When getting behind the wheel in Florida, it’s important to have an insurance policy in place that meets the minimum requirements.

Not only will this protect you from legal repercussions and fees, but it will also protect you financially in the event of an accident. Fortunately, car insurance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you compare rates across different insurers, you’ll be able to find an auto insurance policy that fits your budget. 

If you don’t want to spend hours getting quotes from different insurance providers, you can use Insurify to compare premiums in one place. You’ll just need to answer a few questions about your vehicle and driving history to get started. From there, our artificial intelligence technology will provide you with personalized quotes that meet the minimum car insurance requirements in Florida

State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Florida 

To drive legally in Florida, you need a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage (PDL). 

PIP covers 80 percent of the medical bills for injuries you incur from a car accident, regardless of fault. PDL covers damage to someone else’s property caused by your vehicle. The insurance policy you purchase must be from a Florida-licensed insurance company

The state of Florida requires that motorists maintain insurance coverage throughout the registration period, even if the vehicle isn’t being driven. Before you cancel an insurance policy in Florida, you are legally required to surrender your license plates/tags to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The only exception is for military members stationed outside of Florida

Is state minimum car insurance coverage enough in Florida?

The minimum PIP coverage in Florida covers up to $10,000 in medical expenses, but the average bodily injury liability claim for 2019 was $18,417, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This shows that medical bills can often exceed what a minimum policy covers. And since Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to financial responsibility laws, you won’t be able to sue the at-fault driver for the difference unless you have what are considered serious injuries. 

Here’s how that might play out. Let’s say you incur $5,000 in medical bills for minor injuries because another driver rear-ended you. Florida’s minimum car insurance coverage would only pay for 80 percent of those costs, minus your deductible. If you had a $1,000 deductible, that means you’d only be entitled to $3,200 from your insurance company, leaving you to pay $1,800 out of pocket. 

Furthermore, PDL coverage only covers damage to other vehicles and property, not your own car. If you cause an accident and your car is damaged, it won’t be covered unless you have collision coverage. And if your car is damaged by vandalism, hail, or other non-collision events, it won’t be covered unless you have comprehensive coverage

Accidents can cause expensive damage to your vehicle. The III reports that the average collision claim in 2019 cost $3,750. If you wouldn’t be able to afford to repair your vehicle after an accident and you need your car to get to work, your financial situation could easily become unmanageable. 

The bottom line is: Florida’s required minimum car insurance might not be enough to cover you from the financial damages resulting from a car accident. You should definitely consider purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy. It’s actually not that expensive to purchase these additional coverages, especially when you can compare quotes and pick the cheapest one on Insurify.  

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What is the penalty for driving without car insurance in Florida?

Under Florida’s car insurance laws, any driver caught driving without proof of insurance is subject to driver’s license and registration suspension for up to three years and a reinstatement fee of up to $500. Here are the maximum reinstatement fees for each offense if you are unable to prove that you were insured at the time you got pulled over:

  • First offense: $150
  • Second offense (within three years of first offense): $250
  • Subsequent offenses (within three years of first offense): $500

That’s nothing compared to the repercussions of getting in an accident without car insurance. You could be on the hook for costly damages and injuries to others and lose your driving privileges until you’re able to pay the full amount. What’s more, if you cause an accident while driving uninsured, you’ll be required to have an SR-22 on file and obtain bodily injury liability coverage in addition to the required minimum auto insurance coverage in Florida

In the long run, it’s much less costly to purchase Florida auto insurance. Don’t be one of the estimated 27 percent of drivers who forgo auto insurance coverage in the Sunshine State. Check out Insurify for personalized quotes from a variety of different providers, so you can find a cheap car insurance policy that works for you. 

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Minimum Requirements in Florida for SR-22 and FR-44 Policies

If you cause an accident while driving uninsured in Florida, you’ll likely need an SR-22 or FR-44 on file with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. FR-44 certificates are usually required in the case of a bad accident or DUI. An SR-22 or FR-44 insurance policy includes an endorsement from your insurance company that certifies you are insured. If your coverage lapses, your provider is required to notify the FLHSMV. 

These policies are typically much more expensive than traditional policies. That’s because drivers who require one of these certificates are considered high-risk. In addition, each of these policies has minimum coverage requirements above and beyond what the state requires for the general population. 

An SR-22 proves that you have the following coverage:

  • $10,000 in personal injury protection
  • $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $10,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage

An FR-44 proves that you have the following coverage:

  • $10,000 in personal injury protection
  • $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage

Once you’re caught driving uninsured, you’ll be asked to keep an SR-22 or FR-44 on file for at least three years. Failing to file one of these forms will result in the suspension of your driver’s license

SR-22 insurance can be expensive, as many car insurance companies don’t want to assume the risk of insuring a high-risk driver. That doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of options! Insurify can help you compare up to 20 car insurance quotes at a time—whether you require an SR-22 or not! 

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Additional Coverage That Florida Drivers Should Consider

If you can afford it, you should purchase full-coverage auto insurance in Florida, which includes both comprehensive and collision coverage, to protect yourself financially. Some other optional coverages you might purchase include:

  • Medical payments coverage: This includes death benefits and covers the 20 percent of medical expenses not covered by PIP.
  • Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage: This helps pay for damages and injuries caused by a driver without sufficient insurance coverage. 
  • Roadside assistance: This covers things like towing, tire changes, jump-starts, and other services.

Minimum Car Insurance in Florida: FAQs

Is car insurance mandatory in Florida?

Yes, car insurance is mandatory in Florida. Motorists are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage and $10,000 in personal injury protection to stay legal on the road in the Sunshine State. Even if you’re not a resident, you may be required to have insurance from a Florida provider if you are employed in Florida or enroll your children in a Florida school.

In what situations do drivers in Florida have the right to sue?

Florida is a no-fault state, so you can’t sue another motorist for minor injuries. Only “serious injuries” allow you to file suit against the driver who caused the accident. That means your injuries will need to meet one of the following requirements: You are fully disabled for 90 days or longer; Your injuries significantly limit one of your body systems or functions; Your injuries permanently limit the use of an organ or part of your body; You fracture a bone; You are seriously disfigured. In addition to suing for your medical expenses and lost wages, you can also request compensation for your pain and suffering if you meet the prerequisites.

Are there alternative proofs of financial responsibility in Florida?

Self-insurance is allowed in Florida if you submit a notarized financial statement that proves you have at least $40,000 in assets. You’ll also need to provide driver’s license and Social Security information for all drivers and vehicle information for all cars that will be covered under the certificate of self-insurance.

Updated February 24, 2021

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.