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

Florida and California have different car insurance laws and companies. Therefore, costs and requirements also differ. In Florida, GEICO is the cheapest company, averaging $590 per year. In California, Progressive’s policies are the cheapest at an average of $481 annually.

Last Updated: 6/17/2022
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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
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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

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

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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

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  • 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

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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.

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    Use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculators for Florida and California

    MoneyGeek’s Florida car insurance calculator or California car insurance calculator will quickly estimate how much a policy costs in each state.

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    Learn about car insurance for high-risk drivers in Florida and California

    High-risk drivers tend to pay higher insurance rates or face rejection from certain insurance carriers. Moreover, drivers must file a Florida SR-22 or California SR-22 form for serious driving offenses, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).

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    Figure out your options for temporary car insurance in Florida and California

    Although most policies last a minimum of six months, there are ways to get temporary car insurance in Florida or temporary car insurance in California if you’re only in the state for a short period.

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    If you’re a low-income driver, see if Florida or California offer car insurance programs

    California is one of just three states that offers a low-cost automobile insurance program that provides liability insurance protection at an affordable rate. You can save money with low-income car insurance in California. Even though Florida does not have a similar program, we also found some ways to find low-income car insurance in Florida.

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.

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 the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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