If you live in Florida and you’re looking for the best auto insurance in Florida chances are you are in for a huge surprise. Although there are many insurance companies that serve the state, only a few stand up to the test. So to help you out, here are tips to get the best auto insurance coverage for your money in the Sunshine State.
Check for auto insurance companies with lower premium payments
Possibly the most important thing that most people look for these days when shopping for auto insurance is the price against the amount of coverage that they will get. This means how much money you need to pay to get the best coverage.
For Florida residents, auto insurance that provides the most Bodily Damage Liability and Property Damage Liability are important BUT the product must still be within their budget. There is also traditional body injury liability coverage in Florida and this extends to the injury or the death of a person from an accident that you caused. But the state does not require this coverage for their minimum auto insurance coverage.
Just like in any state, auto insurance companies will offer insurance quotes to customers from their online site or from an actual agent. These quotes are based on a number of things about your personal history, driving history and sometimes your credit or financial history.
Any significant driving offense is also considered when a quote is generated. If for some reason you are not satisfied with the quote you received, you can always ask for discounts that you can use to reduce your premium payments. But if the premium seems to be too high, you can always look from other auto insurance companies.
Here are some possible discounts to watch out for (take note that not all auto insurance in Florida offer these special deals):
- Discounts for students
- Discounts for group auto insurance/multiple auto insurance
- Discounts for good drivers
- Discounts for safe vehicles
- Discounts for the type of vehicle
- Discounts for automatic payment
- Discounts for early or full payment
- Discounts for superior driver discounts
Choose companies with the best customer service
One of the most frustrating things is claiming auto insurance. You can’t seem to count on anyone for assistance when you call customer service! Usually, you’ll end up either more frustrated or angry that you can’t get your claims done and you are given the runaround.
But why do you need to talk to customer service anyway when there are online websites and social media to check out?
Buying auto insurance and claiming insurance are two things that are such a huge deal. When people are claiming auto insurance it just means that there is a bad thing that has happened and insurers need desperate help.
To talk to a live person is a blessing. You will feel at ease that someone understands your case and is willing to help you. If you don’t want to deal with incompetent customer service, better look for a company with good customer service. To find the most reliable company you can:
- Read reviews of the auto insurance company and pay close attention to how well it does when it comes to handling customer concerns.
- Ask around, talk to people who are using the same insurance product. Whether you are talking to a personal friend or a stranger through social media, every honest opinion counts to help you make the best decision.
- Check out online comparisons of the best auto insurers in your state.
- Look for customer service rankings online and make your choice accordingly.
Select insurance company with the best customer satisfaction
Customer service is different from customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is measured by the number of good or positive reviews from actual customers or people who have the same insurance product.
Different factors lead to good reviews and good points. Just some of the factors that can influence customer satisfaction
- The price of the auto insurance product he wants to get
- The coverage of the insurance product he plans to get
- Any discount offers that the customer will get
- Availability of customer service to answer customer concerns
- Presence of flexible payment terms
- Price freeze/price protection
- Free items that come with the auto insurance product
Choose auto insurance companies for people with poor driving or credit records
If you have less than perfect driving records or you have had trouble with driving in the past, you might want to check the best auto insurance that will provide protection for non-standard drivers or high-risk drivers.
High-risk drivers are described as people who are deemed to be costly to insure according to insurance companies. High-risk people are as follows:
Young drivers are perceived to be more at risk for accidents than people who are more mature or have had many years of driving experience.
Old or senior drivers may have health or medical concerns that can affect the way they drive or stay safe in the streets.
First time drivers
People who are driving for the first time can be at risk for accidents and traffic violations being new to the road and the experience.
Drivers with DUI records
Depending on the state where you are located, drivers who have previous DUI records are asked to complete a DUI insurance form which is included with their DUI records. Called SR-22, this form may be asked by some insurance companies to be able to provide DUI insurance.
Florida residents have a different insurance policy which is similar to SR-22 called the FR44. This is car insurance with an endorsement which means you have the required liability insurance coverage when you drive.
Drivers with other driving and traffic offenses
These are drivers with various traffic and driving offenses such as overspeeding, beating the red light, reckless driving and hit and run incidences. These drivers are dangerous and paying for cheap insurance premiums would be very unlikely.
Drivers with defaulted auto insurance
Non-payment of previous auto insurance premiums can cause current premium payments to skyrocket.
Drivers with poor credit histories
Some car insurance companies use credit checks as a part of their process. If you have less than the ideal credit score then you can expect to pay higher premiums.
It can be a real challenge to find the ideal insurance coverage for high-risk drivers. The best way is just to get a quote and find the most affordable one. Get quotes from at least five or more companies and compare these side by side.
Check auto insurance companies for people with stellar driving or credit records
If there is auto insurance for people with less than perfect driving or credit records, there are also products for people who have outstanding driving and credit histories.
Consider yourself lucky if you have impressive driving and credit scores, you’ve earned it! Auto insurance companies offer good driver discounts, safe driver discounts and defensive driving discounts above lower premium payments.
And that’s not all, you can also get more discounts if you bundle insurance payments together from one company. This way, you’ll get lower payments and you’ll get complete coverage benefits from a single company.
From poor/questionable driving records to a good driver
It is possible to become a good driver if you are labeled high-risk by a Florida auto insurance company? The answer is yes. You can make your way up and become a safer, responsible driver and pay less on your premiums as well when you do the following:
- Take a driver’s Ed class or a safe driving class: Make sure to complete the class and get your certificate as proof that you attended such a class. Present this to your auto insurance representative.
