Florida drivers set to pay more for auto insurance as rates rise across the country

Florida drivers set to pay more for auto insurance as rates rise across the country – WTSP.com

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TAMPA, Fla. — Over the past few months, we’ve talked about the rising costs of everything from eggs to rent. And now, experts say auto insurance is just another thing you’ll be paying more for.
Especially if you live in Florida.
“In terms of Florida, we’re seeing amongst the highest rates in the US,” Mark Friedlander from the Insurance Information Institute said. “So now, Florida consumers are not only playing the highest home insurance premiums in the U.S., they may be paying the highest auto premiums as well.”
Friedlander says on average, auto insurance rates have gone up nearly 15% across the country.
“We are seeing, right now, perhaps the highest auto insurance cost we have ever seen,” he said.
Friedlander says Florida is feeling the increasing rates more than other states because of factors like: severe weather events, staged accidents, reckless drivers, excessive litigation, and insurance fraud from shady contractors who want to overcharge your insurance company for repairs.
“When you’re signing over ‘assignment of benefits,’ that contractor most likely is charging your insurance company thousands of dollars for a simple repair,” he said.
While you’re likely about to pay more to hit the road, Friedlander says, experts are hopeful that the rising rates will plateau this year.
“You could cut your auto insurance premium bill by 40 percent or more, there are all kinds of discounts,” he said. “Talk to your insurance agent, talk to your insurance company. See what you qualify for.”
Friedlander says that you shop around for your auto policies, and try to get at least three different quotes from national and regional companies before you decide on a provider. He also says, you may have luck with savings if you decide to bundle your auto insurance with other policies.
Friedlander says there are also ways to save with some providers by taking defensive driving courses. He says some companies offer “safe driver” discounts if you allow your insurer to track your driving habits with a plug-in or mobile app.
While Friedlander says that 1 in 5 Florida drivers are out on the road without insurance, even with the rising rates, he says you’ll want to make sure you’re covered.
“You need that financial protection or it could literally ruin you and your family,” he said.  
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