FL auto insurance is some of the most expensive anywhere in the continental US. It is a fallacy, however, that insurance is optional. In truth, auto insurance is mandatory and there are strict penalties for not having your vehicle insured at all times.
Even though Florida's minimum limits are considered very low when compared to other states ($ 10, 000 for personal injury protection and the same for property damage), the rates for this coverage average 200% higher than other states who impose even higher limits.
Even though insurance is mandatory in Florida, Florida also has one of the highest number of illegal drivers in the country due to the number of illegal immigrants. Because there are so many uninsured drivers, the drivers who are insured are the ones who get stuck paying the price.
Car insurance premiums are so high that consumers frequently find themselves paying more for their car insurance than for their car payments. When consumers go car shopping, one of the first things they do out of total necessity is to get a quote from their insurance company to see if they can afford the new car payment and the new insurance premiums.
These high premiums, even for minimum coverage, force many drivers to drive illegally without insurance. Even Florida does have some still penalties that can be doled out when these offenders are stopped, found out, ticketed, or even arrested, nothing much is done. The courts are too full to worry about these offenses unless the driver caused a serious accident involving fatalities.
Drivers know this. They know their chances of being caught and fined are pretty slim. They choose to drive illegally even on suspended licenses, knowing they have little chance of being punished or suffering any repercussions.
For newcomers to the state, proof of insurance is a must prior to properly registering your car. Many new residents wait till they are here before researching car insurance rates and when they see what they are in for, they wait for the last possible minute before buying the insurance and registering their vehicles.
For newcomers, if a registration and license plate is valid when you move here, most people wait till their old registration is about to expire before buying insurance in Florida. This could mean a period of at least two years before the correct insurance is purchased and the vehicle is given its new Florida license plates.