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|Florida Statistics Summary||Details|
|Miles of Roadway||122,391|
|Vehicle Miles Driven Annually||201 billion|
|Vehicles||Registered in State: 14.9 million |
Total Stolen: 42,579
|State Population||20.9 million |
|Most Popular Vehicle||Toyota Corolla|
State Rank: 1st
Drunk Driving: 839
|Annual Insurance Costs||Liability: $857.64|
From Miami to Maitland, from Tampa to Tallahassee, insurance rates vary from county to county in the Sunshine State.
Whether you’ve been driving for years, you’re a new driver in Florida, or you recently moved from out-of-state, you must go through a Florida insurance agent that works with a licensed insurance company in the state.
A recent Gallup poll has revealed that 83 percent of Americans drive a car at least several times a week. Considering that driving is one of the riskiest daily activities you can engage in, not only is owning car insurance required in most states, it’s just smart!
If you drive in the state of Florida, you share the road with over 15,000,000 other drivers. Car insurance, like any other product, varies in quality from company to company. Many Americans feel overwhelmed when purchasing car insurance, and studies show a prevalence of certain myths.
But there’s no reason to let the process get you down — we’re here to help! And you can trust us because we’re not trying to sell you anything. Knowing the requirements in your state and what your options are is a good place to start. And don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you!
Are you ready to make an informed decision? Here we go…
You may already know comparing car insurance rates is a great way to save money! Start today with just your zip code.
Florida Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
When you think of Florida, perhaps Disney, South Beach, The Miami Heat, or its warm, comfortable climate with bright sunshine spring to mind.
U.S. News & World Report ranked a series of Florida cities within the top 50 of its “125 Best Places to Live in the USA.” While there are many advantages of living in Florida, knowing what auto insurance policies are available to you is one of the most important aspects for peace of mind.
– Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Florida
|Florida Insurance Required||Minimum Limits|
|Personal Injury Coverage||$10,000 - Personal Injury Protection (PIP)|
|Property Damage Liability Coverage||$10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL)|
While Florida insurance laws state that you must maintain the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage throughout the licensing and registration of your vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that the coverage is broad.
For instance, in the event of automobile crash not only will PIP cover you and your vehicle but also covers:
- Your child
- Members of your household
- Passengers who don’t have PIP Insurance (only if they don’t own a vehicle)
- If you are injured in someone else’s vehicle
- If, as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you’re struck by a vehicle
- If your child is injured on a school bus
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that drivers are required to carry coverage that will pay for their own medical bills regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
For more information visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
The minimum coverage includes:
- $10,000 – to cover personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 – to cover property damage liability (PDL)
Bodily Injury Liability (BI) coverage is not required to drive in the state of Florida. In fact, they are the only state without that requirement. Many insurance companies will not sell a policy without minimum bodily injury limits, though.
– What Forms are Required with Florida Car Insurance
You must have the minimum insurance coverage in Florida; it’s the law. So, when it comes to actually proving that you have auto insurance and financial responsibility in Florida you must present one of the following documents every time you operate your vehicle :
- The insurance ID card provided by your insurance company
- Your insurance policy
- Certificate of self-insurance
- Form E, Uniform Motor Carrier Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
- Insurance policy binder
- A surety bond or combination of surety bond and insurance policy
Some of the most common times when you proof of insurance and financial responsibility is when:
- You are asked by a police officer (such as when you are pulled over)
- You register your vehicle
- You are getting or reinstating your license
- You didn’t abide by or failed to maintain financial responsibility penalties
In the event that you don’t show proof of your Florida car insurance when requested, the penalties can be stiff.
For instance, the law states that your driving privileges, registration, and license plate could be suspended for up to three years or until proof of insurance is shown; or you can be given a license reinstatement fine of between $150 to $500.
– Premiums as Percentage of Income in Florida
after taxes have been paid.of money available for individuals to spend (or save)
The average cost for full coverage premiums is $100.73 per month, representing 3.15 percent of the average resident’s DPI. That percentage puts Florida as the fourth most expensive state for insurance when compared to income.
