Florida has the most expensive car insurance rates in the country, which is surprising because it also has some of the lowest car insurance requirements in the country. Unlike in most states, drivers in Florida are not required to have bodily injury liability coverage, just property damage liability and personal injury protection (PIP).
Whether you’re a Florida driver buying car insurance for the first time or you’re checking to make sure you have enough car insurance, here’s what you need to know about auto insurance laws and requirements in the Sunshine State.
Auto insurance requirements in Florida
Florida has some of the lowest auto insurance requirements in the country, which means Florida drivers who only get the minimum required amount of coverage probably don’t have enough coverage to be protected in an accident.
These is how much car insurance is required by law in Florida:
Property damage liability coverage: $10,000
Personal injury protection (PIP): $10,000
Unlike most states, Florida doesn’t automatically require drivers to have bodily injury liability coverage (that’s the coverage that pays for the other driver’s medical expenses when you cause an accident).
But in some situations, like if you’ve committed certain traffic violations, you may be required to purchase bodily injury liability insurance. If that happens, you will be required to have:
Bodily injury liability coverage per person: $10,000
Bodily injury liability coverage per accident: $20,000
Liability insurance requirements in Florida
The only liability insurance required in the state of Florida is at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. This is a very low amount of insurance and likely won’t be enough to cover damages in an accident larger than a fender bender, so drivers should consider getting higher levels of coverage if they can afford it.
Property damage liability insurance covers damage you cause to another person’s property in an at-fault accident. This is the coverage that will pay to repair the other driver’s car in a collision or to replace personal property, like if you were to run over someone else’s mailbox.
Florida drivers also have the option of purchasing bodily injury liability coverage although it’s not required. While drivers in Florida are required to have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage for their own medical expenses, an at-fault driver will still be held liable for the damage they cause in an accident.
Basically, PIP coverage pays your medical expenses after an accident, no matter who is at fault. But if you cause an accident and the other driver ends up with $25,000 in medical expenses and their PIP coverage is only $10,000, you would still be responsible for paying the additional $15,000.
This means you could be taken to court and forced to pay additional expenses out-of-pocket in an at-fault accident, even if the other driver has PIP coverage, so the best way to protect yourself financially is to purchase bodily injury liability coverage.
No-fault insurance laws in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state, which means all drivers are required to have no-fault insurance, also called personal injury protection (PIP).
No-fault insurance covers medical expenses for you and your passengers if you’re injured in a car accident, no matter who was at fault. If another driver runs a red light and hits your car, instead of being covered by the other driver’s bodily injury liability coverage, you’ll make a no-fault claim with your own PIP coverage for your injuries (even though they were at fault).
But this doesn’t mean you can’t sue if you’re injured in a car accident in Florida. Even though it’s a no-fault state, the at-fault driver is still legally responsible for the damage caused in the accident. This means that if you are hit by another driver in Florida and your medical bills are more than the limits of your PIP coverage, you can sue the other driver for any additional medical expenses.
How does PIP work in Florida?
Florida law only requires PIP coverage to pay for 80% of medical expenses, which means you will still be held responsible for the other 20% of medical costs associated with the accident, up to the limit of your insurance.  Think of this like co-insurance on your health insurance policy — the insurance company pays 80% of your medical bill and you are left to cover the other 20% out-of-pocket.
Proof of insurance requirements in Florida
Whenever you’re pulled over (and before you register a vehicle in Florida) you must show proof of PIP and property damage liability insurance. Proof of insurance is basically just a document that shows you have an active car insurance policy that meets the minimum state requirements.
Some states require hard copies of proof of insurance, but drivers in Florida are allowed to show proof of insurance with either an insurance card or electronically through their insurance company’s smartphone app. 
CARCO inspection requirements in Florida
A CARCO inspection is a pre-insurance car inspection required in Florida, which means someone will physically check out your car and document its condition before you can purchase an insurance policy.
But you usually have to buy insurance for a new car before you can drive it off the lot, so there is a window of time, typically less than 30 days, where you can have an inspection done after purchasing insurance to avoid having your comprehensive and collision coverage dropped from your policy.
If you are financing your car you’ll be required by your lender to have a full coverage policy, so it is important to get your CARCO inspection done as quickly as possible to make sure your coverage isn’t canceled.
Penalties for driving without car insurance in Florida
Drivers caught driving without insurance in Florida can have their driver’s license and registration suspended for up to three years. They may also face a fine of $150-$500, depending on whether or not it is a first offense.
Beyond legal penalties, there are the potential financial consequences of driving uninsured. If you’re at fault in an accident, you won’t have car insurance to pay for any damage you cause. That means you could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in damage, and your assets, like your car, savings, or home could be at risk.
What is the diminished value car insurance law in Florida?
Florida is a diminished value state, which means drivers are allowed to be compensated for diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The resale value of your vehicle decreases after an accident, even if you were not at fault, so a diminished value claim allows you to recoup the losses you’re likely to experience when selling your car.
Florida is one of the 15 states that offers compensation for diminished value through the at-fault driver’s insurance. To file a diminished value claim in Florida, you’ll need to meet certain requirements:
If you were at fault in the accident, you are not entitled to diminished value compensation.
Documentation will be required to process your claim, so collect any photos, repair history, and other information that may be necessary when filing a claim.
The statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim in Florida is 4 years.
Florida does not allow uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value claims.
Are the state requirements enough car insurance in Florida?
No, Florida’s state minimum insurance requirements are often not enough to protect drivers in an accident. A serious accident could cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and, if the other driver doesn’t have enough PIP coverage, you could be held responsible for thousands of dollars out-of-pocket in an at fault accident.
Drivers should always purchase as much insurance as they can afford. We recommend liability insurance levels of 100/300/100, which means up to $100,000 per person and up to $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and up to $100,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Optional car insurance coverage in Florida
Florida law only requires drivers to purchase property damage liability and PIP coverage, but these coverages aren’t enough to provide robust financial protection in the event of an accident.
Drivers who want or need more insurance should consider adding some (or all) of the following coverages to their policy:
Bodily injury liability: Bodily injury liability coverage pays for medical expenses for the other driver and their passengers after an at-fault accident. While Florida doesn’t require bodily injury liability insurance, having enough liability coverage to pay for damages in a serious accident can prevent you from being taken to court if you cause more damage than their PIP insurance will cover.
Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by something other than a collision, like theft, weather damage, or hitting an animal. Drivers who are financing their vehicle may be required by their lender to get comprehensive coverage.
Collision coverage: Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle in a collision, no matter who is at fault. Drivers who are financing their car may be required by their lender to get collision coverage.
Medical payments: Often called MedPay, medical payments coverage can help pay for medical bills and expenses for you and your passengers in the event of a car accident. This would be considered supplemental to your PIP coverage.
Roadside assistance: Sometimes referred to as towing and labor cost coverage, roadside assistance insurance can help if your car breaks down. The specifics of the coverage are different from company to company, but it typically includes coverage for a flat tire, jumpstarting a dead battery, locksmith services, towing, winching, and bringing you fuel if you run out of gas on the road.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your medical expenses if you are hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver. This coverage is typically set at the same level as your bodily injury liability coverage, which means the more bodily injury liability coverage you buy, the more uninsured motorist coverage you can purchase.