With the Florida Legislature preparing to convene in Special Session Tuesday to tackle the problem of skyrocketing Florida property insurance rates, the National Safety Commission called on the Legislature to take action to provide relief from rising Florida auto insurance rates as well.
“Everyone knows how much trouble Floridians are having finding affordable property insurance, but Florida’s auto insurance market is also in urgent crisis,” said Ken Underwood, president of the National Safety Commission, one of America’s leading auto safety advocacy organizations. “We hope the Legislature will work to address this crisis and provide relief to drivers who are in need of quality, low-cost auto insurance.”
In May of 2006, a unit of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. requested a 71.5 percent increase in Florida auto insurance rates. State Farm is the largest insurer in Florida. Other insurers have followed suit, and many families are having trouble paying insurance premiums that continue to rise much faster than inflation.
In 2004, the average Florida household paid 11 percent more on auto insurance premiums – an average of $2,477 – than a year before. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Florida’s ranking in the cost to insure a car leaped from 11th in 2000 to
sixth in 2004, at an average expense of $1,062.31 – a 36 percent increase over four years earlier.
With the millions of dollars the insurance companies make each year, Florida’s legislators need to put families first by reducing the rates for automobile insurance. It is bad enough that those injured in car accidents in Florida have to vehemently fight the insurance companies for compensation for their injuries. Don’t make all of us in Florida have to fight to prevent record profits for insurance companies.