– Core Car Insurance Coverage in Florida
|Florida Coverage Type||Annual Costs in 2015|
The above table illustrates the most recent data provided by the leading source on the matter, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Don’t forget: Florida has minimum requirements for liability coverage, but experts suggest drivers purchase more than what state law requires.
Let’s dig into some of the most popular coverage options to add to a basic auto insurance policy.
– Additional Liability Coverage in Florida
|Florida Loss Ratio||2012||2013||2014|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||74.31%||72.51%||81.29%|
|Personal Injury Protection||74.95%||62.03%||75.76%|
Are you wondering what the relevance of a loss ratio is? Maybe you’re wondering what a loss ratio is? Here’s your answer:
A loss ratio demonstrates the amount paid in claims to the amount earned in premiums. A loss ratio of 75 percent indicates that insurance companies paid $75 on claims for every $100 earned.
A loss ratio matters because it shows the financial health of that insurance product and indicates whether the rates will need to raise, lower, or state the same for the insurance companies to maintain financial stability.
The loss ratios listed above are in a healthy range but demonstrate a rising trend which means rates are likely to increase.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverages are optional in Florida, but they’re still important to have. Why?
In 2015 13 percent of motorists (or approximately one in eight drivers) in the US were uninsured, and a whopping 26.7 percent of motorists were uninsured in Florida – the highest in the U.S.
– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
We understand that getting the complete coverage you need for an affordable price is your goal, while at the same time finding all the required coverage you need. The good news is that there are a plethora of powerful but reasonable extras you can add to your policy in Florida.
After all, an unfortunate accident is an experience everyone wants to avoid but when it does happen the additional coverage can make for an easier (and sometimes less expensive) outcome.
Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in Florida:
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-as-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
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– Demographic and Insurance Carrier Rates
|Florida Company||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male|
|Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.||$3,711.14||$3,711.14||$3,398.94||$3,398.94||$7,859.88||$12,116.72||$3,711.14||$5,037.27|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,158.99||$2,158.99||$1,954.51||$1,954.51||$6,166.09||$7,832.79||$2,399.41||$2,556.07|
– Highest and Lowest Rates in Florida by Zip Code
Below are the highest and lowest insurance carrier rates in Florida based on zip code. Take a close look at the averages to see how they fluctuate based on your address.
|25 Most Expensive Zip Codes in Florida||City||Average by Zip Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|25 Least Expensive Zip Codes in Florida||City||Average by Zip Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|32694||WALDO||$3,481.35||Allstate||$5,638.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32643||HIGH SPRINGS||$3,486.23||Allstate||$5,672.94||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32618||ARCHER||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32667||MICANOPY||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32669||NEWBERRY||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32601||GAINESVILLE||$3,489.42||Allstate||$5,638.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32609||GAINESVILLE||$3,489.42||Allstate||$5,638.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32641||GAINESVILLE||$3,489.42||Allstate||$5,638.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32615||ALACHUA||$3,490.52||Allstate||$5,703.00||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32658||LA CROSSE||$3,490.52||Allstate||$5,703.00||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32612||GAINESVILLE||$3,492.52||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32603||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32605||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32606||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32607||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32608||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32611||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32653||GAINESVILLE||$3,494.66||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32631||EARLETON||$3,523.03||Allstate||$5,930.57||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|32550||MIRAMAR BEACH||$3,597.34||Allstate||$5,996.61||Progressive||$4,267.71||USAA||$1,983.74||State Farm||$2,555.76|
|32664||MC INTOSH||$3,610.75||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,954.28||USAA||$2,456.82||State Farm||$2,656.82|
|32681||ORANGE LAKE||$3,610.75||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,954.28||USAA||$2,456.82||State Farm||$2,656.82|
– Cheapest Florida Car Insurance Rates by City/County
In the tables below, you’ll notice how insurance rates compare greatly geographically.
