TAMPA, Fla. -- Another reason living in Florida takes a toll on your wallet, a new report says, is that the Sunshine State is the fifth-most expensive in the country when it comes to car insurance.
Because of high accident rates and high rates of uninsured drivers -- you pay an average of $1,058 a year for car insurance.
Sheron Cooper’s auto insurance went up almost $100. Why? Because he moved from Tampa to St. Petersburg.
"Seriously," he said.
"Made me want to move back that day but unfortunately can’t break a lease like that. Just a bridge separating the two and we are down that much money."
It’s true. Where you live affects your insurance rate. On top of high accident rates, lawsuits and auto theft make a big impact.
"I just think it’s unfair to us as customers that we have to pay more for somebody’s mistakes," Cooper said.
While that’s out of your control, there’s things you can do to lower rates. One idea is checking for discounts from your insurer, like lower rates due to car’s safety ratings.
"You’re in control, call the insurance company, talk to them, ask them what can we do to get my price down.
Jeff Italiano, who owns Italiano Insurance Services, says these are ways to get potential discounts:
-- Pay your premium in full, it could come with a discount.
-- Go paperless for bills.
-- Show you have good credit or purchased a home.
-- Take a driving course.
-- Check rates often to see what competition is out there.
-- If you have a child, having them take a driver training course or having a good GPA could help.
But, something else parents do could also be costly.
"This is the biggest mistake I see all the time. A parent thinks if that they put the car in their child’s name and they get them their own policy with lower limits that they’re saving money but in the long run they are setting themselves up for financial disaster," Italiano added.
So, putting a little effort in motion to see what discounts you qualify for could save you a lot of money down the road.