Living in the Bradenton/Sarasota area has many advantages, but cheap car insurance isn’t one of them. In fact, the Sunshine State has the third costliest car insurance premiums in the nation. Florida consumers pay about 48 percent more per year that the national average.
So why is Florida car insurance so expensive? Here are a few factors that contribute to higher auto insurance premiums for Florida drivers. (See below for a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best car insurance rate.)
High percentage of uninsured drivers
Florida has the highest percentage of people driving without insurance in the U.S.—more than one fourth (26.7 percent) of the drivers on our roads are uninsured. Insurance companies compensate for that with higher premiums for everyone who is insured.
High percentage of higher-risk drivers
Florida has many elderly drivers, tourists unfamiliar with the roads, and college students attending universities. These drivers are considered to be higher-risk, and therefore more likely to cause or contribute to an accident.
Severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and flooding events cause property damage to cars that insurance companies must pay for. Residents near the ocean, rivers, in low-lying or other flood-prone areas are especially affected.
By law, Florida drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage, also known as “no-fault” coverage, pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers if you’re injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault.
More lawyers, more money
Unfortunately, some areas of Florida are known for a high prevalence of fraudulent claims, as well as a high number of claims where there is lawyer representation. One of the latest problems with fraud involves assignment of benefits abuse related to windshield claims. Inflated claims and legal expenses raise the cost of doing business in Florida, and the result is higher insurance premiums for everyone.
Florida roads are the third busiest in the U.S. More traffic means more chances for accidents.
What can you do?
There are a few things you can do to lower your auto insurance premiums. Of course, strive to keep your driving record clean, but also improve your credit score. Before buying a new-to-you vehicle, ask how it will affect your auto insurance rates. Remember, safe and boring is almost always cheaper to insure than fast and flashy! If your financial situation allows, raise your deductibles.
At least once a year, shop for the best rate, and ask about all available discounts. But be sure that you’re comparing the same coverage limits and deductibles. Shop again when a life event takes place that might change your insurance rates: a teen getting his or her license, a wedding, a child going away to college, etc.
And be sure to call Lakewood Financial (941-747-4600) for a quote from one of our many quality auto insurance companies—or if you prefer, click here to request a quote via email. As an independent agency, Lakewood Financial specializes in helping you find the best coverage for the best possible rate. We’ve been helping our neighbors in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Bradenton, and surrounding areas since 2003 and we’d love to help you.