Today’s entry: I’m glad Governor DeSantis vetoed the auto insurance bill if it meant rates were going to go up but something still needs to happen because costs are already ridiculously high! How does Florida’s auto insurance cost compare to other states with different laws?
Bottom Line: This note follows Governor DeSantis vetoing the bill that would have eliminated Florida’s “no-fault” auto insurance model. While the insurance industry along with Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis opposed this law, for the reasons you cited, seemingly everyone to a person acknowledges something needs to happen.
One of our biggest issues stems from the sheer volume of unlawful drivers in Florida. According to the Insurance Research Council, Florida has the 6th highest rate of uninsured motorists in the country. If you’re driving, look at the four cars closest to you. Statistically one of those drivers won’t have insurance.
Uninsured motorists not only make up more than a fifth of Florida’s drivers but also a 2018 study found that "uninsured drivers are found to be riskier in traffic than insured drivers".
In Florida, the average annual insurance costs related to the impact of uninsured motorists is $267 per year. And therein lies what’s probably the biggest sticking point of all. How can you pass laws to try to fix an auto insurance model when potentially the biggest issue involves people who already aren’t following the law? It’s back to the drawing board for next year’s state session.
As for how Florida’s auto insurance rates compared to the rest of the country. According to Insure.com, Florida’s auto insurance rates are the 3rd highest nationally with an average premium of $2,082.
Only Louisiana and Michigan have premiums higher than ours and the contrast with Maine’s most affordable rates is incredible. There is one factor that enters into Florida’s equation that has nothing to do with the need for auto insurance reform, or attempting to get uninsured motorists off the road, credit scores.
Credit scores impact auto insurance rates and Florida’s average credit score currently stands at 701, which is ten points lower than the national average. That's not the root cause of Florida’s problems but it’s a contributing factor and one we have the most control over.
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Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio