If you commit a driving violation, your auto insurance rates may get more expensive. Find out how to save.
If you caused a crash, filed a claim, or received a ticket for a major violation, you could be a good candidate for high-risk auto insurance. Car insurance for bad drivers is usually pricey, but the degree of price increase you face varies based on your insurance company, your driving history, and the state in which you live.
If you’re found at-fault for causing an auto accident, you should expect your car insurance costs to increase. In Florida, the average insurance rate following an at-fault accident is $2,558, compared to the nationwide mean of $2,012. A major incident such as an at-fault collision will stay on your insurance résumé for up to three years!
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The best car insurance company after an at-fault crash in Florida is USAA. USAA’s usual rate increase after an incident is $1,727, leading to a premium 68 percent less expensive than the average among all companies. If you've been at-fault in a collision in Florida, steer clear of Progressive and Allstate, which are on the pricier end of the spectrum.
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A common violation that earns drivers the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Florida, you can expect to see your premiums grow by $548 per year after a speeding ticket, to an average per-year rate of $2,426.
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The foolproof way to find affordable auto insurance after getting a speeding ticket is to shop around and compare your options. The cheapest auto insurance after a speeding citation in Florida is available through USAA. USAA’s average rate after a citation is $1,511 less than the state typical. If you've been ticketed for speeding in Florida, Infinity probably won't be the cheapest option.
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If you're issued a citation for distracted driving, your car insurance bill is going to get more expensive. In Florida, car insurance rates typically increase by $297 per year. That amounts to a 16% increase from the average yearly premium in Florida, and 72% more than the national average cost of car insurance with a distracted driving citation.
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The best way to find inexpensive auto insurance after a distracted driving or texting while driving citation is to compare a few options. The cheapest auto insurance insurer following a citation for distracted driving in Florida is USAA, with a typical rate of just $771 per year, 65% less than the average distracted driving insurance premium from all insurers.
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Racing is an extraordinarily serious offense. Car insurance carriers typically penalize racing tickets severely — in fact, Florida car insurance prices go up by $1,035 annually after a citation for racing. That represents a 55% increase on average annual auto insurance rates in Florida.
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If you've been ticketed for racing, do your due diligence and shop around for the cheapest rates. In Florida, look into rates from USAA, which offers rates 48 percent cheaper than the state average after a racing citation.
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Among the most serious moving infractions, reckless driving is a certain way to pay more for car insurance. Car insurance companies increase premiums by $981 each year after a reckless driving citation. That's 52% greater than the average auto insurance rate in Florida, and 27% less than the U.S. average price increase for a reckless driving ticket.
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If you've committed a reckless driving offense, compare insurance companies to get the best rate. In Florida, the best carrier with a reckless driving ticket is USAA.
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If you're facing the prospect of finding car insurance as a high-risk driver, the best course of action is to shop around and find the policy that fits.
Florida traffic laws are in place to protect pedestrians and motorists from injury or death associated with speeding, reckless and distracted driving, driving while using wireless communications devices, and racing. Laws are also in place to assign blame and responsibility in the event of an accident, and to ensure drivers are properly insured before driving on Florida roadways.
You are speeding in Florida when driving at a speed that is “greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
In other words, even if you’re driving under the speed limit, certain conditions may warrant a slower speed. Exceeding that speed may result in a citation.
You are speeding in Florida if you drive faster than:
Some municipalities may reduce the maximum speed limit for local residential streets and highways to 20 to 25 miles per hour.
The minimum speed limits in Florida are:
Drivers in Florida must reduce to a more appropriate speed when approaching:
Speeding in Florida is a moving violation and subjects offenders to penalties such as:
Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone by up to five miles per hour results in a $50 fine. Driving in a school zone at a higher rate of speed or speeding in a construction zone will double the corresponding fine from above.
A second or subsequent conviction for driving 30 or more miles per hour in Florida within a year of a previous conviction will pay a fine double that than of a first offense.
All speeding offenses in Florida also result in the accumulation of points against a driver’s license.
Reckless driving in Florida is considered driving in “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and property.” You are also guilty of reckless driving in Florida if you flee a law enforcement officer while in a vehicle.
