Car Insurance in Florida vs. California: Costs, Laws and Resources


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
ByMark Fitzpatrick

Updated: May 20, 2024

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If you’re thinking about relocating from Florida to California or vice versa, know that each state has its own set of car insurance coverage requirements. Drivers in both states are required to obtain property damage liability coverage. However, Florida requires a much higher coverage level than California. In addition, Florida requires personal injury protection (PIP), while Georgia requires bodily injury liability coverage instead.

MoneyGeek looked at costs to see which companies offer the cheapest policies in these two states. We also compared car insurance laws and requirements in Florida vs. California.

Car Insurance Laws in Florida vs. California

Florida car insurance laws require drivers to have property damage liability coverage and personal injury protection. Meanwhile, California car insurance laws require drivers to have property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage, with different limits per person and accident. Though California has higher requirements, the minimum car insurance is much cheaper at $665 per year. In Florida, the state’s minimum coverage comes to $1,123 per year on average.

Busy roadways and harsh weather conditions are just two of the factors why Florida’s car insurance rates are higher than in California and most other states.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN FLORIDA AND CALIFORNIA

Florida Requirements

  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $10,000 personal injury protection per person

California Requirements

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident

Car Insurance Resources for Florida and California

 

MoneyGeek compared the costs of car insurance in Florida vs. California to find the best deals based on the driver's needs and budget. Below are some of MoneyGeek’s helpful references for drivers in Florida and California seeking auto insurance.

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How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in Florida and California?

Each state follows different car insurance laws, which could affect rates. Car insurance rates in Florida vs. California are generally higher because Florida is a no-fault state.

A no-fault state means drivers can turn to their car insurance companies to seek assistance with medical bills regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

California, on the other hand, is a tort state, which means drivers at fault are responsible for third-party damages, medical expenses and other liabilities.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Florida vs. California

Based on MoneyGeek’s research, the cheapest car insurance companies for minimum coverage in Florida and California are the following:

  • Cheapest in Florida: GEICO ($590 per year)
  • Cheapest in California: Progressive ($481 per year)

Eligible military members in Florida may qualify for a much cheaper option from USAA at an average of $406 per year.

The cheapest Florida insurance rates are much higher than those in California. This shows how rates can vary significantly from state to state.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Florida
Company
Annual Rate

1.

USAA

$406

2.

GEICO

$590

3.

Allstate

$1,034

4.

Allied

$1,056

5.

State Farm

$1,085

6.

Travelers

$1,120

7.

Mercury

$1,356

8.

Progressive

$1,564

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California
Company
Annual Rate

1.

Progressive

$481

2.

USAA

$483

3.

CSAA

$505

4.

GEICO

$521

5.

Esurance

$570

6.

AAA

$587

7.

Mercury

$590

8.

Travelers

$674

9.

State Farm

$731

10.

Allstate

$758

11.

Hartford

$784

12.

Allied

$800

13.

Farmers

$850

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THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

GEICO and Progressive are the cheapest companies in Florida and California, respectively. However, understand that the above-mentioned rates from these companies are averages for a minimum car insurance policy. You may require more coverage than the minimum required level, which could affect your personal quotes.

MoneyGeek compares the cheapest rates in both states based on your coverage needs and budget:

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Average Cost of Car Insurance in Florida vs. California

The cost of your insurance will change as you increase your coverage level. Drivers with a minimum coverage policy pay an average of $1,123 per year in Florida and $665 in California. Meanwhile, drivers with full coverage policies pay $2,208 per year in Florida and $1,429 in California, on average.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in Florida vs. California
Driver
Florida Annual Premium
California Annual Premium

Minimum Coverage

$1,123

$665

Full Coverage

$2,208

$1,429

Adding a Young Driver

$4,913

$4,187

Drivers With a Violation

$2,902

$2,057

Drivers With Poor Credit

$4,194

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in Florida vs. California?

There are a variety of factors that dictate car insurance costs. States that follow a no-fault policy generally require higher insurance costs. California has a higher number of vehicle thefts and a much higher overall cost of living than Florida. However, because Florida is a no-fault state, policies are still significantly more expensive than in California.

In fact, Florida has higher car insurance rates than most states, ranking as one of the top five most expensive states in this regard.

Car Insurance Costs by City in Florida vs. California

Car insurance rates also vary depending on where you live within a state.

Gainesville is the cheapest city in Florida for state minimum insurance, averaging $693 per year. Hialeah, on the other hand, is the most expensive city, averaging $1,461 per year. As for California, the cheapest city is Santa Maria with policies costing an average of $509 per year. Glendale is the most expensive at $1,066 per year, on average.

Car insurance requirements are the same in each city within a specific state and therefore do not affect the costs. But living in a more densely populated city affects rates, among other factors.

Car Insurance Costs by City in Florida
Car Insurance Costs by City in California

Moving Between Florida and California? What to Know

When moving from Florida to California or vice versa, you’ll have to transition your driver’s license and registration. If you’re happy with your current insurer and they offer policies in your new state, you may be able to stay with them. However, the cheapest company in a particular state may not offer the same affordable policies with similar coverage in your new state.

If you need to shop for a new insurer, MoneyGeek provides complete resources to help you find the best fit depending on your driving background.

FAQs About Florida and California Car Insurance

To help drivers better understand the differences between getting coverage in each state, MoneyGeek answered the most frequently asked questions about car insurance in Florida vs. California.

How do car insurance laws and requirements differ in Florida and California?
Are the cheapest car insurance companies different in Florida and California?

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company and across Florida and California, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both locations. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria like coverage level, age, driving offenses and credit score. Learn more about how costs are calculated in our MoneyGeek car insurance methodology.

Minimum car insurance requirements by the state were sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the respective state.

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


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