Florida Insurance Questions Answered

Popular Questions about Florida Car Insurance

Florida drivers pay more for car insurance than drivers in many other places, but independent insurance agents can help you score lower rates than you might pay if you shop on your own.

The average American driver pays $1,311 per year for car insurance. In Florida, drivers pay an average of $1,742 each year. Take time to compare quotes to make sure you get the best deal on auto insurance in your area.

Florida roads can sometimes be dangerous, and accidents are pretty common. If you find yourself in the middle of a major collision, here's a look at how your car insurance can help...

  • Fix your car - Not required. This is called "comprehensive & collision coverage," and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender.
  • Fix someone else’s car - Required/Min. $10,000. This is called “property damage liability.”
  • Pay your medical bills - Required/Min. $10,000. This is called “personal injury protection” or “PIP.”
  • Pay someone else’s medical bills - Required/Min. $20,000This is called “bodily injury liability.

Florida state law requires all drivers to have at least a certain amount of insurance coverage. This is meant to provide protection in case you get into an accident. If you cause the collision, insurance steps in to pay for damage to someone else's vehicle and medical bills. 

No need to worry. The driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damage. However, if the at-fault driver is not insured and cannot pay, you may be on the hook unless you carry uninsured motorist coverage. 

Even though Florida law says all drivers must be insured, it's not foolproof. Sometimes people drive without any insurance. Because of this, you could still face a serious risk if you get into an accident. 

That's why “uninsured motorist coverage” is so important. In Florida, nearly one-quarter of drivers are uninsured, so you face a high risk of getting into an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the policy will pay to fix your car and pay for your medical bills. 



Popular Questions about Florida Home Insurance

The average American homeowner pays $1,173 per year for home insurance, but in Florida, the average annual premium is $1,993, making it the most expensive state in which to buy home insurance. Even though insurance is more expensive for homes in Florida, having insurance is vitally important because hazards such as severe storms and raging wildfires can cause serious damage to homes each year.

Your home insurance gives you a backup plan in case a catastrophe strikes in your neighborhood. Whether it's a fire, heavy winds or a burglary, you're covered if you have a suitable Florida homeowners insurance policy.

Pays for repairs to your home and your belongings

  • Example: A tree falls on your house, and rain ruins your 60" Samsung TV.

Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault

  • Example: Your kid is playing baseball and accidentally smacks the ball through your neighbor's window.

Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged

  • Example: You need a hotel while your house's roof is being repaired due to a fallen tree.

We can’t be 100% certain, but in 2017, insurance companies spent more than $3.46 billion on home insurance claims in Florida. That's a lot of unfortunate events happening to Florida homeowners.

Insurance carriers calculate the cost of a home insurance policy by asking, "How likely is it that something bad will happen?" The more likely it is that something bad will happen, the more expensive the home insurance policy will be, and vice versa. We call these potential disasters "risk." Let’s take a look at how risky Florida is compared to the rest of the US.

Crime:

The crime rate in Florida is slightly higher than the national average. Homeowners should be aware of the risk and take steps to protect their property.

  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in FL: 4.87
  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the U.S.: 4.69

Weather:

Severe weather events are common in Florida, and can cause a lot of difficulties for local homeowners. 

  • Number of federally declared disasters since 1953: 122
  • Most common cause of disasters in the state: Fire
  • Average number of tornados in the state per year: 54.6
  • Amount paid in home insurance claims in 2016: $3,456,451,000

Home Values:

The estimated cost to rebuild your home will play a large role in how much your home insurance costs. In Florida, the average home value is slightly higher than the national average, which is one of the many reason that coverage costs in this state are high.

  • Average home value in FL: $197,700
  • Average home value in the US: $188,900

Yes! There are 1,583 independent agents in Florida ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can give you multiple policy options to choose from? That way, you'll receive completely customized coverage that addresses all of your unique insurance needs.


Popular Questions About Florida Business Insurance

In 2017 small businesses in Florida made $576.3 billion. Florida businesses are thriving. But a company's revenue could be negatively affected at a moment's notice. Without insurance, business claims have to be paid out of pocket, meaning they have to be paid out of your business’s revenue. 

So if a pipe bursts and floods the sales floor or if a customer suffers an injury on the way out the door, you could suffer the financial consequences.

40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some things these companies have been using their insurance on:

  • Theft or burglary: Average cost per claim - $8,000
  • Water damage & freezing pipes: Average cost per claim - $17,000
  • Wind & hail damage: Average cost per claim - $26,000
  • Fire damage: Average cost per claim - $35,000
  • Customer slips & falls: Average cost per claim - $20,000

There are a lot of moving parts to running your business. But insurance doesn't have to add to the complications. Florida business insurance will pay for covered claims so your business doesn’t have to. Business insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that you're fully protected from whatever may come your way. Here’s what a standard business insurance policy should do:

Pay for damage to your building

  • This is called “commercial property insurance.”
  • Example: A tree falls on your office building.

Pay for damage to your business property

  • This is called “business personal property insurance.”
  • Example: A fire destroys all your computers.

Pay for damage to someone else’s property

  • This is called “general liability insurance.”
  • Example: A contractor does a poor job of installing a cabinet, and it falls and breaks the homeowner's kitchenware.

Pay for someone else’s medical bills

  • This is called “general liability insurance.” 
  • Example: A customer slips and falls on your recently mopped floor and breaks an arm.

