ORLANDO, Fla. – Auto insurance premiums increased an average of 20% nationally as of December of last year, the largest annual national increase since 1976, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Florida, it’s worse.
Floridians are paying 24% more in car insurance this year, than we did last year, according to an analyst with Bankrate, a consumer financial services company.
Florida has secured the top spot in the highest car insurance premiums in the country for the second year in a row, according to Bankrate’s True Cost of Insurance Report.
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Rates are increasing again this year, and Central Floridians like Todd Lee say they are already feeling the pinch.
“I have seen a progressive increase,” Lee told News 6.
Todd Lee says the cost of insuring his Honda Accord and his wife’s Jeep continues to rise.
Lee pays more than $1,600 every six months, over $3,200 annually for auto insurance.
“It’s a significant amount for two cars, so I mean, we take a hit,” Lee said.
But his insurance is still lower than the average cost in Florida, which is $3,945 annually for full coverage. That’s 55% higher than the national average of $2,500, and it is the highest rate in the country.
“We enjoy Florida. We shouldn’t be punished for being here,” Lee said.
Shannon Martin is an analyst for Bankrate.
“Premium-wise, it went up by $762 between last year and this year, which is pretty big,” Miller said.
“A lot goes into Florida,” Martin said. “Florida drivers are aware extreme weather really plays a strong part in your auto and home insurance rates.”
In addition to severe weather, accidents are more severe, there are more litigated claims, and increased costs of parts and labor are all factors, according to Martin.
So, what are some of the things consumers can do to lower their rates?
“If you enroll in automatic payments through your routing account number, as opposed to a credit or debit card, most insurance companies will waive those extra service fees that start to add up,” Martin said.
Your credit score can impact the rate you pay for car insurance.
“There is a bit of a debate about that in the insurance industry, of whether that’s fair or not,” Martin said. “Insurance companies believe, ‘If you have a lower credit score, you’re more likely to file a claim.’”
Better credit can mean more money in your pocket. Taking your credit score from “poor” up to “good” could save you about $1,700 a year, according to Martin.
“Car insurance companies don’t always check for credit all the time, they check it at the beginning of a new policy,” Martin said.
If you’ve been with the same company a few years and your credit has improved, ask them to review it again and adjust your rate, Martin said.
If you have teen drivers, keeping their grades up can bring the cost down. Most insurers offer a “good student” discount.
Lee believes the legislature should be doing more.
“We just need somebody here to advocate for us. You know, we need a governor that’s committed to the work in Florida, and we need representatives that are going to commit to the work in Florida,” Lee said.
Florida has the most expensive car insurance and property insurance in the nation.
The legislature is in session right now, but they are not tackling insurance issues, saying they want to give the measures they passed last session on property insurance a chance to take effect.
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Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.