|10 Most Expensive Cities in Florida||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Golden Glades||$7,161.53||Allstate||$11,695.48||Liberty Mutual||$8,135.30||USAA||$4,505.83||GEICO||$4,603.44|
|Coral Terrace||$7,081.53||Allstate||$12,367.26||Liberty Mutual||$8,191.19||USAA||$4,045.62||GEICO||$4,603.44|
|Olympia Heights||$7,078.68||Allstate||$12,367.26||Liberty Mutual||$8,247.08||USAA||$4,038.46||GEICO||$4,603.44|
|Miami Gardens||$6,972.48||Allstate||$10,667.38||Liberty Mutual||$8,209.82||USAA||$4,505.83||GEICO||$4,603.44|
|10 Least Expensive Cities in Florida||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Waldo||$3,481.35||Allstate||$5,638.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|High Springs||$3,486.23||Allstate||$5,672.94||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Archer||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Micanopy||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Newberry||$3,486.59||Allstate||$5,675.46||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Alachua||$3,490.52||Allstate||$5,703.00||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|La Crosse||$3,490.52||Allstate||$5,703.00||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Gainesville||$3,494.00||Allstate||$5,666.29||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Earleton||$3,523.03||Allstate||$5,930.57||Liberty Mutual||$3,903.07||USAA||$2,129.02||State Farm||$2,685.17|
|Miramar Beach||$3,597.34||Allstate||$5,996.61||Progressive||$4,267.71||USAA||$1,983.74||State Farm||$2,555.76|
Busier centers such as Hollywood and Miami in the south differ greatly to the state capital of Tallahassee in the north or even the smaller, communities such as Edgewater or Waldo.
Florida Car Insurance Companies
Getting an auto insurance policy only to realize your friend or relative found a better deal with a more economical provider can be frustrating, to say the least.
Don’t despair. If you’re currently browsing or in the market for a new provider, we provide the right insight you need to know to make the right decision. We’ll help you find the best provider to meet your needs.
– The 10 Largest Florida Car Insurance Companies’ Financial Ratings
You don’t have to be an analyst on Wall Street to determine the financial ratings for an auto insurance provider in your state.
The ratings are commonly touted on the company’s website and are ranked annually by such top agencies as A.M. Best, Fitch, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
Checking out a provider’s rating is a great starting point as they are graded by such criteria as customer satisfaction ratings, financial strength ratings and more. Here are ten of the financial ratings of the largest 10 car insurance providers in Florida.
|Florida Providers (Listed by Size, Largest to Smallest):||A.M. Best Rating:|
|AmTrust NGH Group||A-|
|J. Whited Group (Windhaven)||A-|
– Customer Satisfaction
In 2018, MetLife hit the top of the charts earning the highest Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Rating for Florida besides USAA which is only available to military and their families.
According to the J.D. Power, the 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study examines customer satisfaction in five factors (in order of importance) to include interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process, policy information, and claims.
The study is based on responses from 44,622 auto insurance customers and was fielded from February-April 2018.
Here’s the total breakdown for 2018:
– Florida Car Insurance Companies Customer Complaints
No large corporation is 100 percent perfect and it’s practically impossible for them to be all things to all people in any given industry, the auto insurance market included. Here are the complaint ratios for the top 10 insurance companies in Florida.
