Insurance costs can add up quickly for many Floridians for several reasons. The cost increase may be due to the type of insurance plan, location, low credit scores, high claim rate, inflation, and other factors. For instance, the annual car insurance premiums may range between $1,000 for minimum coverage and $2,800 for full comprehensive coverage. These amounts may be on the high side for some insurance consumers within the state. If you are a policyholder or interested in getting insured, there are several steps you can take to save money on insurance. You can seek advice from a Florida-licensed insurance agent or use available cost savings opportunities. If you live in Florida, read on to find ways to reduce your annual premium costs.
The Top 12 Ways to Save Money on Insurance in Florida are:
- Compare rates - Before buying an insurance policy, shop around and compare rates of multiple insurers while looking out for potential discounts.
- Contract an independent Florida-licensed insurance agent - A knowledgeable independent insurance agent with access to many insurers will help you save money by getting you the best deal in the market. In addition, they can advise you on other savings opportunities from multiple insurers you can consider to reduce your insurance premium.
- Set a higher deductible when purchasing your policy - Generally, the amount you pay as deductible affects your insurance premium. A policy deductible is an amount you have to spend on a covered peril each time you file a claim before your insurer steps in and takes care of the remaining bills. For instance, if you have a $500 deductible on your car insurance and incur a bill of $1000 for damages in an accident, you must first pay $500 out of pocket before your insurer pays the rest. High-deductible policies have low premiums and can save you money on insurance costs.
- Make annual premium payments - Paying your premium in a lump sum will chalk off 7% to 9% of your premium costs. By making a down payment (an annual premium instead of monthly payments), your insurer will give you discounts. Lump-sum payments will reduce the administrative costs for processing your monthly premiums and allow your insurer to invest such money in bulk.
- Do not buy cheap-rate insurance for less coverage - Read the contract carefully before you purchase an insurance policy to ensure it covers what you need. Cut-rate insurance policies may save money in the short term, but you may spend more to pay for bills not covered by your contract. Also, if you are buying insurance plans that have state-mandated minimum limits, they may provide less coverage. You should purchase coverage based on your risk level to avoid being left with inadequate coverage if your bill exceeds your coverage limit.
- Purchase your insurance plans from the same company - You can save money on insurance by bundling different insurance policies with one insurer. For instance, you can bundle your residential and auto insurance policies to get a discount and reduce the amount you pay for insurance. Insurance companies offer discounts to individuals with multiple policies because it shows the loyalty of the policyholder. It also saves time and reduces the administrative costs incurred in processing the policies separately.
- Remove unneeded coverage - You may be losing money by paying for insurance you do not need, or that has cheaper alternatives. For instance, you may not need a whole life insurance policy if you are young and single. You can save money by opting for cheaper term life insurance plans. Before you buy insurance, seek the advice of a Florida-licensed insurance agent to help you assess your insurance needs and give you recommendations on how to save on insurance.
- Avoid filing small claims - One of the main factors that affect your insurance premium is how often you file claims. If you file claims too frequently, your insurer will most likely track your claim record and increase the amount you pay as insurance premiums. In Florida, it is advisable not to file small claims if you have enough money to cover such losses to avoid paying more money as premiums in the future. For instance, if you have a $600 claim with a $500 deductible, it is advisable to forgo such a claim and make out-of-pocket expenses.
- Lookout for potential discounts - Insurance companies offer discounts for many reasons. For instance, you may get deals for being a military person (or a veteran), a member of some national associations, or for taking an online defensive driving course. Such discounts may reduce your monthly payments for insurance.
- Through membership in state or national organizations - You save on insurance if you belong to some organizations. For instance, some insurance companies may give a small discount if you belong to the military or are a member of a state or national association like the Florida Retired Educators Association.
- Improve your insurance credit score - Insurance credit scores are numbers insurance companies assign to policyholders that show how prone they are to accidents and misfortunes. It shows the possibility of you filing or not filing claims. Insurance companies in Florida use credit scores to determine the amount you will pay for coverage. The higher your credit score, the lower the amount you may have to pay as a premium for coverage, and vice versa. Insurance credit scores apply to all types of insurance. There are several ways you can improve your insurance credit score. For instance, you can improve your car insurance credit score by applying safe-driving techniques while at the wheel (avoiding reckless driving and obeying traffic rules) and installing safety devices on your car. Also, as a homeowner, you can replace leaky roofs to limit property damage during unfavorable weather.
