The Best Florida Auto Insurance Companies
The best auto insurance in Florida should protect you from more than just other drivers. It should also include coverage for natural disasters like hurricanes while providing great customer service, financial stability, and lots of ways to save. The average car insurance rate in Florida is $1,257 per year. While Florida might have the lowest car insurance minimums in the nation, less coverage means greater financial risk. And because the Sunshine State is also a no-fault state, you’re responsible for paying off your own damages regardless of who caused the accident. These payouts are determined by your coverage limits, but they might not be enough if one driver’s damages go beyond what insurance will cover. Florida also ranks third nationally in insurance losses from disasters like hurricanes. The bottom line is that purchasing only Florida’s state minimums leaves you open to financial headaches at best and a devastating financial hit at worst — which is why you should search for a company that offers you the most coverage at the cheapest price.
The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Florida
The Best Florida Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up
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Guide to Florida Auto Insurance
Florida Minimum Liability
Only two types of auto insurance are required in Florida. The first is personal injury protection (PIP), which automatically pays for up to 80% of the medical expenses for you and your passengers after a crash, regardless of who was at fault. PIP also covers 100% of “replacement services” should you or your passengers need help with daily household tasks because of your injuries, plus 60% of your wage losses if you’re unable to work. The second type of required insurance is property damage (PD) liability coverage, which pays for damages to other people’s property if you’re at fault. The minimum levels can be expressed in the shorthand 10/20/10, which means the following:
- $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage per person
- $20,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage (PD) coverage per accident
Pay for as much coverage as you can afford
Don’t settle for the minimum. While these amounts do offer some protection, there are many cases in which they wouldn’t fully cover you. Imagine you take your eyes off the road for a second and cause a collision with a luxury car. If you’re seriously injured and have to take time off work, $10,000 of PIP probably won’t cover all the losses you incur from medical bills and lost wages. Likewise, you might have caused more than $10,000 worth of damage to the other car — a problem if you only have Florida’s minimum PD coverage. And importantly, if the other driver sues you for medical bills beyond what their own PIP covers, you’ll have to pay those out of pocket unless you have bodily injury (BI) liability coverage, which isn’t required in Florida.
Take the other driver’s liability insurance (or lack thereof) into account
Let’s say you weren’t the one at fault in an accident; there are still risks in carrying only Florida’s minimums. If your damages are more than your $10,000 PIP covers, there’s no guarantee that the other driver will have liability insurance to make up the rest — or any auto insurance at all. In a situation like that, having uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your policy would take the place of the other driver’s missing coverage, paying for your additional medical costs and the damage to your vehicle. It could be the only thing standing between you and a huge bill you don’t deserve. (For more information on the various types of coverage, check out the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Automobile Insurance Toolkit.)
Most important auto insurance laws in Florida
When it comes to driving in Florida, the requirements for car insurance are pretty lax. You are required to meet minimum limits, and carry adequate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) amounts, but a lot of standard coverage requirements for other states are absent. Bodily injury protection is something that only drivers who have received a DUI are required to purchase and hold. Uninsured bodily and motorist insurance are also not necessary, but many insurance companies will advise adding the policy just in case another driver can’t afford damage to you or your vehicle. Finally, Florida is a no-fault state, which means your insurance provider will cover you in an accident even if you were the one to cause it.
The Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in Florida
Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 07/01/2019.
These rates are a sample set meant only for general comparison. Your own premium will vary. Learn how we tested rates for the cheapest car insurance companies below.
Top 3 Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in Florida
• Metropolitan P&C: $655 per year
• State Farm: $886 per year
• Geico: $1,046 per year
Top 3 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies in Florida
• Allstate: $1,983 per year
• Progressive: $1,781 per year
• Direct General: $1,617 per year
The cheapest auto insurance companies in Florida are Metropolitan P&C, State Farm, and Geico. One of the main factors affecting the price of auto insurance is the fact that the state has the lowest car insurance coverage minimums in the country. This means drivers are only required to purchase two types of coverage: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. Coverage minimums like those found in Florida can lead to an above-average number of drivers who are not as well covered as would be required in other states, which causes insurance companies to increase the price of premiums. As if that weren’t enough, Florida’s geographic location makes it especially susceptible to inclement weather. Driving during heavy rains can put drivers at a greater risk of accidents, which can contribute to the number of claims filed each year. Taken together, these two factors play a significant role in contributing to Florida’s ranking as the third-most expensive state for auto insurance in the country.
How We Found the Best Florida Auto Insurance Companies
We started by identifying Florida’s biggest auto insurers by market share. We compared their financial strength, coverage options, discounts, and customer service using methodology similar to that in our review of the best car insurance providers. Then we looked at how each company’s customers reported their claims experiences to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports and checked the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Company Complaint Comparison to see how many complaints were filed against each provider in 2018 (the most recent year with data available). Finally, we looked at premium quotes from each company using the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s Auto Rate Comparison Tool.
Allstate was cheaper than most companies in our quote comparison. Its financial strength, while not quite top-tier, is also good enough that you’ll never have to worry about getting paid.