|Insurance Company/Group||No. of Auto's Insured||No.of Complaints Received||Ratio of Complaints Per 1,000 Autos|
|Allstate Ins. Co.'s||83,479||5||0.060|
|DTRIC Ins. Co., Ltd.||26,234||5||0.191|
|Farmers Ins. Hawaii, Inc.||67,473||43||0.637|
|First Ins. Co.'s||59,085||8||0.135|
|Geico Ins. Co.'s||232,142||79||0.340|
|Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.||17,979||3||0.167|
|Island Ins. Co.'s||26,450||3||0.113|
|Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.'s||36,017||5||0.139|
|Progressive Ins. Co.'s||40,623||12||0.295|
|State Farm Ins. Co.'s||176,321||12||0.068|
|USAA Ins. Co.'s||104,745||15||0.143|
– The 10 Largest Car Insurance Companies in Florida
|Florida Providers:||Premiums Written:||Market Share:|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$1,842,800||9.63%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$617,089||3.22%|
|Amtrust NGH Group||$413,351||2.16%|
|J. Whited Group (Windhaven)||$385,885||2.02%|
|InFinanciality Prop & Casualty Insurance Group||$357,011||1.86%|
– Florida Car Insurance Rates by Provider
|Liberty Mutual Ins Co||$5,368.15|
– Florida Rates by Commute
|Company||10 miles commute/6000 annual mileage.||25 miles commute/12000 annual mileage.|
As you can see, Progressive and Nationwide don’t change the price based on the annual mileage. Allstate is already the most expensive option of the big providers in the state and they’ll charge over $400 annually more for the longer commute.
– Rates by Coverage Level
|Company||Low Coverage||Medium Coverage||High Coverage|
– Rates by Credit History
|Company||Poor Credit||Fair Credit||Good Credit|
Credit rating makes a huge impact on rates. Of the large companies in our research, State Farm is the lowest priced insurance in Florida available to the general public and Geico’s rates are competitive with State Farms for individuals with good credit.
Those with fair or poor credit may do better to consider State Farm over Geico. You’ll only know which company offers you the best rate by comparing quotes for your unique situation.
– Rates by Driving History
|Company||Clean Record||One Speeding Violation||One Accident||One DUI|
This table reveals so interesting and surprising information. I’ll highlight a few things:
- State Farm is the most forgiving of bad history and charges less than $300 more annually for a DUI on record than for a clean record
- Most people assume a DUI will make rates rise more than any other infraction, however, Progressive increases rates more for a speeding violation than for a DUI conviction, and State Farm increases rates equally for a speeding violation and a DUI conviction
- Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Geico increase rates more for a speeding violation than for an accident.
– Number of Car Insurance Providers in Florida
|Florida Property & Casualty Insurance|
Laws and Florida Car Insurance
Laws regarding auto insurance differ from state to state. Florida insurance laws are detailed and you must realize and understand the common auto insurance laws to avoid unexpected fines.
The old saying, “ignorance of the law is no excuse” rings true and certainly applies in the state of Florida.
So keep reading to learn all about Florida’s specific laws.
– Florida’s Car Insurance Laws
There are many Florida car insurance laws that apply to you, whether you’re a senior citizen, young adult, or a late teen who just passed the driver education course and examinations.
– High-Risk Insurance in Florida
We said before that Florida is the only state that doesn’t require bodily injury liability coverage. If, however, you have caused an accident that caused bodily injury to another party, you will be required to carry full liability coverage.
People that have a DUI on their record and let their insurance lapse will be required to file an FR44 form. This form filing requires that the driver carry increased limits on their policy:
- $100,000 – Bodily Injury Liability per person
- $300,000 – Bodily Injury Liability per accident
- $50,000 – Property Damage Liability
If you’ve committed offenses that require an SR-22 Certification, you will have to purchase bodily injury liability (BIL) car insurance on top of the state’s basic car insurance requirements.
You have to carry the SR-22 for three years if:
- You have been in a car accident that causes injuries or property damage.
- Your driver’s license has been suspended due to excessive traffic violation points.
- Your driver’s license has been habitually revoked.
Should you be found guilty of driving without car insurance, you may have to carry a six-month SR-22 for up to two years. which cannot be canceled. This also means that have to pay your whole premium each time before you renew your policy.
The list of Florida Insurance laws is an extensive one and it’s always best to know the regulations to make sure you’re always on the right side of the insurance laws.
– Florida’s Windshield and Glass Repair Laws
Whether you’re an urban dweller who commonly commutes on the interstate or you travel to and from the country on the back roads, sooner or later you may get a crack windshield.
