According to the most recent statistics available from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the largest car insurance company operating in the state of Florida is State Farm. They are also the number one car insurance company throughout the United States. The statistics show that in 2009 State Farm wrote premiums in excess of $30.58 billion, giving them more than 18% of the total market.

It should be no surprise that a nationally known company like State Farm would be so dominant in Florida. By definition, national insurance companies tend to operate in multiple states, if not all of them, and command more resources that can be used to maintain and develop their businesses. A company like State Farm has the financial stability to market its product just about anywhere it wants, enabling them to build name recognition and customer loyalty from one community to the next.

History of State Farm

State Farm is actually a group of companies working together to sell a variety of insurance products and financial services to both businesses and individual consumers. They are formed as a mutual insurance company, meaning it’s owned by its policyholders and not shareholders. This type of arrangement allows the company to focus squarely on policyholder needs without running the risk of alienating investors who may not agree with the direction the company is taking.

A farmer by the name of George Mecherle originally established the company in the early 1920s to provide auto insurance for his fellow farmers. It was one of the earliest farm-focused mutuals in the country aimed primarily at automobiles. As the company grew, other types of insurance products were added as well as commercial and consumer banking. Finally, financial services were included to complete what would eventually become the modern State Farm.

Figures from the first quarter of 2009 show State Farm, with more than 40 million automobile policies in the United States and Canada. An additional 37 million policies are scattered across other categories including boat, RV, and homeowners insurance. Their banking services add an additional two million accounts throughout North America.

State Farm in Florida

Customers of State Farm in Florida give the company generally high marks according to internal studies published on the official State Farm website. Using the five-star method, the company reports its average grades among customers to be 3.4 for customer service, 3.5 for value, and 3.5 for convenience. Out of nearly 330 customers who left reviews, approximately 68% said they would recommend State Farm to friends and family members.

Beyond just auto insurance, State Farm is so much more to the state of Florida. They are heavily involved with many civic organizations, with missions as far-reaching as hurricane disaster relief and children’s education initiatives.

Their Youth Advisory Board is just one example of how they are investing in the citizens and communities of Florida. The board seeks to develop young people into leaders by organizing them around issues of societal significance. It is responsible for helping develop community initiatives through planning, organization, and grant writing.

Finding Car Insurance in Florida

If State Farm is a car insurance company that intrigues you, contact them and get more information. Also, be aware there are other national companies with a good reputation in the Sunshine State worthy of your consideration. Before you decide on who your car insurance carrier will be, it would be wise to do some comparison-shopping through the Internet, telephone calls, or correspondence with local agents. Only when you comparison shop, you will know you’re getting the best deal.

Other nationally known companies you might consider include Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, and 21st Century. All of these companies are licensed to do business in Florida. Of course, there are smaller, regional companies also offering auto insurance. It makes sense that a good sampling of companies of all sizes would be your best bet for finding a good policy. Keep in mind that when you’re comparing policies, they need to be similar in terms of the type of coverage you’re after.

State Insurance Requirements

If you plan to register a vehicle with a Florida license plate, be aware that you must have car insurance, which provides at least the minimum amount of protection in accordance with Florida law. No four-wheeled vehicle can be registered in the state without this minimum insurance. In addition, if you move to Florida permanently from another state, you must transfer your title, registration, and insurance policy in order to comply with Florida law. The minimum insurance requirements in Florida (2011) are as follows:

  • $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $20,000 bodily injury
  • $10,000 property damage

Florida is a no-fault state in terms of auto insurance. This means that in most cases, car insurance companies are responsible for paying all claims made by their customers regardless of who was at fault in an accident. A no-fault system makes it necessary for drivers to carry PIP coverage in order to cover the cost of their medical bills or those of their minor passengers. In cases where adult passengers have their own automobile insurance, their injuries from an accident in your car would be covered by their own carriers.

In addition, Florida recommends drivers purchase additional bodily injury coverage beyond the $20,000 minimum. Their reasoning is because the cost of today’s medical care can easily push moderate to major injuries well past the limit just in the first few days of hospitalization.

As a no-fault state, if the injuries of someone you hit reach a certain threshold they are allowed to take you to court and sue for the remaining balance. Bodily injury insurance will protect you in such cases if your limits are higher.