Car insurance is probably one of those expenses in your household budget that takes up a lot of dollars right now! Car insurance rates in Florida are among the highest in the nation and they keep rising.
A lot of things factor into your individual car insurance premiums, and that’s why they can be so frustrating. After all, if you haven’t made a claim in years and haven’t missed a payment, why do your rates keep increasing?
That’s where Darr Schackow comes in. We’re here to help explain to you the method behind car insurance rates and help you understand how to minimize those costs without minimizing your coverage as well.
Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive?
For starters, let’s talk about what makes car insurance so expensive. When the insurance company is writing a new auto policy, they’re looking at a lot of factors.
Your driving history, age, vehicle type, safety features, usage, claims history, and location all play major roles in your premium.
Location is one factor that many drivers take issue with since it’s something they can’t control and it plays a huge role in determining your insurance premiums—and not just for car insurance. For instance, the state of Florida has a lot of insurance claims filed each year because of severe weather and just because they aren’t all car insurance claims doesn’t mean the insurance company isn’t paying out.
Remember that the more your insurance carrier has to pay out overall factors into your individual policy as well.
Speaking specifically to car insurance rates, Florida is particularly expensive for a number of reasons.
- Heavy traffic: Not just the locals but we also get lots of tourists and that means more cars and more potential accidents.
- Extra requirements: Florida is a no fault state, so drivers are required to carry additional PIP coverage that some states don’t require.
- Uninsured drivers: Yes, car insurance is required, but people still manage to skirt around that. In Florida, an estimated 20% of drivers don’t have any coverage, and many more have substandard coverage. This means that an accident with one of them and your insurance will have to pay a lot more than usual. It also means your insurance agent highly recommends you have uninsured motorist coverage—another additional cost.
- Average age: Florida is the retirement state after all. That means we have lots of older drivers at a higher risk for accidents.
So before you start making drastic decisions to lower your car insurance, take a moment to understand why your costs are what they are and make sure you’re not cutting coverage to save on costs.
Tips to Lowering Car Insurance Rates
It may seem like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to high car insurance costs, but that’s not the case. We have written car insurance policies that cost more than the monthly payment of the car itself, but there are a lot of opportunities for savings that customers don’t know about.
So how can you make sure you get the best deal on car insurance? Here are a few tips that might help:
Use an independent agent instead of a captive agent.
Independent agencies like Darr Schackow Insurance will represent multiple insurance carriers vs. a captive agent like State Farm or Allstate, who will only represent one carrier. An independent agent can shop around and compare quotes from all different carriers, making the research easier on you and giving you the chance to really compare your options.
Sign up for safe driving programs.
Many insurance carriers offer some sort of safe driving discount, and we have seen people save 30% on their premiums based on their driving results from Telemetrics programs like Snapshot from Progressive and Smartride from Nationwide insurance.
You should be practicing safe driving anyway, so why not be rewarded for it!
Bundle, bundle, bundle.
If your home insurance is with a carrier that offers auto insurance, make sure you get a quote from that carrier. You can see an additional 10% discount when you bundle your home and auto together. The same goes for renter’s insurance or adding your spouse or partner’s car to your policy.
Take a defensive driving course.
Many carriers will offer a discount if you enroll in defensive driving courses because it shows that you are committed to being a safe driver.
Rethink the car you’re driving.
Flashy, luxury vehicles are not only expensive to purchase, but they also cost a lot to insure because they cost a lot to repair. The safer and more easily repaired the vehicle, the smaller the potential payout the insurance company will have to make if you’re in an accident.
Reduce your mileage.
This one won’t apply to everyone but the less you drive annually, the lower your premiums will be. After all, if you’re not on the road, you can’t really get into an accident.
Think of opportunities to carpool or take public transit if it’s available to you and you might see a big difference in your premiums (and at the gas station!).
What You Shouldn’t Do Just to Get Your Car Insurance Lowered
The first thing many people do when trying to lower car insurance costs is to increase their deductible and reduce their coverage.
These are not always the smartest moves.
Increasing your deductible can make a big impact on your premium, but remember, if you’re in accident, it means you’ll be paying a bigger out-of-pocket cost before your insurance coverage kicks in. So if you opt for this route, make sure your new deductible is a price you’d be comfortable paying when needed.
Reducing coverage is an obvious money saver in the short term, but you could be paying a lot more in the long run if you have to file a claim. Lowering your policy limits might save you money now, but if you’re in an accident, your insurance won’t cover as much.
Reducing coverage can be a wise option only if you’re dropping unnecessary types of coverage. For example, you have an old car and the premium your paying for collision and comprehensive coverage is more than the car is worth.
This is another area where an independent insurance agent can be a big help. They’ll review your policy closely and make sure you aren’t dropping policy amounts or types of coverage in a way that will hurt you more than it will help.
Call Darr Shackow Insurance to Keep Your Car Insurance Manageable
At Darr Shackow, we’re committed to providing our customers with excellent service and excellent coverage. We’ll do the research to find you the right car insurance policy that protects you on the road and protects your wallet.
We’ll also make sure you’re aware of any possible discounts that could save you even more.
Call us today to find the right car insurance policy for your life.