Feeling pinched by car insurance premiums? Here are some ways to save

Florida drivers pay significantly more than the national average for auto insurance

As inflation drives the cost of everything from groceries, gas and housing higher, many Floridians are looking for ways to save money. With several factors driving the state’s car insurance premiums to be the highest in the nation, there are ways you can try to cut that cost.

As inflation drives the cost of everything from groceries, gas and housing higher, many Floridians are looking for ways to save money. With several factors driving the state’s car insurance premiums to be the highest in the nation, there are ways you can try to cut that cost.

Insurance rates are higher in Florida than in other states due to staged accident schemes, insurance-related litigation and the severity of accidents — among other reasons. The trend in the state is not going unnoticed by drivers.

“I received a package in the mail stating that my insurance, car insurance, will be going up due to the state of Florida,” Emmitt Baker said when News4JAX talked with him at a Jacksonville barbershop.

According to Insure.com, the average premium for car insurance in Florida is $2,560 a year, or $213 a month, based on quotes for a sample 40-year-old man with a clean record and good credit. That is 52% higher than the national average of $1,682 for a similar policy.

Experts say most drivers can cut the cost of their policy by 15% to 40%.

“It pays to shop because there are major differences in quotes from insurance companies,” said Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry group. “And when we say shop, we mean look at national insurers, look at regional insurers. There’s more than 50 companies that write auto insurance in Florida.”

Friedlander said one of the biggest trends in auto insurance discounts is called usage-based insurance, or telematics. It’s a program your insurance company likely offers — if you opt in, the company will track your driving behavior, monitoring your driving patterns with an app or a device installed in your car.

Friedlander explained the driving habits that may be considered to see how safe of a driver you are.

“Are you following the speed limits? What’s your braking pattern? Do you slam on the brakes at the last second when you see a stoplight or a stop sign? Do you drive smoothly?” Friedlander said.

However, usage-based insurance may not be right for all drivers. Friedlander warns about opting in if you are not a good driver because the data could result in your premium going up.

Friedlander said other ways to get a discount on your insurance include:

  • Calling your company to ask for a discount if you have a good driving record and haven’t been in an accident
  • Bundling car, home and life insurance policies
  • Discounts for going paperless or paying in full
  • Loyalty discounts for time you’ve spent with your insurer
  • Discounts for college students who may drive less than a typical driver

Friedlander said one common misconception about shopping around for the best price involves using an insurance agent. Many people think it costs them money, but instead, the professional advice is completely free.

“When you shop for insurance, you could use many of the online quoting tools, very easy to use, very user friendly,” Friedlander said. “But we strongly recommend working with a professional insurance agent. The agent works on your behalf. They charge a commission or get paid a commission from the insurance companies when they sell a policy, they don’t charge you, so you as the consumer, it is a free service.”

Consumer Reports’ experts also have other suggestions on ways to save, including:

  • If you have an older car and your annual premium is more than 10% of your car’s value, consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • Dropping rental reimbursement coverage if you have another car you can use in the event your car needs repairs after a crash.
  • Adjust your deductible: If you set your deductible for damage at $1,000 instead of $500, you can save 11% on average on your premium. But make sure you can afford the higher deductible.

Consumer Reports also suggests thinking about car insurance when you are shopping for a car, as luxury and high-performance cars tend to cost more to insure than a typical car.


About the Authors:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.