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Survey: Florida auto insurance premiums lower than national average

March 24, 2011 | By Julie Patel. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Believe it or not, Florida’s average automobile insurance premium was lower this year than the national average, according to new ranking by

The average premium in Florida was $1,476 В– 5 percent less than the national average of $1,561.

Lawmakers have proposed half a dozen bills this year aimed at reducing inflated or fraudulent personal injury protection, or PIP, claims.

Supporters of the bills, including some legislators, say the changes are needed in part to help reduce Floridians’ auto insurance premiums. Some attorneys, health care providers and consumer advocates say some provisions of the bills may hurt policyholders in accidents who have claims disputes with their insurers.

Florida moved down to being the 29th most expensive from its #25 spot last year when the state’s average premium was $1,453, higher than the nationwide average, according to

But Florida is ranked much higher among other states in a study using older but more comprehensive data by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The average Floridian paid $1,059 from 2004 to 2008 for automobile insurance В– the fifth largest in the country and much higher than the nationwide average of $815, according to the NAIC.

Areas with higher averages were the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York and Louisiana. The average payment in Florida was $1,055 in 2008, $1,043 in 2007, $1,069 in 2006, $1,064 in 2005 and $1,062 in 2004. researches information on insurance and is paid by its clients, insurers, when it provides free rate quotes to consumers. The group hired Quadrant Information Services to do the survey. Average premiums were calculated by taking automobile insurance rates for six large insurers for more than 2,400 cars based on 10 zip codes in each state that represent a mix of urban and rural areas. (Three zip codes are the highest populated areas, three are the lowest and four are near the median, according to Census figures.)

The rates are for a 40-year-old single male driver who commutes 12 miles to work and has a policy with uninsured motorist coverage; a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage; and policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident.

The group said the legal system and weather had major impacts in some states with high premiums and Michigan had the highest premiums because it’s the only state that guarantees unlimited PIP payments to people injured in car accidents. “The reasons for high prices vary considerably among states, but one thing is for sure everywhere: Uninsured drivers are dinging the rest of us,” it group in a statement.

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