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Like death and taxes, car insurance is one of those things that’s practically inescapable. It’s mandatory by law pretty much everywhere in the United States, and not having it while driving invites financial and legal disaster.
But being able to afford car insurance can be particularly difficult in Florida, where the rates are a whopping 59% above the national average. Your average annual rate for car insurance in Florida is $2,425 a year — which can be tougher than ever to afford these days.
So why is it so high, where can you go for cheaper car insurance, and what can you do about it?
Why Are Car Insurance Rates in Florida So Expensive?
First, let’s dig into why Floridians are paying so much more for car insurance.
- PIP insurance. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, a law stating car owners have to purchase personal injury insurance on top of liability coverage. Only 15 states require this additional coverage, and Florida is one of them. This means higher premiums for everyone, and it’s pretty much inescapable.
- Dangerous roads. Florida has some of the most dangerous traffic in the world, with thousands of accidents and car-related deaths. There were almost 400,000 auto accidents in Florida in 2017 alone. Those high accident rates mean more claims, an expense the insurance company passes along to you.
- Population density. Florida is one of the most densely populated states in the US (placing third, in fact), which, you guessed it, raises the chance of accidents.
- A high number of DUI incidents and uninsured drivers. Uninsured drivers make things worse for everyone, and at 26.7%, Florida ranks #1 as having the most uninsured drivers nationwide. In general, any kind of high-risk driving will drive insurance rates up, not just for specific individuals but for everyone in a state where the number of reckless drivers is high.
- Bad weather. Every state has certain hazards to which it’s likely to fall prey, and Florida is no exception. The state is prone to floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, high winds, tsunamis, and wildfires. Living in a high-risk area for one or more of these disasters will increase your rates, and there’s not a lot you can do about it other than keeping your car in the garage.
Which Cities Have the Highest Car Insurance Rates?
So how much is it going to hurt to get car insurance in someplace like Miami? Keep in mind that the national average for yearly car insurance rates is about $1680. You’re not going to find a rate that cheap anywhere in Florida — that’s just the sad truth. Here are the cities with the most expensive car insurance in Florida.
- Jacksonville ($2745 a year)
- Orlando ($2958)
- St. Petersburg ($3204)
- Tampa ($3653)
- Miami ($3938)
Which Cities Have the Lowest Car Insurance Rates?
As already mentioned, you’re going to pay more than the national average for car insurance almost everywhere in Florida. But while the bigger metropolitan areas have by far the highest insurance rates, some of the less populous cities will have lower rates. Here are the ten cities with the cheapest car insurance in Florida .
- Gainesville ($1839)
- Callaway ($1804)
- Naples ($1882)
- Ocala ($1916)
- Tallahassee ($1925)
- Golden Gate ($1961)
- Melbourne ($1964)
- Ferry Pass ($2020)
- Iona ($2022)
What You Can Do to Lower Your Car Insurance Rate
Granted, not everyone wants (or can afford) to pack up and move to another city for lower car insurance. So what can you do to improve your car insurance situation where you’re living right now?
- Shop around to find reliable and cheap car insurance in Florida.
- Ask for discounts! The average insurance company has up to dozens of discounts for various criteria, like good grades, working in certain professions, and many more.
- Buy an insurance-friendly car. More modern vehicles cost more to repair and replace parts for, especially if they’re sophisticated high-end vehicles. Opting for an older model with fewer bells and whistles can save you money in more ways than one.
- Increase your deductible. If you can afford to pay a little more out of pocket if you get in an accident, a higher deductible will lead to lower monthly rates.
- Improve your credit score. There are lots of great reasons to do this anyway, and lower car insurance rates is one of them.
- Reduce your coverage. If your car is older and its value depreciated, you may want to drop comprehensive and collision coverage and just take out liability insurance.
- Install anti-theft and security devices on your car. Insurers love these devices because they reduce the risk of a claim due to burglary or vandalism, and that means cheaper rates for you.
- Drive less! One of those discounts we discussed earlier is a low-mileage discount for drivers who don’t use their cars much.