Gravel, dirt, or other debris kick-up and hit windshields all the time, and when you hit a big one that causes some real damage you should know how you stand with your insurance company when it comes to cracked windshields and Florida car insurance.
The good news is that if you have comprehensive insurance, there is no deductible per Florida Statute 627.7288. Insurance companies don’t have to use OEM parts, but replacement parts need to be the same fit, quality, and performance.
– The Statute of Limitations in Florida
Video provided by Brian R Toung, Attorney at Law
Understanding the statute of limitations is really not that difficult to comprehend and you certainly don’t require three years of law school to determine its premise. Basically, the statute of limitations is a state law that sets a limit on the amount of time to file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations for personal injury is four years.
|Florida Statute of Limitations|
|Personal Injury||Injury: 4 years|
Wrongful death: 2 years
|Property Damage||4 Years|
– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Florida
False and fraudulent insurance claims are a crime in the State of Florida and are punishable as provided in subsection (11) if that person has the intent to injure, defraud, or deceive any insure.
|Florida and Insurance Fraud|
|Insurance Fraud Classified as a Crime||yes|
|Mandatory Insurer Fraud Plan||yes|
|Mandatory Auto Photo Inspection||no|
– Florida’s Vehicle Licensing Laws
To drive a car, you have to have a license. Keep reading to find out what Florida’s mandatory licensing laws are. It’s also pertinent to remember Florida’s license renewal procedures.
Under Florida law, residents 80 years old and older are required to renew their licenses every six years while the general population must renew every eight years. Here are some additional specifics for new drivers, the general population, and seniors.
– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
|Penalties for Driving without Insurance|
|First Offense||Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $150 fee for first reinstatement|
|Second Offense||Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $250 fee for second reinstatement|
– Teen Driver Laws in Florida
Not all teen driving regulations are the same from state to state. Here’s what new drivers need to know in Florida:
|Young Driver Licensing System|
|To get a learners license you must:||Be a minimum age of 15|
|Before getting a license or restricted license you must:||Be a minimum age of 16|
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 50 hours (10 of which must be at
Have a mandatory holding period of 12 months
|Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:||11 p.m.-6 a.m. for 16 year-olds; 1 a.m.-5 a.m. for 17 year-olds |
Passenger restrictions: None
|Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:||18 years-old|
– License Renewal Procedures for Older Drivers in Florida
It’s not uncommon to see license renewal procedures with different requirements for older residents than for the general population. Here are some tables to help you easily see what is required.
|License Renewal Cycle in Georgia|
|General Population||8 years|
|Older Population||6 years for people 80 and older|
|Proof of Adequate Vision Required for License Renewal|
|General population||When renewing in person|
|Older population||80-years-old and older, every renewal|
|Mail or online renewal permitted|
|General population||Both, every other renewal|
|Older population||Both, every other renewal|
– New Residents or People Visiting Florida
If you have a valid out-of-state license, you will likely be able to apply for and receive a Florida driver license without taking a driving or written test.
To register a vehicle, the Vehicle identification number (VIN) must be physically inspected and verified by one of the following:
- A law enforcement officer from any state.
- A licensed Florida or out of state motor vehicle dealer.
- A Florida DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector, DMV or tax collector employee.
- A notary public commissioned by the state of Florida.
- Provost Marshal or a commissioned officer in active military service, with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant or higher or an LNC, “Legalman, Chief Petty Officer, E-7”
A vehicle must be registered within 30 days of the owner doing any of the following:
- becoming employed
- placing children in public school
- establishing residency
Maybe you’re one of the million snowbirds who escape the cold weather up north to winter in Florida. There are some things you need to know:
- If you intend to use your vehicle for 90 days or more (consecutive or not) in Florida you must register your car in Florida.
- If your car is registered in Florida, you will have to get insurance from Florida that meets minimum requirements.
- You do not need to get a Florida driver license unless you spend seven or more months of the year in Florida.
– Florida Rules of the Road
Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, it’s important to know the rules of the road. Take a peek at this basic rundown to make sure you are following the law.
