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Florida Car Insurance: The Same Laws for Residents and Nonresidents

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/27/2017

Florida car insurance is mandatory to be able to drive, but the coverages you have to have are just a little different than other states.

State Regulator Information 877-693-5236
Insurance Premium Avg. Annual Premium: $ 1,840 National Average: $1,318
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage PIP: $10k
Property Damage Liability: $10k
Map of Florida for Car Insurance

Even if you don’t live in Florida, you may have to purchase Florida car insurance.

Just like every other state in the nation, Florida car insurance is mandatory to be able to drive. But, most who visit the Sunshine State have no idea that even though they don’t live in Florida; they still have to carry Florida insurance.

They also don’t realize that mandatory Florida car insurance is different than what their state may require them to have.

Mandatory Florida Car Insurance Coverage

Most states require that you carry liability insurance on your vehicle in order to be able to drive. This means both property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability coverage. In the state of Florida however, you only have to have one of these.

Florida does have two separate coverages that are mandatory for you to have to be able to drive just like every other state, but because of their “No Fault” laws one of them is different. First, you do still have to have property damage liability coverage to cover any damages that you may cause to another person’s property.

Second, you have to carry PIP insurance. In Florida, PIP is also known as “Florida No Fault Insurance” and to those of us that don’t live in Florida; we know it as Personal Injury Protection coverage. PIP covers injuries caused by an accident for the passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

The minimum limit that you have to keep on each of these coverages is $ 10,000. You are encouraged to carry higher limits, but $ 10,000 is all the state requires.

Florida Car Insurance Requirements for Nonresidents

Even if you do not live in the state of Florida you may still have to purchase Florida car insurance. If you are in the state for 90 days or more over the course of a 1-year period (365 days) you have to purchase the mandatory minimum Florida car insurance for your vehicle. Keep in mind that they count the 90 days as any 90 days you are in the state and not 90 days in a row.

Florida Car Insurance Requirements for Snowbirds

If you are one of Florida’s many winter residents, you have to maintain insurance on your vehicle even if your vehicle is in storage while you are not there. Florida’s car insurance laws state that any vehicle that has a Florida registration and license plate has to have insurance. To avoid having to pay insurance premiums on a vehicle that you are not using; you have the option of turning in your plate and registration when you leave the state to go back home.

Plates and registrations can be surrendered at the nearest Tax Collector’s office or Driver’s License office. When you return the following winter you can re-register your vehicle again.

Penalties for not Having Florida Car Insurance

If you don’t keep insurance on your vehicle, the state can suspend your license, your license plate and vehicle registration. To get these back you have to provide proof of insurance coverage in Florida and pay a reinstatement fee.

The reinstatement fees for failing to have Florida car insurance can range from $ 150 to $ 500.

Should I Get Online Insurance Quotes?

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/17/2015

Online insurance quotes are the new quoting tool for the internet savvy generation, but this doesn’t mean that these users are insurance savvy also.

Beginning of a Website Address for Insurance Quotes

Online insurance quotes are not for everyone.  This may sound surprising with how easy these online insurance quotes are to get, but getting the quote is easier than understanding the quote. Before getting an online quote you need to make sure you understand what you are buying.

Without getting a quote from an agent you are on your own to make sure that you have enough insurance coverage for yourself and your vehicle.

Online Insurance Quotes are Lonely

When you get online insurance quotes, you are going to be getting them alone. Yes, the website will help you choose what coverages are available, so you will have some information. However, rarely is there anyone to talk to when you are getting these quotes.

When there is no one to talk to, you have no one that can recommend what types of coverages are going to best protect you after listening to your circumstances. You also have no one there to explain what each coverage protects and why or if you even need it.

Worst of all, if you ever do have a claim or a problem with the insurance company, you are left dealing with everything on your own.

Online Insurance Quotes Can Be Cheaper

Since online quotes take the agent completely out of the picture, there is no agent sales commission being paid out by the insurance company. This means that they don’t add that extra cost to your insurance premium for you to pay.

This is a good thing for everyone that is looking at saving some money on their insurance premium.

Understand Your Online Insurance Quote

Now, when making you aware that you will be dealing with your insurance without the help of an agent it is not trying to discourage you from online quotes. I personally prefer online quotes compared to talking to an agent. However, I understand insurance and I know what my insurance needs are.

The best thing to do if you don’t have a clue about insurance is to sit down and get a quote from an agent. Have them explain everything to you and print out a quote for their company. If you need to understand better then take notes.

After you are done talking to the agent, go home and immediately start getting quotes online. After talking to an agent you should have a little more understanding of insurance terms and coverages. This will make choosing your coverages easier. You will also have the price of the quote from the agent in front of you so you can compare prices to see which quote is cheaper.

Regardless of the price of the quote, you need to go with what you feel comfortable with. If you prefer to pay a little more on your insurance for the assistance of an agent there is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with passing up the agent if you feel comfortable enough with your insurance and getting those online quotes.

To save time and get multiple online insurance quotes by entering your information only once, try our quote aggregator.

Do Car Insurance Rates Go up for First Speeding Ticket?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question, Research Last Updated: 09/16/2011

Your first speeding ticket can increase your car insurance rates depending on two important factors.

Yes, your insurance could very well go up after your first speeding ticket. Whether or not it does depends on a number of different factors though.

