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Car insurance rates rising in SWFL; how to save in a state where you pay more

Driving a car in Florida will cost you – to the tune of about $2,300 this year for car insurance, a price tag that isn’t likely to drop.

On average, Florida drivers pay $700 more than the rest of the country, and a car insurance comparison website called “The Zebra” found that prices are going up in Southwest Florida for a few reasons.

One: our booming population. More people means more road congestion, crashes and claims.

Two: severe weather. Hurricanes and bad storms mean billions in damage.

Three: Florida drivers often have to foot the bill for people who don’t play by the rules, like uninsured and distracted drivers.

“That’s all coming out of the pot that everybody’s paying, so the insurance company has to raise prices for everyone to kind of refill that pot. And that part is really the state,” said Nicole Beck with “The Zebra.”

She said insurance companies also rate you based on a few factors: “Who you are, what you drive, how you drive and where you drive.”

ZIP codes that pay the most include Immokalee, Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres. Those paying the least include Bonita Springs, Naples and Marco Island.

“Something like a dangerous intersection and the ZIP code where a lot of accidents happen can raise rates for everybody who lives there,” Beck said.

To save money, drive safely. Racing, getting a DUI, or a hit-and-run will raise your car insurance rate more than 70% for the next three years.

Also, let your insurer know if your credit score goes up. You can also bundle policies, pay in full and see if they offer discounts in exchange for taking an online driving course.

If you’re shopping for a new car, call your insurer to find out if your insurance rates will go up depending on the make and model of the car you’re looking to buy.

DATA FROM THE ZEBRA:

Average annual premiums

Fort Myers-Naples: $2,000 (up 12.23% from last year)

  • Jacksonville: $2,143
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne: $2,150
  • Miami-Ft.Lauderdale: $2,927
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg: $2,537
  • State of Florida: $2,309
  • U.S.: $1,548

Drivers in the following SWFL zip codes pay the most for car insurance:

  • 34142 Immokalee $2,235
  • 33971 Fort Myers $2,222
  • 33916 Fort Myers $2,132
  • 33966 Fort Myers $2,130
  • 33901 Fort Myers $2,127
  • 33912 Fort Myers $2,120
  • 33913 Fort Myers $2,110
  • 33973 Lehigh Acres $2,106
  • 33976 Lehigh Acres $2,102
  • 33972 Lehigh Acres $2,098

These pay the least:

  • 34145 Marco Island $1,901
  • 34140 Goodland $1,902
  • 34135 Bonita Springs $1,904
  • 34110 Bonita Springs $1,904
  • 34134 Bonita Springs $1,913
  • 34119 Naples $1,917
  • 34113 Lely $1,917
  • 34112 Naples $1,917
  • 33928 Estero $1,919
  • 34114 Naples $1,920

Click to access The-Zebra-State-of-Auto-Insurance-Report-2020.pdf

Reporter:Allison Gormly
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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