Florida among costliest states for car insurance

Published On: Aug 01 2012 01:35:27 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2012 06:44:18 PM EDT

A look at the high rates of car insurance for Florida drivers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

CarInsuranceQuotes.com just ranked Florida as the 10th most most costly state to insure a car.

The online insurance aggregator found median car insurance rates in Michigan the most expensive, with premiums taking 8 percent of residents' median household income.

The same formula found the average Floridian spends $1,784, or 3.36 percent, of income on car insurance, more than double the amount spent in some other states.

The higher premiums are the result of a high number of car accidents resulting in claims in Jacksonville, which drives rates up.

"We had to switch plans this year to go with someone that was not as costly, because it was just way too much," motorist Caroline Schmid said.

Shawn Tomberlin said he switched from Progressive because it was pretty high.

A person's driving record is also a big factor in what they pay for insurance.

"You know you have to be careful out there," motorist Devon Ross says. "You don't want to speed too much and don't want to get into too many wrecks, so I understand. It's fair."

Matt Carlucci, of Brightway Insurance, told Channel 4 a big factor in the cost of insurance has nothing to do with your driving.

"Really watch your credit. Insurance companies look at credit probably more than almost any factor right now, " Carlucci said.

Other ways to save include driving safer vehicles, taking a driving class or paying your bill up front instead of in installments.

The minimum state requirements for car insurance in Florida are $10,000 worth of personal property liability and $10,000 personal injury protection -- also known as PIP. PIP covers the insured's medical expenses, lost wages or death benefits in the event they are involved in an accident.

Carlucci says PIP fraud is the main reason insurance rates are higher, something addressed by a change in Florida law that went into effect July 1 that is supposed to bring rates down.

"Up until recently, it was very easy to file a fraudulent claim and get, you know, either 80 percent of $10,000 or all the way up to $10,000 for medical bills that you know were fake," Carlucci said.

As a result of the change, Florida car insurers are supposed to reduce PIP premiums 10 percent by October and 25 percent by 2014 -- unless they make a case to regulators why they should not.

CarInsuranceQuotes.com's rankings of percentage of income taken by car insurance premiums (list includes Washington D.C.:

Most expensive states Least expensive states 
10. Florida3.4%42. Maine2.0%
9. Nevada3.4%43. Virginia2.0%
8. New York3.5%44. California2.0%
7. Delaware3.6%45. New Hampshire2.0%
6. Arkansas3.7%46. Iowa2.0%
5. Mississippi4.1%47. Oregon2.0%
4. West Virginia4.2%48. Alaska1.8%
3. Kentucky4.6%49. Hawaii1.6%
2. Louisiana5.0%50. North Carolina1.6%
1. Michigan8.0%51. Massachusetts1.4%

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