- Take advanced driving courses: Just like going to the driver’s ed class, secure the necessary certificate and attend the entire course training to be approved.
- Install security equipment on your vehicle: This security equipment should be able to help you drive safely and protect your vehicle as well. The type of equipment that may qualify for this special deduction may vary from state to state. But the most common are security alarms, dashboard cameras, navigation systems. Security locks, updated airbags and so on.
- Drive a safer car model: If you are deemed high-risk because of your age, level of experience and for any traffic violation or DUI violation and yet you still want to drive a sports car on the street then expect higher premium payments. One way to prove you are a safe driver is to simply steer clear of any dangers and accidents on the road. To do this, just stick to a safer car in the meantime. Once you have proven yourself worthy and you have managed to learn to drive safer, you may use a faster, sportier vehicle.
- Attend special driving seminars: Some auto insurance companies may accept certificates and proofs of attendance from driving seminars conducted by safe driving associations in your state. Become a member of these associations and you may get more discounts and price-cuts from your current premium payments.
Top 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Florida
The following insurance companies are the most popular in Florida.
Over the years, there are only a few names trusted in Florida. One of these is Allstate. This insurance company offers more affordable insurance compared to other companies.
It has steady financial strength and has a good history when it comes to paying off its members. It comes with a comparatively higher rate when it comes to consumer complaints and the most common one is that the payment is very low.
If you plan to ensure your new car, you can get Allstate’s GAP auto insurance that will combat depreciation. Enjoy cheaper premiums depending on the product you want to avail of: comprehensive or UM coverage. These are important additional features, especially for Florida car owners.
2. State Farm
One of the most expensive auto insurance quotes is from State Farm. However, it has outperformed other companies when it comes to customer service performance according to reviews.
State Farm has top tier strength which explains its top ranking in almost all surveys. The quotes from State Farm are higher than Allstate but are still worth checking out. Just some of the discounts that you should expect when you get State Farm are discounts for accident-free driving, good students, vehicle safety, homeownership, student away from school, anti-theft and multi-line insurance to name a few.
Also, State Farm offers Drive Safe & Save which takes driver information recorded on your car’s OnStar system device. Good drivers are awarded discounts.
Another popular auto insurance company in Florida is Progressive. This joins Allstate and State Farm for having great financial strength. Only a few features separate Progressive from other top companies.
Progressive offers impressive discounts for customers including multi-policy discounts, safe driver, going paperless, making full payments, good student, homeowners, and automatic payments to name a few.
This company even has a discount for adding a student driver or teen driver to an existing auto policy. This goes without saying that student drivers are one of the high-risk drivers.
Progressive prides in customizable packages for customers as well as other insurance products. You can get additional discounts if you bundle other insurance products from Progressive as well as getting multiple auto insurance packages as well.
4. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual may have one of the smallest shares but it has good ratings when it comes to customer satisfaction. The quote you’ll get from Liberty Mutual is one of the most expensive but you can save money by availing its many discount offers.
When you’re a driver in Florida, you are only required to use two types of car insurance: personal injury protection or PIP or property damage or PD.
Personal injury protection is coverage that pays up to 80 percent of the medical bills you and your passengers have after the accident. This is regardless of who caused the accident.
PIP covers 100% of replacement service if you or your passengers need assistance for daily tasks due to injuries plus 60% of the loss of wages in case you are unable to report for work because of your injuries.
Property damage is liability coverage that pays for any damages to property in case you are at fault of the accident. These coverages are expressed as 10/20/10 or $10,000 for PIP per person, $20,000 for PIP per accident and $10,000 PD per accident.
Looking for the cheapest car insurance in Florida
According to a 2019 estimate, the average annual rate of auto insurance in Florida is $1,257, higher than the US average of $1,009. Therefore, expect to pay higher premiums compared to other states.
Also, you might be tempted to get the minimum coverage or just the amount you can afford. Although companies mention this as a marketing stunt “Get insurance that you only need and what you can afford,” there is a problem with this coverage.
There are many cases that minimum auto insurance won’t be able to provide enough coverage. This insurance coverage may only be enough to get you on the road BUT will never fully cover everything.
For instance, you only have minimum auto insurance in Florida, and you got involved in a collision and the other car is a luxury car.
You are suffering from serious injuries and therefore you need to take time off from your work. The $10,000 minimum PIP won’t be able to cover your losses, your medical bills and wages you have lost due to your absences.
If the collision has caused more than $10,000 of damage to the luxury car, and the driver sues for his medical bills then you need to pay all that can’t be covered by Florida’s PIP. All these problems may have been prevented if you settled for more coverage, not Florida’s minimum.
If you are still unsure about minimum auto insurance coverage in Florida, check out online DMV resources.
If you are new to getting auto insurance, you might be completely confused with all the insurance jargons here and there. The best way is to talk to an insurance agent who will help you pick the best auto coverage. Take note that this agent should not force you into getting any insurance without explaining things fully.
If you are at home and reading this and thinking of getting an auto insurance quote from the insurance companies we mentioned, then good for you! Don’t be afraid to take as many quotes you can get and take your time. You may also talk to insurance company reps as well through phone or chat service.
So have you found the best auto insurance in Florida? Don’t be in a hurry, shop smart and you’ll surely be on the road in no time with safe auto insurance coverage.