- Through risk mitigation - You can reduce your insurance cost by reducing your risk exposure. For instance, taking an online defensive driving course will improve your driving skills and reduce the probability of being involved in auto accidents. Insurance companies in Florida offer discounts to policyholders for hazard prevention.
Save on Insurance - 101
The purpose of buying insurance is to protect yourself or your business from financial uncertainty that may result from unexpected events by transferring some of the risks of loss to insurance companies. To have such protection, you must pay a premium when due. However, the cost of premiums puts insurance beyond the reach of some Floridians. For instance, the average premium cost of home insurance in Florida rose by 55.5% between 2019 and 2022 (from $2,000 to $3,600) compared to the national average rise of 11%. With the cost of living increasing by 5.9% across the United States, what are the best ways to save on insurance in Florida? Here are some ways to save money on insurance in Florida for the different insurance plans available.
How to Save on Health Insurance in Florida
In Florida, you can purchase private health insurance companies or enroll in any federal health insurance program during the Open Enrollment Season. You can also buy health insurance during the Special Enrollment Period if you missed the open season due to an event that led to a major life change. The average monthly premium for health insurance ranges from $170 - $500, but you can save money on health insurance by applying these rules:
- Maintain a healthy habit - You can save on health insurance by being healthy and fit. This keeps you out of the treatment room and helps you save money you would have spent as a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance. You can manage your health cost and save money on insurance by:
- Eating less sugar
- Having good rest
- Keeping good personal hygiene
- Engage the services of a Florida-licensed health insurance agent (or broker) - Health insurance agents know the best ways to find affordable health insurance. Health insurance brokers are not limited to an insurance company. They have access to multiple insurers with different health insurance quotes and can advise you on saving money on health insurance. Engaging the services of a health insurance agent is the best way to find affordable health insurance.
- Take advantage of employer-provided health insurance (if available) - If your employer offers you health insurance, it will cost you less than buying individual private health insurance because your employer may pay a part of the premium. In addition, workplace health insurance will give you access to a Health Savings Account (HSA) to which your employer contributes a set amount. An HSA account will save you more money because you will use untaxed dollars to make out-of-pocket payments like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). Although employer-provided health insurance will offer other low-cost network-provided health plans like Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (POS), HDHP is less expensive.
- Opt for outpatient services when possible - You should request outpatient services if your treatments can be done without hospitalization. Doctors often request patients to be hospitalized for the convenience of all involved. However, this adds to the cost of your insurance through a higher deductible, copay, or coinsurance.
- Through self-employed health insurance - As a self-employed, you may find it difficult to pay monthly premiums for insurance coverage without being part of the labor force. Self-employed health insurance is individual coverage that allows you to save on insurance through income-tax deduction, cost-sharing reduction (CSR), and subsidized coverage if you are eligible.
- Use in-network providers when you can - In-network healthcare providers are physicians and healthcare specialists contracted by insurance companies to offer quality healthcare services at cheaper rates to policyholders enrolled in plans. You will save money by using a Florida-based network service provider because they charge lower rates for being part of the network. The low cost of treatment may reflect in the form of lower premiums from the insurance companies.
- Through short-term health insurance - If you are healthy and in between jobs, you can save on insurance by purchasing short-term health insurance to cover the gap in your health insurance. Short-term health insurance provides limited coverage at lower premiums for people who do not have enough money to pay for standard health insurance. However, note that in Florida, short-term health insurance may not cover prescription drugs, pre-existing conditions, and maternal care; hence, you should weigh the pros and cons before you decide to buy one.
- Get travel health insurance if you are going on a trip abroad - Travel health insurance is a policy that pays your medical cost when you are on a short trip. Your regular health insurance might provide limited coverage (or not cover you) if you travel outside the United States, and you may have to pay out-of-pocket for treatment of sudden illnesses or injuries. Florida residents traveling outside the U.S. may need travel health insurance to generally pay for emergency treatments and evacuation if they get injured or suddenly develop health issues while on a trip, thereby saving money on treatments.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance in Florida
The amount Floridians pay for car insurance varies across the state, depending on factors like the type of auto insurance policies, auto insurers, and driving records. With the rise in the cost of living, as shown by the rise in the consumer price index and increase in auto insurance costs, it is common for Florida car owners to wonder about ways to save money on auto insurance. Car owners may pay as much as $1,000 and $2,800 annually for minimum and full coverage auto insurance; hence, they need to know how to save on auto insurance. In Florida, there are several ways you can lower your car insurance cost. You can save money on car insurance by:
Taking a defensive driving course - Defensive driving is one of the ways to save on car insurance. Being a defensive driver can reduce your accident risks and improves your driving record should your insurer track your driving history. Your driving history of traffic violations and accidents tells the insurance company a lot about you, may indicate your future driving habits, and increase your auto insurance premiums. As a high-risk driver, auto insurance companies in Florida may not cover you, and if they do, you will have to pay more money than other regular car owners. You can take a state-approved defensive driving course online to improve your skills.
