TAMPA, Fla. — According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, car insurance rates are up nearly 18% from last year nationwide, especially in Florida.
“If you go to some of the shopping comparison sites, you’ll see Florida number one or number two on most of those sites in terms of the average cost today,” said Mark Friedlander, Florida Spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute.
What’s the reason behind the rise? Insurance experts said multiple factors are to blame.
Increasing accident frequency and severity are top of the list.
“Insurance companies measure what’s called lost cause. That means the amount they’re paying out for claims for auto accidents. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a large spike in this area. In fact, despite increases for premiums for drivers in Florida and across the U.S., the lost costs are not keeping up with that. So, in other words, insurers are paying more for accident claims than they’re taking in for charging for the insurance,” said Friedlander.
“As a result, this continues to generate rate increases, and certainly Florida drivers are feeling this,” he added.
Auto claim fraud is causing rates to go up.
“We see a lot of claim fraud schemes across Florida. Particularly staged accidents. And another big issue that we especially see in the Tampa Bay area are windshield replacement scams,” said Friedlander
The cost of repairs is more expensive.
“First of all, we have more technically advanced vehicles. They have all these really important safety systems, but those cost more to repair than older vehicles,” said Friedlander.
Severe weather events have been affecting many Florida drivers.
“Not only hurricanes but as you know, in Florida, we have severe weather year-round,” said Friedlander.
There have been more ligated accident claims in recent years.
“As accident frequency increases, we’re seeing more litigated claims. Meaning, lawsuits are filed on the victims of the accident against the other party,” said Friedlander.
And vehicle theft rates are also adding to the overall increase.
“We’re seeing large spikes in vehicle thefts across the country, particularly with Kia and Hyundai. There was something called the TikTok challenge that came out last year, where it showed how simple it is to steal certain models for Kia and Hyundai. This has resulted in more than 1 million vehicle thefts last year, the largest volume of U.S. vehicle thefts since 2009,” said Friedlander.
With consistent price hikes, consumers are left to wonder if they’ll see relief any time soon.
“We’re certainly hoping to see rates moderate down the road, but right now, most industry analysts indicate that car insurance rates will continue to increase,” said Friedlander.
“So it’s really expensive to have a vehicle in Florida, and that’s on top of having the most expensive home insurance in Florida. So it’s becoming very expensive to live in Florida today,” he added.
There are things policyholders can do in the meantime to lower premiums versus reducing coverage to cut costs.
- bundling home and auto insurance
- paperless billing
- multi-vehicle discount
- safe driver discount
- paying your premium in full upfront
“Which is usage-based insurance. Many insurers offer it today. It is a tracking device either plugged into your vehicle or through a mobile app, and it tracks your driving habits, such as time of day, how far you drive, your acceleration and braking habits. And typically, it would lead to significant savings; however, just fair warning, some of the companies will increase your rate if Telematics shows bad driving habits,” said Friedlander.
Experts also recommend shopping around and getting multiple quotes.
https://www.abcactionnews.com/money/consumer/experts-say-theres-no-clear-end-in-sight-for-rising-car-insurance-rates How to save with rising car insurance rates