– Fault vs. No-Fault
Florida is a no-fault state, which means your own PIP coverage will pay for your injuries regardless of who caused the accident. Whoever causes the crash will still be liable for property damage.
– Impaired-Driving Laws in Florida
There can’t be enough enforcement or education when it comes to the dangerous, reckless practice of drinking and driving. Like many states, Florida has some very strict laws if found guilty.
|Florida DUI Laws|
|High BAC Limit||0.15%|
|Criminal Status by Offense||First and Second: misdemeanors; Third and subsequent within 10 years: Third degree felony|
|Formal Name for Offense||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)|
|Look Back Period/Washout Period||10 year for first - third offenses;|
Unlimited/lifetime for fourth and subsequent offenses
|1st Offense - ALS or Revocation||180 days minimum up to one year|
|1st Offense - Imprisonment||Eight hours minimum, but not more than six months;|
With high BAC or
a minor in car: not more than nine months;
For a first conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed one year
|1st Offense - Fine||$500-$1000; |
High BAC or minor in car: $1000-$2000
|1st Offense - Other||Car impounded for 10 days unless family has no other transportation;|
Mandatory 50 hours community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required
|2nd Offense - DL Revocation||Second within five years: minimum five year revocation; Second in six or more years: minimum 180 days up to one year revocation|
|2nd Offense - Imprisonment||Not more than nine months; |
With high BAC or a minor in car: not more than 12 months;
If second in five years: mandatory imprisonment at least 10 days with 48 hours consecutive
|2nd Offense - Fine||$1000-$2000; |
High BAC or a minor in car: $2000-$4000
|2nd Offense - Other||Second in five years: car impounded for 30 days unless family has no other transportation|
|3rd Offense - DL Revocation||Third in 10 years of second conviction: minimum 10 year revocation, may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after two years|
|3rd Offense - Imprisonment||Within 10 years: mandatory 30 days with 48 consecutive hours; |
If over 10 years: imprisonment for not more than 12 months
|3rd Offense - Fine||Within 10 years from 2nd conviction: $2000-$5000; |
High BAC or minor in car, $4000 min
|3rd Offense - Other||Within 10 years: car impounded for 90 days unless family has no other transportation|
|4th Offense - DL Revocation||Mandatory permanent revocation with no hardship reinstatement allowed|
|4th Offense - Imprisonment||Not more than five years|
|4th Offense - Fine||$2000 minimum|
|Mandatory Interlock||Repeat offenders|
– Speed Limits in Florida
Knowing the speed limit in Florida (for new residents or if you are just passing through) is something you need to be aware of before its too late and you see two red lights flashing in your rearview mirror. Here is a simple breakdown of the speed limits in Florida.
|Maximum Posted Speed Limits|
|Rural Interstates||70 mph|
|Urban Interstates||65 mph|
|Other limited access roads||70 mph|
|Other roads||65 mph|
– Child Safety Seat Laws in Florida
- Children from birth to age three must be secured in a federally approved child safety seat
- Children ages four and five may be secured in a federally approved child safety seat or a booster seat
If you fail to abide by this law you can face a fine of $60 for a first offense.
– Move Over and Keep Right Laws
Florida has what is called a Move Over law that requires you to move over for law enforcement, emergency, utility service, towing and even wrecker vehicles.
If it’s difficult or you can’t move over slow to a speed of 20 mph less than the posted speed limit. In the event of a posted speed limit of 20 mph slow to a speed a five mph.
Florida’s keep right laws require slower traffic to keep right and drivers to yield to faster vehicles.
For example: If you’re on a four-lane highway driving in the left lane and a vehicle moving faster than you is behind you, you must move over to the right lane and let them pass.
– Distracted Driving
One of the common issues that have become more prominent since the dawn of smartphones is distracted driving while talking or texting while at the wheel.
Florida, like most states, has enacted laws limiting the use of handheld devices when driving.