Increasing your deductible - Like other types of insurance plans that involve deductible payments, this is one of the major ways to save money on auto insurance. Paying a high deductible in Florida may result in lower car insurance costs. However, choosing a higher deductible for lower premiums may become a problem if you have to pay for low-cost damages. For instance, if you have a $500 bill for repairs and your deductible for the coverage is $700, you will have to forgo such claims.
Note deductible payments do not apply to your liability coverage, and this should be taken into consideration when increasing your deductible.
Before you purchase auto insurance, contact a Florida-licensed auto insurance agent to guide you on how to save money on auto insurance.
Buying usage-based insurance (pay-per-mile insurance) - Typically, car insurance companies base the amount you pay as car insurance premiums on factors like age, driving history, location, coverage type, and e.t.c. In addition, usage-based insurance also considers your car’s mileage. In Florida, car insurance companies offer low mileage discounts if you drive less than 13,500 miles yearly (or 37 miles per day); the less you drive your car, the lower your car insurance. The table below shows examples of low-mileage discounts for some auto insurance products from some major insurance companies in Florida.
|Offer up to 3% discount off their “drive wise” insurance program
|If you drive less than 7,500 miles per year, you may get up to a 10% discount on your auto insurance premium
|You can save upwards of 10% on your progressive “in-drive” auto insurance program
- Paying renewal fees in advance - You can save money on car insurance through advance renewal auto insurance discounts. If you are happy with your policy and choose to renew it before the expiration date, you might be eligible for significant discounts from your insurer. Most times, insurance companies offer advance renewal auto insurance on short notice, so you may have to be checking with your insurer to find out whether you are eligible for a discount.
- Removing unnecessary coverage from your car insurance policy - Drop collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is old and will not have much second-hand value. These coverages pay for repairs and replacement, which may not be necessary due to the vehicle’s value).
- Bundling car insurance with other insurance plans - Another way you can solve the problem of how to save money on your car insurance in Florida is by combining car insurance with other types of insurance plans. For instance, you can bundle auto insurance with home insurance. You may be eligible for significant discounts if you buy all your insurance policies from one company.
- Installing anti-theft security systems - Installing security systems that can prevent accidents and car theft, or locate your car if stolen, will significantly reduce your monthly budget for car insurance. Most insurance companies that operate in Florida typically give significant discounts if you install or have pre-installed accident prevention and anti-theft devices. For example, you may be eligible for an anti-theft car insurance discount if you install a car alarm, kill switch, anti-brake device, dashboard camera, or vehicle tracking device on your car.
- Set up an automatic payment account - Check if your insurer offers discounts for automatic premium payments. You can lower your car insurance if you set up automatic payments for your car insurance premium with your bank account or credit card company.
Additionally, one of the best ways to save money on car insurance in Florida is to purchase one through a Florida-licensed car insurance agent. An independent car insurance agent with access to multiple insurance companies will get you the best and most affordable car insurance quotes and also advise you on ways to save on auto insurance.
How to Save on Home Insurance in Florida
The average cost of home insurance in Florida increased from $2,000 in 2019 to $3,600 per year in 2022 (approximately a 55% rise). This rise in cost is due to a combination of factors which includes:
- Increase in litigation (and related costs) against insurance companies
- Increase in weather-related home damages
- Fraudulent insurance claims by policyholders
- The inflated cost of repairs by homeowners
- Increase in the cost of building materials due to inflation.
In addition, recent forecasts predict a further increase in Florida home insurance costs due to increased risks caused by climate change. As a homeowner or renter in Florida, how can you save money on home insurance? Whether it is homeowners insurance, renters insurance, landlord insurance, or condo insurance, there are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of your insurance. To save money on home insurance, you can apply the following tips:
- Increase your home insurance deductible (opt for higher deductible coverage) - If the cost of your coverage is higher than your deductible, you may need to increase the amount you pay as deductible for a lower annual premium. Choosing a high deductible coverage makes you more liable for the damages and reduces the cost of your insurance. However, you should ensure you have enough money to pay your part of the deal if a covered peril happens.
- Shop around for multiple quotes from different insurers - Do thorough research and compare rates from different insurance companies to get the best deal before you buy home insurance. Also, check out claims records and determine an insurance company’s reputation when it comes to paying claims.
