Floridians have a lot to deal with. The weather, wildlife and other Floridians seem to be lurking around every corner, and auto insurance companies are taking notice. Due to the state’s hurricane risk and other factors, Florida drivers are seeing steep hikes in their car insurance rates, and the shift is showing no signs of letting up. Jalopnik highlighted a report from the Tampa Bay Times that shows how big of a problem there really is.
Some drivers reported auto insurance rates that have nearly doubled in the past few years, and many claim that their insurance payments now exceed their monthly car payments. Nearly all major insurers in the state have followed suit, with some increasing rates multiple times. The insurance industry cites inflation, high labor costs, and a shortage of materials as driving factors for the increases, but Florida also has a high risk of hurricane damage and a large number of uninsured motorists that add to the pile.
To be fair, The Sunshine State isn’t alone in seeing its residents’ auto insurance rates climbing. Nationally on average, auto insurance was up nearly 18% in July compared to a year ago. The frequency of crashes has increased in recent times, and the cost to repair the vehicles involved has skyrocketed. As the Tampa Bay Times reported, the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association recorded a 50 percent increase in the number of vehicle damage claims and a 40 percent jump in bodily injury claims between 2018 and 2022.
Thefts are also becoming more prevalent, with a 7 percent jump in 2022, thanks in part to the ease with which a thief can make off with some Hyundai and Kia models. Inflation has made parts and labor more expensive, with costs climbing almost 46 percent between 2019 and 2022. Insurers are losing money, leading to rate increases to cover costs.
While rates are climbing everywhere, Florida is still worse than most. The state has the fourth-highest vehicle theft rate in the United States, and insurance fraud from staged accidents are a significant problem. Hit-and-run crashes are particularly common, and Floridians see high rates of crashes and fatalities, capped off by the fact that more than a fifth of the state’s drivers are uninsured.