Florida is a fantastic state to live in, offering its residents warm weather year round, beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and even Walt Disney World in its backyard. If those qualities weren’t enough, Florida also offers some of the cheapest car insurance in the United States. You might find this surprising since Florida is USA’s second most densely populated state, but the fact remains that Florida is far from the top of the list when it comes to expensive car insurance rates.
Why is there Cheap Car Insurance in Florida?
The main way Florida has managed to bring down its car insurance rates is by requiring that all it’s drivers carry “no fault insurance”. If you are a Florida resident and drive on public roads, you are legally obligated to purchase this very specific type of insurance coverage.
In Florida “No fault insurance” is a type of coverage called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Under Personal Injury Protection insurance, if you are involved in an accident your insurance company will cover the costs of any injuries to you and/or your passengers, up to the limits of your policy, regardless of whether or not you were the cause of the accident. The only exception is if any of your passengers also own a vehicle, in which case their own Personal Injury Protection insurance would cover their injuries. It’s worth noting that Personal Injury Protection also covers injury to pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as children traveling in school buses.
Because Personal Injury Protection allows insurance companies to pay claims directly and quickly to the victims regardless of who caused the accident, they are able to avoid the additional costs of the litigation processes that are typical when there is the need to decide who was the cause of the accident. By avoiding the issue of who was at fault, insurance companies are able to avoid covering extremely expensive lawyer and court fees. In turn, these savings have been passed down to Florida’s drivers in the form of lower monthly insurance premiums.
Unfortunately, while Florida’s No Fault Insurance has led to noticeably lower auto insurance rates compared to other states, it has also led to an increased rate of car insurance fraud. In fact, car insurance fraud in Florida increased by a shocking 66% between the years 2005 and 2010. This type of fraud involves citizens staging accidents with the intent to collect on property and injury damages from their insurers. These criminal activities have been a huge financial drain to insurance companies and have kept car insurance rates from being even lower than they could be.
However, on May 4 2012 new legislation was signed by Florida’s chief executive, Governor Rick Scott, that brings important changes to Florida’s car insurance system. These changes are designed to decrease car insurance fraud by making it easier for law enforcement agencies to identify staged accidents and by requiring clinics and physicians to be more stringent in their billing practices. If these measures are successful in decreasing insurance fraud, the result will be even more car insurance savings for Florida residents in the years to come.
How to Find the Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida?
Regardless of the fact that Florida has managed to reign in it’s car insurance rates and continues to find ways to decrease it’s average insurance rates, you still may be interested in tracking down the cheapest car insurance in Florida amongst the already cheap rates insurance companies are able to offer. Here are some tips that can help:
1) Decide Your Coverage
The first thing to determine is what kind of coverage you desire. Florida car insurance laws require that you carry a minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP) of $10,000. In addition you need to carry a minimum Property Damage Liability (PDL) of $10,000. However, if purchasing a policy that only satisfies Florida’s minimum requirements makes you uncomfortable, you may want to raise these limits. This is an especially wise thing to do if you have substantial assets worth protecting.
If you are interested in even more protection, are two other types of coverage worth considering: Bodily Injury Liability and Physical Damage Coverage.
• Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) provides additional coverage if you or your family members cause an accident. It is designed to cover the high costs serious injury or death to others as well as legal fees that may arise due to a lawsuit against you.
• Physical Damage Coverage (PDC) provides coverage to your own vehicle in the case it is damaged by an at fault accident.
2) Start Shopping
Once you’ve decided on the types and the levels of coverage you are comfortable with, you can embark on the most effective way to find the absolute cheapest car insurance: shopping around. There are many ways to approach this. One is to call all the insurance companies you can find in your area and get quotes directly from them over the phone. Another method is to use quote comparison websites online to help you organize all of the information you will be gathering. Cheapest Car Insurance in Florida is a good example and an obvious starting point if you are a Florida resident.
Whichever method you choose, your goal should always be to get as many insurance quotes as possible. By doing this you can be confident that by the end of this process, you will have truly found the cheapest car insurance available at the current time of your search.
Keep in mind that an excellent tactic is to even get quotes from insurance companies that you may consider to be unreliable or have lower ratings than others. Because of their less than stellar track records, these companies will often offer you the cheapest premiums to make up for their tainted reputations. Once you secure these legitimate quotes, you can then contact the companies you would prefer be covered by and see if they are willing to match one of the lower quotes you found.
Finding the cheapest car insurance in Florida isn’t the easiest or most exciting thing to do, but if you take the time to do it right, you are guaranteed to reap the rewards for years to come.