First, it all depends on your insurance company. Some companies forgive the first speeding ticket that you receive, others don’t. The only way you will know is if you ask your insurance company or if you wait for your insurance company to find the speeding ticket on your driving record.

Second, the type of speeding ticket that you receive will also determine if it is counted. Did you drive 38 mph in a 35 mph zone? If this is the case, your insurance company may be more forgiving than if you were doing 60 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Insurance to Protect Your New Car’s Value

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/15/2011

You placed insurance on your new vehicle to protect it, but don’t forget the insurance to protect its value also.

Woman Hugging Her Brand New Car

If you love you car this much, don't forget to put both physical and value insurance on it.

Buying a new vehicle is always exciting. You get to drive something that is shiny, smells new inside and is most likely an upgrade from what you had previously. You are also the first owner of the vehicle so you aren’t inheriting any damages that are going to need to be repaired. If you are lucky there is no maintenance in sight for at least 6 months.

But, what happens if you were to get into a car accident after you drive your brand new vehicle off the lot? What if it was a bad accident and your new vehicle is now a total loss? Did you buy insurance to protect your new car’s value?

Vehicle Value

The amount that you paid for your new vehicle is only what the vehicle is worth while it is sitting at the car lot. Once you purchase the vehicle and drive it out of the lot the value starts to drop. New cars have their biggest price depreciation within the first two years of use.

If you were to get into an accident and took out a loan or a lease on a new vehicle, there could be a problem. The comprehensive and collision insurance coverage on your vehicle will only pay up to the value of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is a total loss and the value is determined to be less than what is still owed on the loan or lease, you have to make up the difference.

Gap Coverage

To make sure that you don’t find yourself still making car payments for a new vehicle that has been totaled, look into Gap coverage. Gap coverage is just like it sounds; it is insurance coverage that pays the monetary gap between what the vehicle is worth and what you owe on it.

Gap coverage is available through both your insurance company and also the car dealership. But, it is best to purchase the Gap coverage from your insurance company for two reasons.

One, the insurance coverage is cheaper through your insurance company. Two, if you purchase Gap insurance through the car dealer it is added to your total purchase price and makes your monthly payments go up. So even after you can no longer use the Gap coverage (usually only effective for 1st year) you are still paying for it. If you purchase the coverage from your insurance company you can remove the coverage any time you wish and not have to pay for it any longer.

Met Life Full Replacement

Met Life auto insurance has introduced a program that will protect your new vehicle even more than Gap insurance will. If your new vehicle is in an accident that renders it a total loss, Met Life will replace your totaled vehicle with a brand new one. All you are responsible for is paying your deductible.

However, this full replacement coverage is not available in every state so it is best to check with a Met Life agent in your area to see if it is offered where you live. The coverage is only good for the first 12 months that you have the vehicle or the first 15,000 miles that you drive it (whichever expires first). The coverage is also not available for leased vehicles or non-owned vehicles.

Natural Disasters and Your Car Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 08/31/2011

When people think of claims they think the standard car accident and windshield claims, but don’t forget natural disasters also damage vehicles.

Car Damaged from a Tornado

Natural disasters sometimes hit without warning. All you can do is be prepared ahead of time.

With the recent fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes visiting our shores there has no doubt been many natural disaster car insurance claims being filed. Claims for trees falling on vehicles, flooding and vehicle fires all usually accompany these natural disasters.

If you have a vehicle and it has been damaged after your area is hit with a natural disaster, do you know what to do?

What Coverage?

Depending on how your vehicle was damaged during the natural disaster will determine whether the claim will fall under comprehensive or collision coverage. If another driver crashed into your car because the rain was so heavy they couldn’t see, it would be collision coverage. For broken windshields, flood damage and fires, the damage would be fixed by your comprehensive coverage.

Also depending on the type of natural disaster, you may not have coverage at all. In all cases, it is best to read your policy.

Best Way to File Your Claim

If you are used to talking to your Agent when you file a claim, keep in mind that they may be taking care of their own property or be swapped with other clients.  Don’t wait around for your agent to help you. Instead call your insurance company directly to speed up the process.

The turnaround time to hear back from an adjuster may be a little longer due to the widespread damage so be patient. While you are waiting to hear for a call back try and prevent any additional damage from happening.

For example, if a flying object shattered your windshield cover the area so that the interior of the vehicle does not get also damaged by any coming rain. On the other hand, if your vehicle is a total loss leave it alone until you are told to do something with it.


Don’t bother trying to get insurance coverage just before a hurricane or other natural disaster hits your area.  Insurance companies watch the weather and news very carefully and will put moratoriums on areas that are about to get hit with a natural disaster. 

Moratoriums are when an insurance company makes the decision to stop all changes to current insurance policies and to deny any new applications. The companies do this to limit their claim exposure to the people that purchased insurance with them prior to a natural disaster threatening an area.

If insurance companies allowed people to purchase insurance right before they needed it, the companies would go out of business. You can’t run an insurance business if you are paying out more claims then you are collecting in premium. This is exactly what happens when a person starts an insurance policy and pays the minimum they can and then files a claim shortly after.

Protect Yourself and Loved Ones First. 

Your vehicle is replaceable, lives are not. If your area is hit with a natural disaster do not do anything foolish to protect your vehicle from damage. Think first of getting yourself and your loved ones to safety.

If you are concerned for you vehicle and you have warning of an oncoming natural disaster, protect you vehicle as soon as you know something is coming. Never leave this preparation to the last minute when it is too late.

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Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.