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Florida drivers pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation

FLORIDA  --  OKALOOSA COUNTY - Florida drivers pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation. That's despite last year's fraud reform that was supposed to bring costs down.

Reporter Laura Hussey says, "There are a lot of things you could do with $1042. But if you're an average policyholder here in Florida, that's what you're paying each year for car insurance."
   
Florida is among the top five states in the nation when it comes to pricey car insurance rates.
Fort Walton Beach resident Fred Pitts says, "I think it's high, I look at it and I don't understand why it should be so high, especially for safe drivers."
   
A rep from the Insurance Information Institute says claims drive costs and Florida has more and higher claims than many states. In part, that's because there are lots of people on the road here.

Jami Suchocki of Fort Walton Beach says, "Oh, when I see it come out of the bank every month, I'm like oh. And we always forget about it too, and so it's horrible"
   
Another problem is personal injury protection fraud. In the last few years, staged wrecks and sham clinics became a cottage industry in South Florida, driving up everybody's rates.

David Hurst of Fort Walton Beach says, "When us that don't have to do the fake accidents have to pay that is a bit ridiculous."

After the legislature passed a reform bill last year, insurance companies were required to file premium reductions based on the expected savings. They did, but the Florida Office of Insurance

Regulation says those reductions may have only offset increases in other rate categories.
David Hurst says "I'm not too much of a fan of it, I drive a beater, pay 103 for liability." Reporter "103 a month?" David "Yeah."

The reforms are now tied up in court, but there could be some relief.     
Insurance companies have to file another reduction in PIP premiums before next year.
   
Laura Hussey says, "If you're curious, the absolute highest car insurance premiums are in Louisiana, $1100 a year. The lowest, North Dakota at 517."