18 Jun 2024

How to lower auto insurance rates in Florida

Posted By Darrigo & Diaz

lower auto insurance rates without compromising protection

Why are auto insurance rates increasing in Florida?

However, being involved in a car accident or needing a vehicle repair is not the only reason insurance premiums can go up. USAA, one of the largest insurance companies in Florida, issued an “explanation” for why many consumers will see an increase in premiums this year. Some of the reasons provided are:

  • – Moving – Your insurance rate can change, even if you only move a couple of blocks away. Many insurers consider your ZIP code when determining rates. If you move to an area that’s more densely populated and has a higher risk of theft, your rates will likely increase.

  • – Credit scores – Some insurance companies use credit history as a factor that goes into an insurance score. If your credit score takes a hit, it can quickly become a double-whammy and drive up your auto insurance rate too.

  • – Ineligibility for discounts – There are many reasons your insurance carrier may offer auto insurance discounts. But if you no longer meet the requirements, you’ll lose the discount. Some examples include:
    • – If you have a multi-vehicle discount, but remove coverage for one or more vehicles;
    • – If you have a safe driver discount, but get into an accident;
    • – If you have a discount for bundling auto and homeowners or renters insurance, but remove your home or renters insurance;
    • – If you have a discount for a newer vehicle or an anti-theft device but decide to drive an older vehicle without improved safety features;
    • – If you have a discount because you were driving less or storing your vehicle but then start using your vehicle more often.

    How to lower auto insurance rates without compromising protection

    How to lower auto insurance rates

    Under Florida law, drivers must have auto insurance coverage. It’s illegal to drive without it. The state mandates that all Florida drivers must have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance and a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP insurance).

    Therefore, despite the squeeze you may be feeling from rising insurance costs, you cannot remove coverage. However, there are ways you can lower your auto insurance rates without compromising protection.

    1. Shop around and compare quotes – Experts advise that consumers should get at least three quotes before purchasing auto insurance. Use comparison websites and tools to get multiple quotes and speak directly with insurance agents to negotiate the best deal. Don’t just settle for the first quote you receive; investing a little time in research can result in substantial savings.
    2. Bundle your policies – Many insurance companies offer discounts if you bundle multiple types of insurance, such as home and auto, with the same provider. This can lead to significant savings on your premiums. Check with your insurance company to see what bundling options are available.
    3. Increase your deductible – Raising your deductible, the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in, can lower your premium. However, make sure you choose a deductible amount that you can afford in case of an accident.
    4. Maintain a good credit score – Your credit score can impact your insurance rates. Insurance companies often use credit information to help determine the risk level of a policyholder. By maintaining a good credit score, you can qualify for lower rates.
    5. Take advantage of discounts – Insurance companies like Amica, State Farm, and MetLife offer a variety of discounts that can help lower your rates. Some common discounts include:  Good driver discounts, low mileage discounts, good student discounts, and safety feature discounts for cars equipped with safety features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices.
    6. Consider usage-based insurance – Usage-based insurance (UBI) programs track your driving habits through a mobile app or a device installed in your car. If you are a safe driver, you could earn substantial discounts based on your actual driving behavior rather than traditional risk factors.
    7. Pay your premium annually – Some insurance companies offer discounts if you pay your premium annually instead of monthly. If you can afford to pay in a lump sum, this can result in savings.

     

    Why you should NOT reduce coverage on your policy

    Reducing coverage on your auto insurance policy might seem like an attractive way to save money, especially as rates are increasing. However, doing this can actually cost you more in the long run. Here’s why:

    • – Financial protection – Insurance is fundamentally about financial protection. Reducing your coverage may save you money on premiums, but it can leave you exposed to significant out-of-pocket expenses if you are involved in an accident. Medical bills, repair costs, and legal fees can quickly add up, and without sufficient coverage, you might have to pay these costs yourself.

    • – Loan or lease agreements – If your vehicle is financed or leased, your lender or leasing company likely requires you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Reducing or eliminating these coverages can violate the terms of your loan or lease agreement, potentially leading to the repossession of your vehicle or other financial penalties.