Drivers are guilty of aggressive careless driving in Florida when committing at least two of the following actions simultaneously or in succession:
Careless driving in Florida is defined as failing to drive in a careful and prudent manner, without regard for “the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”
A driver’s first conviction for reckless driving in Florida results in:
A second or subsequent conviction for reckless driving in Florida leads to:
In addition, reckless driving leading to damage to property or injury of a person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree and faces:
If an act of reckless driving leads to serious bodily injury, the offender is guilty of a felony of the third degree and is subject to:
Penalties are enhanced for repeat felony offenders or habitual offenders.
Aggressive careless driving in Florida leads to fines of $100 for the first offense and between $250 to $500 for a second offense. Committing a second offense will also require the violator to make a mandatory court appearance. Offenders will also receive points on their license.
The penalty for careless driving in Florida results in:
Distracted driving in Florida constitutes driving while your attention is on something other than the road. Though distracted driving is often considered texting or using a phone while driving, it also includes activities such as eating, grooming, reading, or talking to passengers in a way that impairs your visual, manual, or cognitive functions.
Usage of wireless devices, like cell phones, is not prohibited in Florida for communication and navigation purposes.
Florida does not permit drivers to manually type or enter multiple characters into a device or to send or receive messages, such as texts and emails.
Distracted driving in Florida is a noncriminal traffic infraction.
Distracted driving offenders in Florida receive a nonmoving violation and a fine of at least $30, plus additional surcharges, fines, and court costs.
Subsequent distracted driving charges within a five-year period result in a moving violation and:
If a driver is involved in death or injury to another, his or her phone records may be requested from a phone provider to determine if distracted driving led to the accident.
Florida announced in 2019 comprehensive updates to its cellphone driving laws, making the use of a handheld device while driving a primary offense. Florida drivers are not allowed to hold a wireless device in their hands while driving through a school zone or an active construction zone (while workers are present).
Beginning January 1, 2020, the following penalties apply to Florida drivers in violation of this law:
Racing in Florida constitutes the use of one or more vehicles in a competition that arises from a challenge to demonstrate the superiority of a vehicle or driver and the acceptance of that challenge, either pre-planned or in an immediate response.
Racing in Florida involves an attempt by a competitor to:
Drag racing in Florida is defined as the operation of two or more vehicles “from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other.”
In addition, drag racing may also involve “the operation of one or more motor vehicles over a common selected course, from the same point to the same point, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.”
It is also illegal to organize, spectate, block traffic, or ride as a passenger in any form of driving race in Florida.
A first-time racing offense in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor and results in:
A second violation for racing in Florida within five years of a previous conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor and leads to:
A third or subsequent violation for racing in Florida within five years of a previous conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor and results in:
Spectating a race or drag race is a noncriminal traffic infraction and is punished as a nonmoving violation, resulting in fines and fees.
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to vehicle accidents — at least to an extent.
Drivers in Florida must maintain:
There is no requirement for drivers in Florida to maintain bodily damage liability insurance.
PIP insurance will cover you and your passengers if you’re involved in an accident, up to your defined policy limits. Property damage liability will cover the cost of any damage caused to another vehicle by you, but will not cover damage done to your vehicle.
If you are involved in an accident in Florida that causes permanent injury to another driver, they may be able to sue you for compensation, particularly if the accident caused:
Drivers may also file a claim for compensation for any injuries that exceed the cost of their PIP policy.
Following an accident in Florida, drivers must:
After an accident, involved parties must present proof of insurance to the responding authorities. Failure to provide proof of insurance is a noncriminal traffic infraction and punished as a nonmoving violation. If proof of insurance is provided within 24 hours of the crash, a citation for failure to provide proof of insurance may be voided.
Failing to maintain active PIP and property damage liability insurance on your vehicle will result in a nonmoving traffic infraction and license suspension. The reinstatement fee after purchasing insurance is:
Knowingly providing a law enforcement officer with expired insurance information is a first-degree misdemeanor and will result in fines and possible jail time.
Failing to report an accident in Florida is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation.
Sources and references: