Drivers living in or around downtown
A 30-year-old single man with a good driving history would pay nearly
That same man would pay less than
<< RELATED: GateHouse Media's national breakdown of auto insurance rates
The Zebra examined more than 61 million rates across the country for its 2019 State of the Auto Insurance Report and shared some of its data with GateHouse Media. The theoretical driver had a standard insurance policy, including injury liability, property damage liability and a
The average yearly cost for insurance in
Costs climbed higher in
The national average was
In the three ZIP codes in and around downtown West Palm -- 33401, 33409 and 33405 -- rates reached
Next highest in
More traffic means higher rates
Traffic helps explain why West Palm motorists pay so much, fraud is a factor that drives up costs in
Downtown West Palm, with its nightlife, its proximity to
And more traffic leads to more crashes and higher insurance costs, said former
"You get more crashes in
Two of the high-ranking
Areas with higher crime levels did not necessarily have higher rates.
In West Palm, for example, policy quotes were lower in low-income neighborhoods such as Pleasant City north of
Scams and no-fault
Scammers who rip off insurance companies help drive up insurance costs in
"There's a fair amount of fraud, staged accidents, in
State laws that inflate insurance costs help enable fraud,
No-fault insurance pays up to
State lawmakers have tried and failed for years to repeal the decades-old PIP law. Insurance companies, who fought to keep PIP, continue to raise premiums.
While the number of crashes has remained level in
An area's population density, road conditions, repair rates, medical and hospital costs and number of accidents help determine insurance premiums, spokeswoman
"It's the lawyers and the doctors and hospitals who want the mandatory coverage because there's a pot of gold there they can tap," Stander said.
Stander cited cases in which, he said, lawyers sued insurance companies, in what he called bad faith, for failing to defend their policyholders in car crash lawsuits.
A ring of corrupt lawyers, chiropractors and clinic owners in
A smaller part of fraud driving up insurance costs, Grady and Stander say, comes from fixing windshields, taking advantage of "assignment of benefits" agreements.
An unwitting crash victim signs away their right to pursue an insurer to a crooked mechanic, Grady and Stander said, who then fixes the windshield and bills insurance companies hundreds of dollars more for a job that could have been cheaper.
State lawmakers this year passed restrictions on assignment of benefits agreements but did not repeal the costly no-fault insurance system.
The cheapest insurance quotes in the state, estimated at
(c)2019 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.