The issue has been at the forefront of the minds of insurance providers as they search for some way to help customers who already pay higher rates for home insurance and flood insurance because of the frequency of storms in the Sunshine State.
A new study shows that it is costing the average resident $1,784 a year for automobile insurance. That’s more than 3 percent of household income and more than twice the share of income spent in states like Massachusetts and North Carolina, according to research released Monday by CarInsuranceQuotes.com, affiliated with Bankrate Inc. of North Palm Beach.
Among the most controversial items under discussion is the state’s requirement for PIP insurance:
In one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top legislative priorities, PIP reforms that began taking effect in Florida July 1 are supposed to crack down on fraud and bring down some costs over time. But the changes still preserve a $2 billion government mandate that requires Florida drivers to purchase the medical coverage regardless of whatever health insurance they already have, whether from Medicare, their plan at work or other sources.
A road Florida did not take — getting rid of PIP or no-fault insurance — helped Colorado land in the 20 least expensive states, at No. 32. The last state to drop a no-fault system, Colorado saw its overall premiums drop 35 percent in five years. Its costs now for a typical resident according to Monday’s study: $1,562 or 2.3 percent of household income.
Michigan, another no-fault state, led the nation with the most expensive insurance compared to household income. The typical household there pays 8 percent of its income for car insurance, or $4,490.