If you’re insuring a brand-new car, Allstate does offer “gap” insurance designed to negate the effects of depreciation — something State Farm offers with Payoff Protector, but only if you have your loan through State Farm Bank. And a cheaper premium could mean the difference in whether you can afford comprehensive and/or UM coverage, two especially valuable add-ons in Florida.
Even though State Farm offered us some of the most expensive quotes, it outperformed most others in customer service scoring by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. That record, along with its top-tier financial strength (A++ from A.M. Best), was enough for us to justify its ranking. Still, the State Farm quotes we received were quite a bit higher than Allstate’s — typically by two to three times. That may be a deal breaker for some, but it’s still worth checking State Farm’s personalized quotes yourself, especially if you’re a teen driver (for which it seems to offer more discounts than the others).
State Farm’s featured auto insurance discounts include:
- Anti-lock brake
- Defensive driving course
- Student away at school
- Good driving
- Good student
- Vehicle safety
- Passive restraint
State Farm also offers options like Drive Safe & Save, which utilizes driving information from your vehicle’s OnStar system or mobile device to calculate safe driving discounts. Steer Clear is another way to save, aimed at young drivers under the age of 25 to promote safer driving with discounts.
Progressive lagged behind the rest of our top picks in terms of financial strength (A+ from A.M. Best) and claims satisfaction. While your experience with the company may vary, these low ratings make it hard to justify Progressive over State Farm or Allstate on the basis of anything except price, where it was average. We did like how easy it was to get a quote through the website though, and the Live Chat option is a nice touch. Progressive is available to get a hold of 24/7, with our tester being connected to a representative quickly, and without lengthy automation bogging the experience down.
However, even though our quotes from Progressive were average, there is still potential to save through discounts. A policy loaded with discounts isn’t necessarily cheaper than a non-discounted policy, but the bottom line is you should get a quote from Progressive and see for yourself. Progressive’s available discounts include:
- Snapshot safe driving program
- Safe driver
- Sign online
- Online quote
- Continuous insurance
- Good student
- Pay in full
- Automatic payment
Liberty Mutual has the smallest market share out of our top five picks, insuring just over 3% of Florida drivers. While customer satisfaction scores were fairly close, J.D. Power gave Liberty Mutual an “about average” overall score among our top picks, and Consumer Reports readers were less impressed by the timeliness of its payments than they were by the competition’s. The company’s financial strength, while high enough to be trusted, was also the lowest out of the five companies we reviewed.
Our quote comparison also showed Liberty Mutual to be the most expensive option for all three driver profiles. This cemented its place near the bottom of our pack, but it’s always worth getting a quote in case you fit a specific insurer’s “sweet spot” — the driver profile for whom it offers the cheapest rates around.
Of all our top picks, USAA has the highest Consumer Reports and J.D. Power scores and the highest possible financial strength rating of A++ (tied with State Farm). So, what’s USAA doing all the way at the bottom of the list? Simply put: It’s not for everyone.
USAA, for all the accolades and superior scores, is only available to active duty military members, veterans, and their families. If you don’t fall within these categories, you can’t get an insurance policy through USAA. For those who do, you’ll find a pretty decent offering of discounts, including the mainstays like safe driver, multi-car, and even good student discounts. USAA is definitely worth calling up for a quote if you’re eligible for coverage but, for everyone else, you’ll need to shop elsewhere.
Florida Auto Insurance FAQ
Yes, it is illegal to drive around Florida without, at the very least, minimum liability insurance. It is also ill-advised to both drive without insurance and settle for the minimum. While it’s true that the Sunshine State boasts some of the cheapest minimums, these are often insufficient for covering any damages or injuries you may incur. If you only purchase the minimum, you run the risk of having any extra costs come out of your own pocket. That’s why it’s important to shop around and gather as many quotes as possible and to purchase as much coverage as you can afford.
The required car insurance limits for Florida drivers is to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PDL.
Your premium cost depends largely on personal factors, including:
- Your age
- Your credit score
- How much you drive
- The type of vehicle you’re insuring
But because different providers will charge the same person more or less for the same coverage, the only way to find your cheapest rate is to compare personalized quotes.
If you have a military connection (as many Floridians do), USAA is an excellent choice for auto insurance. It topped all the other companies we reviewed in both financial strength and claims satisfaction. So if you or a family member is active or former military, you should absolutely get a quote from USAA.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that auto insurance premiums have increased by 16% nationally over the past two years as roads have become more crowded with increasingly distracted drivers. Experts cite smartphone use behind the wheel as a prime factor in more crashes, which have led to more claims and higher costs for insurers, thus higher premiums for consumers — especially in densely populated areas like South Florida. Additionally, weather conditions like hurricanes drive up prices.
A no-fault state is a state in which costs accrued from an accident will be paid by your insurance company regardless of who is “at fault” or who “caused” the accident to occur. Florida is one of 12 states that is no-fault.
We worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide data on auto insurance rates by company and credit score. Quadrant makes this information available using rate data insurers are required to file with state Departments of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes.