In Florida, car crashes and insurance rates are on the rise

It is important to be careful when you drive; failure to do so could lead to a car wreck that causes physical injuries, property damage, stress, pain, lost wages, etc. One of the indirect consequences of being involved in a car accident can be an increase in your auto insurance rate. But as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg & Aronberg know, it’s not just your style of driving which can affect your rates – it is the driving of those with whom you share the road, specifically how and how much they drive.

Apparently, temperatures aren’t the only thing on the rise. As a new article from the Tampa Bay Times reports, car insurance rates in the State of Florida have increased by 14% statewide since the start of 2015. According to the former Florida Insurance Commissioner, there happen to be more people driving in Florida, leading to more accidents, and so auto insurance companies are raising rates in corresponding fashion. This unfortunate raise in rates comes despite a promise from the insurance companies that they would lower their rates if they were able to limit PIP. PIP was limited and guess what….insurance companies DID NOT lower rates!!!

Car accidents in the Sunshine State rose last year by roughly 9% over the previous year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In Broward County, for example, crashes increased by 14.6%. Surprisingly, and to contribute to balancing this out, Miami-Dade County, cited by many as the county with some of the worst drivers anywhere, reported only a 5.4% increase in accidents. Part of what is contributing to the increase in car accidents is the continued occurrence of distracted driving. As our personal injury lawyers know, it is notable that distracted driving is on the rise here even though Florida’s state legislature, back in 2013, passed a law making it a violation to text while drive, indicating that the law has had little effect on deterring distracted driving. All of this is driving insurance rates higher.

So, how is this cost playing out practically? Well, one woman, identified in the article as a 67-year-old who has been covered by the same major auto insurance company for 35 years without making a claim, said that her policy just went up by almost $125 per year. In addition to regular coverage, Florida has, for almost 45 years, mandated that Florida drivers carry $10,000 of PIP (personal injury protection) to cover small claims without having to assign fault. The aptly-nicknamed “no-fault insurance” was an attempt by Tallahassee to get compensation to victims quicker and keep costly claims actions out of the court system. Today, though, PIP insurance constitutes about 1/4th of the insurance premium’s total cost. As our personal injury lawyers know, a new $125,000 study is being commissioned by the state to debate whether or not the PIP/no-fault insurance requirement still makes sense.

With increasing numbers of both drivers and resultant accidents, it is no wonder that Florida is experiencing the complex problem of dealing with increased costs of accidents and thus the insurance industry’s demand for higher rates. According to statistics from www.insure.com, auto insurance rates in the State of Florida are the 4th highest among all states, with an average rate of $1,742 in 2015. (Ahead of Florida are Michigan, Montana, and Louisiana.)

If you have any questions about personal injury protection insurance or car accidents, or if you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg & Aronberg by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com. Please get in touch to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you!