- Bundle home insurance with other insurance - In Florida, you can save money on home insurance by combining it with different types of insurance. For instance, you can bundle home insurance with auto insurance to streamline your claim process. Some insurers may offer up to a 15% discount for bundled policies. You should check to ensure you are not paying more than you should if you purchased separate policies.
- Buy what you need only - You should streamline your home insurance to meet your coverage needs. For instance, Florida is prone to floods, which are not covered by home insurance. You need to add flood insurance to your home insurance for adequate protection. However, you may not need earthquake insurance because earthquakes are rare in Florida, except if you reside in a particularly prone area. Do not add coverage for properties you do not have.
- Secure your home against damages - Take measures to reduce damages to your home. For instance, replacing old worn-out roofs will reduce damages in the event of hurricanes or other weather-related catastrophes.
- Avoid additional risks - Some insurance companies may consider other types of risk not directly posed by the building when determining your home insurance premium. For instance, having certain breeds of animals as pets may likely affect your home insurance costs. An insurer may increase your insurance premium if you have ferocious dogs or wild animals (like poisonous snakes and reptiles) as pets. Also, home improvements like trampolines, hot tubs, and swimming pools add to the cost of your insurance because of the increased risks to occupants and guests.
- Carry out regular yearly coverage reviews - You should review your home insurance policy and remove the coverage you no longer need. For instance, you may not need jewelry coverage in your home insurance if you recently bought a safe to store your jewelry. Only pay for the coverage you need.
- Stick with one insurer - Insurance companies offer loyalty discounts to customers who stick with them over a long period. Comparing insurance quotes across multiple insurers may save you money, but you should also check whether sticking with your current insurer will save you more money.
- Ask for less-known discounts - You should ask your insurer about discounts. There may be unpopular discounts you are eligible for but not aware of. For instance, your insurer may have discounts for military personnel and senior citizens.
- Avoid making small claims - Normalize paying for low-cost repairs out-of-pocket to reduce how often you file claims. In Florida, when you want to renew your policy, your insurer will consider the number of claims you made previously to determine the amount to charge you for the new coverage. The frequency of your home insurance claims may increase your annual premium by up to 9%.
Contact a knowledgeable Florida-licensed home insurance agent for more information on how to save money on home insurance.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance in Florida
The average cost of life insurance in Florida is about $50 per month and $600 yearly. These estimates are $4 lower than the average national figures. Life insurance premiums in Florida are rising due to the increase in Federal Funds rates which rose to 1.00% on June 9 and are predicted to reach 2.26% by the end of 2022. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics show an 8.6% increase in inflation for June 2022 against 2021 figures, resulting in a 0.4% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban consumers. As a Floridian planning on purchasing life insurance to safeguard your family when you are no longer around, you need to take proactive measures to save on life insurance. The tips below outline several ways you can save money on life insurance.
- Compare costs from multiple insurance companies - Like other insurance plans, you should search for insurers that offer cheap rates for similar coverage. Also, look out for opportunities for discounts. Before you buy life insurance, find out the insurance company’s death benefit payment records and research its current capacity to fulfill its obligations to beneficiaries when the insured dies.
- Buy life insurance as soon as possible (preferably at a younger age) - Your age is one of the major factors insurance companies consider when selling you a life insurance plan. The average cost of term life and permanent life insurance in Florida increases with the applicant's age. The table below shows how a $250,000 death benefit whole life insurance increases with the age of the insureds in Florida for both males and females.
The average annual cost of whole life insurance in Florida for some chosen age
Average annual cost of a $250,000 10-year term life insurance policy in Florida
- Opt for term life insurance - You can save money on life insurance by buying a term life policy instead of any of the whole life or universal life insurance (variable life, or index universal life insurance). Term life insurance plans are generally cheaper than permanent life insurance but provide life insurance for a set period. Usually, the time frame can be 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. When purchasing a term life plan to save money, it is advisable to go for a guaranteed renewable plan to avoid being refused coverage renewal at the end of the policy due to declining health.
- Opt for final expense insurance if you do not have dependents - If you do not have dependents that may need the death benefit of your life insurance, you can buy final expense life insurance to cover your funeral expenses after you are gone. Typically, a final expenses life insurance death benefit in Florida may not exceed $50,000. For as little as a $15 monthly premium, you can take care of burial arrangements when you are gone.
