With money being tighter than ever for many Americans, people are looking for every possible way to save a little money. If you’ve recently moved to Florida (or are just thinking about it), you may have taken a look at the car insurance rates in Florida cities and wondered at the prices. Why is car insurance in Florida so high? Where are insurance rates the lowest? What can you do about your rates? Let’s break it down.
How Expensive is Florida Car Insurance?
Florida ranks third in terms of most expensive car insurance rates (according to Autolist) with an annual average of $2219, compared to a nationwide average of $1457.
Why Florida Car Insurance is So Expensive
Why is Florida car insurance so expensive? As with car insurance anywhere, insurers look at the factors that affect the frequency and amount of insurance claims and determine the appropriate rates accordingly. In the case of Florida car insurance, the biggest factors influencing rates include:
- Poor weather. Inclement weather plays a major role in terms of car insurance premiums. Florida is home to hurricanes, flooding, and intense storms, meaning damage from wind and water is a constant threat. Bad weather also increases the likelihood of automobile accidents, which puts Florida in a higher risk category for weather-related accident claims.
- Busy roads. Florida also has some of the busiest roadways in the nation, ranking just behind New York and California in terms of activity. Busier roadways means a higher likelihood of accidents, which also factors into the cost of insurance premiums.
- Uninsured and high-risk drivers. Simply put, Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers nationwide, at 26.7% — meaning over one in four drivers are on the road without insurance of any kind. Uninsured drivers are a major problem for both insurance companies and motorists.
Florida also has a higher percentage of drivers in high-risk categories, such as tourists, the elderly, and college students. High-risk drivers in Florida contribute to almost half a million car accidents annually, which in turn drives up claim costs (and thus car insurance rates).
Which Cities Have the Highest Car Insurance Rates?
Perhaps not surprisingly, the most populous counties in Florida tend to have the most expensive car insurance quotes. Miami-Dade County has an average annual car insurance quote of $10,452 for a family of four, with Palm Beach county’s average coming in at $8,785 (also for a family of four). This comes out to $2,613 a person, again in comparison to a national average of $1,457! Car insurance for a family of four in Miami can go for as high as $21,000 yearly.
The most expensive Florida counties overall behind Miami-Dade and Palm Beach are Broward, Hillsborough, and Pasco, with the highest quote for a family in Hillsborough still coming in at over $17,000 annually.
Which Cities in Florida Have the Lowest Car Insurance Rates?
Fortunately, not every city in Florida has prohibitively high car insurance rates. A few cities, particularly some smaller ones, have annual premiums more in line with the national average. These cities include:
- Gainesville ($805)
- Panama City ($841)
- Tallahassee ($887)
- Pensacola ($968)
- Jacksonville ($1,082)
- Orlando ($1,174)
- Fort Lauderdale ($1,499)
What You Can Do to Lower Your Car Insurance Rate
No matter where you live in Florida (or any other state in the union, for that matter), you can always take steps to lower your car insurance rates. Here are a few ways you can start saving money on premiums:
- Standard discounts. Most insurance companies are now offering a variety of discounts for participating in various programs, such as installing driving trackers or anti-theft devices, having multiple cars, taking a driving course, and (of course) keeping a clean driving record.
- Non-standard discounts. Depending on your life circumstances, you may also be able to reduce your premiums. If you’re a senior citizen or a veteran, you may be be eligible for a reduced rate. You might also qualify for a student discount if you’re attending college in Florida. Likewise, a good credit score can make a big difference in what kind of rates your car insurance company will charge.
- Shop around. No matter how good your insurance policy, there’s always a chance you can find a better deal by looking around at other insurance providers. You don’t have to spend a lot of time making phone calls or visiting offices, either — it’s much easier to use an online tool to compare rates and get the best coverage for your needs.
One final word of caution: no matter which car insurance company you choose, be sure you have enough car insurance to cover your needs. Don’t jump at a low premium without first looking at the deductible, and don’t take the cheapest possible insurance without making sure it will cover you when you need it most.