Saturday, June 22

Florida auto insurance rates still accelerating, forcing ‘panic shopping’

Finding affordable auto insurance is becoming more difficult for Florida drivers.

“It got to the point where I was like panic shopping,” driver Mark Fitzpatrick said. “How am I going to pay for this?”

The Palm Beach County man took his plight to social media where a Nextdoor thread had more than 100 responses in just a few days.

“I was trying to figure out why my car insurance had exploded from $1,300 for six months all the way up to $2,000,” Fitzpatrick said.

Industry experts said there are several reasons for premium hikes. MarketWatch now ranks Florida third in the nation for full coverage at $289 a month.

“Florida has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers in the country,” David Straughan, lead data analyst and journalist, said. “That just raises everybody’s costs, and it creates a bit of cycle, then you have people that aren’t buying insurance because its expensive and that just continues.”

Insurance agent Robert Norberg at Arden Insurance in Lantana said driving records, location and vehicle value are also big factors.

“With auto policies, you can tweak the limits a lot more if it’s OK for you, and you can adjust limits,” Norberg said. “You can take off certain coverages.”

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