- Go for a simplified issue life insurance policy - Some insurance companies in Florida may offer a choice of either guaranteed issue or simplified issue life insurance. In guaranteed issue life insurance plans, you do not need to undergo a medical examination. However, such life insurance plans turn out to be more expensive than simplified issue plans (you need a medical examination for this). You will save money on life insurance by opting for simplified issue life insurance policies.
- Do not buy more life insurance coverage than you need - How much life insurance coverage you need may depend on factors like your age, income, commitments, and age of dependents. To save money on life insurance, you need to consider these factors so that you do not spend more money than is necessary. For instance, if you have adult dependents, term life insurance may be cheaper to save on costs. Also, if you took life insurance as a condition for a loan or mortgage, you may need to modify or terminate the life policy after repayment.
For more information on how to save money on life insurance premiums in Florida, you should speak with a knowledgeable Florida-licensed life insurance agent for additional advice.
How to Save Money on Business Insurance in Florida
Although the unemployment rate in Florida has been declining, the increasing cost of doing business in the United States affects business owners in Florida. As a business owner in Florida, business insurance is vital in safeguarding your investment against catastrophes or incidents that may lead to losses. Most owners of commercial insurance companies in Florida want to know how to save money on business insurance. In addition to the basic cost-saving steps in insurance listed above, you can apply some additional measures to protect yourself against business hazards. The following steps outline some ways you can reduce your business insurance cost.
Evaluate business insurance quotes from multiple insurers - There may be variations in the cost of business insurance among insurers due to the different methods they may apply to arrive at a premium. Search for business insurance quotes online; you may find a cheap commercial insurance quote that provides coverage and meets your budget. Note, only consider quotes from commercial insurance companies in Florida with good track records of meeting obligations to policyholders.
Bundle insurance coverages - Commercial insurance companies in Florida offer business owner’s policy (BOP). BOP allows owners of businesses to reduce business insurance costs by combining several business insurance policies into one package. For instance, as a business owner in Florida, you can bundle business insurance liability, business interruption insurance, commercial auto insurance, and commercial property insurance into your BOP package.
Through self-funded health plans - Data from the U.S Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses in Florida and exported over $51 billion worth of goods in 2019. Employees’ health is of utmost importance for maximum output as a business owner. 94% of large businesses and 38% of small businesses in Florida offer health insurance to employees.
If you are a small business owner in Florida, you may need small business health insurance. You can reduce your small business insurance cost through self-funded health insurance plans instead of offering employees fully-funded health insurance. The business is responsible for paying employees health treatment claims in a self-funded health plan. The advantages of self-funded health insurance are
You avoid markup fees
You may be eligible for tax advantages
You only pay for services used by employees, unlike fully-funded plans where you have to pay a premium regardless of if the services were used or not
Self-funded health plans may help to reduce the cost of your small business insurance cost.
Mitigate risks in the business environment - Enforce workplace safety programs that will reduce risks. Also, you may install security systems that may likely prevent losses from theft and also notify authorities in the event of accidents. For instance, installing security cameras and smoke detectors in certain areas may reduce your business insurance cost.
Opt for higher deductible plans - A deductible is an amount you pay as part of your responsibility for a covered loss before the insurance company steps in to bear the rest. The insurance rule of thumb is you pay a high deductible for a low premium and vice versa. Claims from losses due to business hazards do not occur too often; regardless, you have to pay a premium when due.
Note: do not set unreasonable deductible amounts when buying commercial insurance. Make sure the business has enough money to pay for the deductible in the event of a claim.
Make annual premium payments - In Florida, some insurers offer discounts for one-time yearly premium payments. Paying your commercial insurance premiums annually instead of monthly or quarterly may qualify you for significant discounts that may lower your business insurance costs by up to 15%.
Review your policies before renewal - Before you renew your commercial insurance plans in Florida, note the changes within your business and remove coverages that you no longer need. Also, observe areas the business will need more protection and get additional coverage. For instance, you may need additional health insurance for new workers or coverage for new equipment.
Avoid making small claims - Avoid making claims for losses you can easily cover their costs out-of-pocket; this may lead to your insurer increasing your business insurance premiums at the time of renewal. Also, some insurance companies in Florida offer no-claim discounts to businesses that have not made claims over time.
Can You Negotiate The Price of Insurance in Florida?
No, you can not negotiate the price of insurance in Florida because the industry’s regulating bodies heavily regulate the price of insurance. However, you can lower the cost of your insurance by seeking out opportunities for discounts from multiple insurance companies and applying measures that will improve your insurance credit scores. The difference in discount rates from insurers leads to higher or lower premiums.