A new report on auto insurance costs brings some unpleasant facts for local car owners: Not only does Florida have auto insurance prices 12 percent higher than the national average, Palm Beach prices are even 13 percent higher than the state average. That means that if you own a car in Palm Beach, you can expect to pay 13 percent more than the already-high costs in Florida.
The Palm Beach Post’s Charles Elmore cited the new price comparison tool at insurance education site insuranceQuotes.com in comparing state and city prices to the national average. The comparisons use quotes from insurance carriers representing some 60 to 70 percent of the market.
He found that the situation could be worse in Miami-Dade County, where insurance quotes can go 56 percent higher than the Florida average.
Elmore identified some factors that may be contributing to the steep insurance costs in the state.
For one, Florida requires its car drivers to get at least $10,000 worth of coverage for Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Elmore said this duplicates the medical insurance that most drivers already have. However, the PIP could be valuable in accidents – Florida is one of the few states that have a “no-fault” insurance system, which generally means your insurance company covers your accident losses regardless of who caused the crash.
Elmore also noted that the driving environment in Florida isn’t always safe. He cited analysts’ finding that the state has a higher risk for catastrophic weather. Combine these with accident frauds and bad driving, and insurance providers are likely to charge higher.
On top of these, Elmore said that Florida insurance consumers never look for discounts – which is one thing that insuranceQuotes.com senior analyst Laura Adams has specifically advised. “Shop around, ask for discounts,” Adams said, adding that consumers would want to stay in touch with the insurance market at least once a year.
This is not the first time Florida has been found to have high insurance costs. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners released their latest data (2012) showing that Florida has the fourth most expensive auto insurance premiums in the US. The average annual auto insurance premium in the state is $1,127.93. Here are is the top 5 list:
1. New Jersey, at $1,219.93
2. Washington DC, at 1,154.91
3. New York, at 1,152.45
4. Florida, at 1,127.93
5. Louisiana, at 1,112.53