Effective October 1st, 2019, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) says cellphones can “only be used in a hands-free manner when driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area.”
|Restrictions on Cell Phone use and Texting|
|Young drivers all cellphone ban||No|
|Texting ban||Yes - all drivers|
Enforcement for texting while driving is also now a primary offense (effective since July 1st, 2019).
The FLHSMV says that if drivers text while driving, they face the following penalties.
- 1st violation: non-moving offense (no points added to driver’s record).
- 2nd violation: moving violation (three points added to driver’s record).
So put the phone down in the car, as Florida is strengthening its laws on distracted driving.
– Ridesharing in Florida
Ridesharing services in Florida are one of the most common forms of transportation. Lyft and Uber are the most popular. Uber and Lyft drivers who have the app on must be carrying the following insurance limits.
- $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
- $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident,
- $25,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.
Once you have a passenger, you need to be covered by the company’s third-party liability insurance policy, with at least one million dollars coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
– Automation on the Roads in Florida
Florida allows autonomous vehicles in the state, but the laws specify the person who activated the autonomous technology shall be considered the “operator” regardless of whether that person is in the vehicle or not.
Owners (typically this would be a corporate entity) must provide proof of five million dollars proof on insurance or surety bond to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when testing an autonomous vehicle.
These Facts Might Raise Your Eyebrow
To protect yourself, passengers, and your vehicle it’s best to be informed.
– Vehicle Theft in Florida
Here are the top-10 stolen cars in the state of Florida:
|Make/Model||Year||# of Thefts|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2006||2,070|
|Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||2015||786|
|Dodge Pickup (Full Size)||2005||534|
– Road Danger in Florida
The best way to stay out of danger on the road is to drive defensively and be aware of common issues in your state.
– Traffic Fatalities from 2017
Here are statistics on traffic fatalities in Florida from 2017:
– Fatalities by Person Type
|Person Type||Number of Fatalities|
|Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities|
(All Seat Positions)
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist Fatalities||123|
– Fatalities by Crash Type
|Involving a Large Truck||292|
|Involving a Rollover||538|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||1,122|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||1,134|
– Fatalities Rates in the Largest Cities
|City||2016 Total Killed||2016 Pedestrians Killed||2016 Population||Total Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population||Pedestrian Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population|
|Port St. Lucie||13||6||185,132||7.02||3.24|
– Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban
– Fatalities Involving a DUI by County
|County||Number of DUI-Related Fatalities (2016)||DUI-Related Fatalities per 100,000 Population (2016)|
|Indian River County||7||4.62|
|Palm Beach County||54||3.71|
|Santa Rosa County||2||1.18|
|St. Johns County||9||3.83|
|St. Lucie County||9||2.94|
– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
|County||Fatalities Involving Speeding (2016)||Fatalities Involving Speeding per 100,000 Population (2016)|
|Indian River County||3||1.98|
|Palm Beach County||31||2.13|
|Santa Rosa County||0||0|
|St. Johns County||1||0.43|
|St. Lucie County||3||0.98|
– Five-year Fatality Trends in the Top-10 Counties (2017)
|Palm Beach County||137||130||187||181||162|
|Total for Top Ten Counties||1,329||1,400||1,612||1,767||1,674|
|Total for All other Counties||1,074||1,094||1,326||1,409||1,438|
|Total for All Counties||2,403||2,494||2,938||3,176||3,112|
– Teens and Drunk Driving
Teen drunk driving is a serious problem in a lot of states, and one that each parent must take seriously.
|Teens and Drunk Driving|
|Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities Per one million people||1.6|
|Higher/Lower Than National Average (1.2)||Higher|
|DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old)||109|
|DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old) Total Per Million People||26.29|
As you will be able to see in the charts below, Florida (represented in orange) doesn’t stray far from the national averages (represented in gray).
– Car Ownership
– Commute Time
– Commuter Transportation
– Top Four Cities for Traffic Congestion
|City||Hours Spent in Congestion Annually||Cost of Congestion Per Driver Per Year|
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