much you drive
  • How much coverage you select

In addition to providing affordable insurance for cars and commercial vehicles, Direct Auto also offers customizable payment options. Choose your down payment amount, your monthly payment, and the day of the month your payment is due, and save even more with car insurance discounts*.

Commercial Auto Insurance in Florida

Commercial auto insurance is for drivers who use their vehicle for activities related to their job or business other than commute. To register a commercial vehicle in Florida, you must have insurance coverage that meets the state's minimum commercial vehicle coverage requirements.

Florida Minimum Commercial Auto Insurance Requirements

Insurance requirements vary depending on the size and type of vehicle. However, most commercial vehicles in Florida are legally required to meet the following minimum levels of combined bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance.

For a commercial vehicle weighing:

  • Between 26,000 and 35,000 pounds — $50,000 per occurrence
  • More than 35,000 pounds but less than 44,000 pounds — $100,000 per occurrence
  • More than 44,000 pounds — $300,000 per occurrence

Direct Auto offers competitively priced commercial auto insurance with flexible payment options and discounts for small business owners.

More Information

Have more questions about Florida auto insurance coverage? Want a free quote on affordable car insurance? Contact us online, over the phone at 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), or visit a Florida Direct location near you.

Florida Auto Insurance Resources

*Rates, discounts and savings vary. Cost can vary based on how you buy. Commercial insurance is produced by Direct Auto Insurance agents for related and unrelated carriers. Availability, qualifications, rates, terms and conditions vary by state.

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