    • – Comprehensive and collision coverage – Comprehensive and collision coverage protect against a wide range of incidents beyond just accidents, including theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and more. Reducing or eliminating these coverages can leave you financially exposed to these types of events, which are often unpredictable and costly.

    • – Medical bills and personal injury protection (PIP) – Medical payments coverage and PIP can help cover medical expenses for you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault. Reducing these coverages can lead to high medical bills that you might have to pay out of pocket, which can be financially devastating.

    • – Protecting against uninsured/underinsured drivers – Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you are in an accident with a driver who has insufficient or no insurance. Reducing this coverage can leave you vulnerable to covering costs yourself if the other driver cannot pay. This type of coverage is particularly important given the significant number of uninsured or underinsured drivers on the road.

    You need more uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage now more than ever

    According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), more than 20% of drivers in Florida do not have insurance. As of June 2024, you have a 1 in 5 chance of being involved in an accident where the other driver does not have any insurance. This means that even if the other driver caused the accident, you will be financially responsible for all the damages and medical bills that resulted from the collision.

    Our Florida accident law firm has seen the devastation caused by accidents involving drivers with no insurance. On a weekly basis, we receive calls from people who have been seriously injured in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance and there is little we can do to help them get compensation and justice. The only way to protect yourself is to have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage.

    Yet, as the number of uninsured drivers continues to increase, we recommend everyone actually increase your UM coverage. In general, raising UM coverage to $100,000 can be done with just a few extra dollars per month, but the long-term savings can be tens of thousands of dollars.

    Have questions about UM coverage? Contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today by calling (813) 774-3341 to learn more about UM coverage and what you should have on your policy. We offer consultations free of charge.

     

    What to do if you’re involved in a car accident and insurance won’t pay (or is reducing your payout)

    Dealing with an insurance company that refuses to pay or reduces your payout after a car accident can be frustrating and stressful. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the experienced Florida car accident attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz right away. Now more than ever, insurance companies are attempting to reduce payouts and give lowball offers because the cost of vehicle repairs and replacements is so high. Remember, insurance companies are businesses and they are trying to maximize profits – they don’t always have your best interests in mind.

    For example, earnings from 2023 shows major insurance companies reporting big profits:

    • – Progressive’s profit jumped 50% and its revenue surged to $62.1 billion in 2023. 
    • – Allstate’s profit is expcted to surge 13-fold to $62.9 billion in 2024.
    • – GEICO posted a record pre-tax underwriting profit of $3.6 billion in 2023.

     

    How our Florida car accident attorneys can help hold insurance companies accountable:

    At Darrigo & Diaz, our Florida car accident attorneys have over 25 years of experience helping car accident victims and their families get the full and fair compensation they need. We know all of the insurance companies’ tricks and tactics for reducing payouts and we will fight to ensure they pay what you need and deserve. If you’re involved in a car accident in Central Florida, DO NOT accept an offer from your insurance company (or the other driver’s insurance company) before contacting us. Free of charge, we will review your case and advise you on what you should do next.

    Contact us immediately through our secured contact form. Or call our office at (813) 774-3341 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and connect with an experienced and knowledgeable accident lawyer.

     

    Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorneys

    Call the Florida Accident Attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz for a free consultation at (813) 774-3341

    The Florida car accident attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz are dedicated to compassionate client service and aggressive legal representation. We understand that the period surrounding a serious injury is often marked by confusion and stress. Since our inception in 1999, our team of award-winning trial lawyers has fought tirelessly on behalf of Central Florida accident victims and their families to ease their anxiety, frustration, and worry. Darrigo & Diaz have earned a reputation throughout the state of Florida for consistently attaining impressive financial recoveries for our clients.

    Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Nadine Diaz, and our Tampa Bay personal injury law firm is an esteemed member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. We have experience with all types of automobile accidents, including accidents involving commercial trucks, drunk drivers, motorcycles, left-hand turns, pedestrians and bicyclists. We are personal injury trial experts and have settled thousands of personal injury claims for a wide range of accidents and injuries, including those involving challenging issues and life-altering circumstances.

    Contact us immediately through our secured contact form. Or call our office at (813) 774-3341 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and connect with an experienced and knowledgeable accident lawyer.

     

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