Car insurance paperwork – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by BLACKWHITEPAILYN
Mel Greenberg and other drivers in Central Florida are finding that getting around these days is more expensive due to rising gas prices and auto insurance premiums.
“I would say about two years ago my six-month premium with Geico was under $500, and now it’s probably closer to $650,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg is not alone. Many drivers’ nationwide vehicle insurance premiums are increasing for a variety of reasons. Despite the fact that a variety of factors affect how much each of our individual policies costs, research from Insure.com shows that drivers in Florida pay the highest premiums for auto insurance.
According to Insure, Florida drivers pay, on average, $213 per month for auto insurance. In Orlando, it costs roughly $216 per month. Drivers in Florida pay, on average, 52 percent more than the national average, which is roughly $140 a month, regardless of their zip code.
Flora Hodges is concerned about how other families will be able to pay the escalating premiums.
“What if we can’t afford it because we’re on a fixed income,” Hodges said. “How is that going to work?”
Florida moved up from third to first place in the site’s annual insurance rankings, according to Laura Longero, executive director of Insure.com, thanks to the fact that it is a “no-fault” insurance state.
“No-fault states like Michigan and Florida typically have a lot higher insurance rates,” Longero said.
She also said the Sunshine State has a larger percentage of uninsured drivers.
“Rates are higher for younger drivers and senior drivers,” Longero said. “And Florida has higher populations of those two groups as well as more tourists.”
Mark Friedlander, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, also points to specific obstacles in Florida.
“Florida always seems to be a national leader in fraud. We’ve always had a very high level of auto insurance fraud,” Friedlander said.
Jimmy Patronis, the state’s chief financial officer, revealed in January that five persons had been detained in Miami as part of a conspiracy to fabricate an accident. A Tampa clinic owner was also detained on the same suspicion last July.
Friedlander added that Florida had a greater rate of serious traffic accidents.
“We rank as one of the deadliest states in the country because our roads are so congested,” Friedlander said.
Aside from being a safe driver, you can save money by bundling your insurance policies. You can also save by maintaining good credit, asking about loyal customer discounts, and having anti-theft devices.
James Lumbra, president of LRA Insurance in Orange County, said you can also save money by paying upfront.
“It’s harder to do sometimes, especially as the premiums increase,” Lumbra said. “There’s a pay-in-full discount that can be fairly significant.”
Lumbra also stated that having a higher deductible can be beneficial.
“Sometimes people use the car insurance as maintenance if something small happens or whatever. But if you use the deductible as a larger one, then you’ll be able to decrease your premium,” Lumbra said.
Greenberg intends to endure the current turbulence until the auto insurance market has stabilized.
“I really don’t want to switch just to save a couple of bucks, but if I can save a considerable amount of money then I would have to switch,” Greenberg said.
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William is a South Florida native with professional experience writing at the collegiate and national news outlet level. He loves fishing, playing soccer and watching sports in his spare time and is a fan of all South Florida teams.