In the game of car insurance rates, where Florida is the fifth-most expensive state in the nation, the Gators trounce the Hurricanes.
That is Gainesville, despite an abundance of college-aged drivers, has the least expensive average annual car insurance premium in Florida, according to a report from The Zebra, a car insurance comparison marketplace. Miami, meanwhile, has the highest average rates in Florida and one of the highest average rates nationwide.
Not far from Miami on the most-expensive list lies Tampa Bay, which in the report includes the Sarasota-Manatee region. With an average 2017 premium of $2,066, the Tampa region is No. 8 nationally. Rates in the region are up 40% since 2011 — double the 20% increase, on average, nationwide, the report shows. And the Tampa region's average rate is nearly $200 more than the average annual premium in Florida, $1,878.
The good news? The growth rate in premiums for Tampa slowed in 2017, when rates, on average, only rose 2%.
Using pricing data from nearly 53 million rates, The Zebra analyzed car insurance premiums as impacted by common variables such as state, age, gender, financial behaviors and the vehicles themselves. The analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history. The report then breaks down average premiums through ZIP codes.
The Zebra Founder and Executive Chairman Adam Lyons attributes the rapid increase in the Sunshine State to mostly weather and population growth. “Florida, by nature of geography, is hit with severe weather quite often,” Lyons says in a statement. “Additionally, many cities in Florida are growing rapidly. The weather events, combined with more people on the road and increasing population density means more cars damaged by weather, more claims filed from accidents, therefore leading to increased premiums.”