Pay for accidents in company vehicles

  • This is called “commercial auto insurance.”
  • Example: Your salesperson rear-ends someone while driving to an appointment.

Pay for employee injuries & compensation

  • This is called “workers' compensation.”
  • Example: An employee falls off a ladder at work and can’t work for two weeks.

Sometimes, these coverages are not enough to properly protect a business against risk. Your business most likely faces unique risks and may need additional coverages.

To make sure you're properly insured, partner with an independent insurance agent. We can have someone on your side who understands your industry. You'll receive customized coverage that keeps your budgetary restrictions in mind.

A commercial insurance policy is not required for business owners, but certain aspects of it may be. For example, Florida businesses are required to have workers' compensation coverage — regardless of whether they have part-time or full-time employees. Additionally, employers must also carry commercial auto insurance, especially if they or their employees are driving company cars.

The requirements can get overwhelming. That's why you should talk with a local independent insurance agent to know what you absolutely need and what you should purchase to have full protection.

It primarily depends on how risky your business is. The riskier your business, the higher your insurance. Here are two examples:

  • A sole proprietor who owns a garment hemming business: $260 per year
  • A commercial landscaper with five employees who operate heavy machinery: $22,700 per year

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the risks to your business property, your liability coverage needs, and the amount and types of coverage you want. 

Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a suitable and comprehensive policy for your business.

It’s usually wise to work with an independent agent in Florida, since they have access to multiple insurance companies. Sometimes its difficult to find an insurance company that will cover your business.

  • There are 12,427 independent agents in Florida who are ready to help.
  • In 2017 our agents helped 183,628 people.

Popular Questions about Florida Worker's Comp Insurance

Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires all non-construction employers who have four or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Construction employers who have one or more employees must purchase workman's comp coverage. 

Agricultural employers who have six regular employees and/or 12 seasonal employees who work more than 30 days during a season, but not more than a total of 45 days in a calendar year, must have workers’ compensation insurance in Florida.

Subcontractors are responsible for providing Florida workers’ compensation for their employees; however, the primary contractor must ensure that a subcontractor has provided the coverage for its workers. If a worker is injured and the subcontractor has not provided Florida workers’ compensation insurance, the contractor must pay the benefits. 

In Florida, sole proprietors and partners are excluded from coverage, but they can elect to be covered by their workman’s comp policy. Sole proprietors and partners in the construction industry must be covered. 

Corporate officers or members of an LLC are included in Florida workers’ compensation coverage, but they can apply for an exemption for themselves. Corporations or LLCs in the construction industry can have up to three officers opt out of coverage if each owns at least 10% of the business. 

  • Construction employers. One or more employees
  • All employers. Four or more employees
  • Agricultural employers. Six regular employees or 12 seasonal employees

Florida workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased from an insurance agent who is licensed to sell workers’ compensation insurance in the state. Employers can self-insure with approval from the state. 

If you cannot obtain insurance through the standard workman’s comp market, coverage is available through the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association (FWCJUA). 

Employers can also join a commercial self-insurance fund where members pool their resources, spread their risk, and self-insure as a group. 

  • Medical bills. Example: A waiter suffers severe burns and needs to be taken to the hospital.
  • Wage replacement. Example: An employee needs to miss three days of work to recover from a back injury that happened on the factory floor.
  • Death benefit. Example: A coal miner's family receives benefits after a work-related accident leads to a fatality.

Florida workers’ compensation insurance covers all accidental injuries and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course and scope of employment, including diseases or infections resulting from such injuries within specified periods of time. 

Wage replacement benefits may be reduced if an employee knowingly fails to observe a safety rule or chooses not to wear a safety appliance that the employer has directed the employee to use.

Information Needed First

Classification Code: The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) assigns a risk classification code to every occupation. Each classification code represents employers with similar exposures. The codes are used to classify workers’ compensation rates, based on the loss experience of employers within each code. 

In the example below, you can see that masons in Florida use the classification code 5022.

EXAMPLE: Mason = 5022

Base Rate: Each classification code is assigned a specific dollar amount — or base rate — that is determined by how hazardous the occupation is for workers. The base rate is used to determine an individual employer’s full workers’ compensation premium. Base rates are revised each year. 

In the example below, we use the base rate of $15.10 for a mason in Florida. 

EXAMPLE: Mason = $15.10

Calculation: Base rate  x (Payroll/100)

STEP 1: $100,000 Payroll/100 = 1,000

STEP 2: 1,000 X $15.10 (base rate) = $15,100 

ESTIMATED WORKERS' COMP PREMIUM: $15,100

After you establish a workers’ compensation claims history, experience rating makes a significant difference in what you pay over time. An experience modification factor, or experience mod, is an additional factor that may be applied to your workers’ compensation premium calculation. It increases or decreases your workers’ compensation premium for a given year. 

Your mod is a numerical representation of your actual losses compared with expected losses for your industry (plumbers are compared to plumbers, restaurant workers to restaurant workers, etc.).

  • Average mod: 1.0 = does not impact premium
  • Debit mod: Greater than 1.0 = premiums go up
  • Credit mod: Less than 1.0 = premiums go down

Employers will receive an experience modification factor when they have:

  • $10,000 in policy premium generated during the last year or last two years
  • $5,000 average policy premium generated for more than two years

If your workers’ compensation policy is experience-rated, your premiums are determined by: Base rate x Payroll x Mod