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Thread: Miami Car Insurance: What the hell?

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Miami Car Insurance: What the hell?

    So as part of my (possible) 2011 move to South Florida, I have been doing a lot ot research to determine how much I'll need for a 6-month-without-a-job period (if that's the case). Part of my budget of course includes car insurance. I will not go without car insurance in South Florida, it's not happening. I just got a quote from Progressive and the same insurance I have here costs almost TWICE as much with a Miami zip code. Now, I want to know, does car insurance costs vary by city like here in MA? What I mean is that the city I live in now is safer than the one I lived in before, therefore, I am less likely to experience car theft, thus making my car insurance cost lower. Is this the case in South Florida, or should I just expect to pay double anywhere within dade county? Thx.

    -La Femme

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    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Most car insurance companies base prices on zip code. It has to do with the number of accidents, and the number of insurance claims filed in that particular zip code. Basically if you want to live in a city you have to pay more. And get used to it..more for parking garages, more for meters, harder to get spots..and this is why I walk and take cabs.

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    Preferred Member laurab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Yes, car insurance rates varies by area. The factors involved, aside from the catagory of driver that you are personally, have to do with theft, crime, accident rate of the area. There is some kind of logorithm that determines the chances of your insurance having a claim. Miami has a high rate of car theft and accidents. It also seems to have a high rate of uninsured drivers so I am sure that factors in somehow, since your insurance has to pay for the accidents other's cause and then try to go after the uninsured. It totally sucks. Mine doubled too.

    Sungal is right when it comes to prices of transportation. The Miami public bus does have a pretty extensive route though. I used it a lot while I was dealing with some problems in relation to getting my car registered here.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Well, you know my advice, but....

    Yeah, it varies by part of the city you live in. Like, shockingly, I know South Beach is more than Palmetto Bay. Similarly, the last time I had insurance I used an address in Palm Beach County and saved about $300 on a 6-month policy.

    We are one of the most expensive places in the country to insure a car. That's why so many people don't have it (we're also one of the poorest cities) and, therefore, making those who do have it pay more. Vicious cycle. Perhaps you can find an address in a lower-cost part of the city to insure your car while you live elsewhere. Like if you have a job in a part of town where insurance is cheaper, have the bill sent there. Or make friends in Palmetto Bay.....

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Thank you both for your answers. Laura, if you don't mind me asking, what city are you living in? I ask because I am making a list of places to look at in my next trip.

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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    The overall cost of living here is a lot less than in MA, car insurance is expensive but you will still save a lot of money on rent and no state income tax, which are both extremely high in MA

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    Preferred Member laurab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    No problem, La Femme. I am currently living in Bay Harbor Islands, which is on the northern tip of Miami Beach. It is a quiet, safe little area and easily accessable to the beach. We rented our apartment sight unseen from California before we moved here through a rental company called Renters Paradise. We pay $875 for a 1 bedroom. I don't like this apartment much, it is old and kinda trashy. THe good part though is that it is safe and there is plenty of parking available. It has served as a good little launch pad into Miami and we enjoyed living so close to the beach. The apartment community is called Town and Country and consists of several buildings that vary in quality and price. You could give them a call and inquire on what is available. The other buildings seem nicer then the one we ended up with.

    At the end of the month we are moving to Miami Shores. We found a little rental house there, 2 bedroom for $1100. It is a small house for rent by owner. I had to do a lot of driving around to find this little gem. I like Miami Shores area and its where I want to buy a house eventually.

    Good luck!

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    Unless I missed it, no one has addressed a big reason why we have high insurance... hurricanes.

    Now I know we don't get that many, but Miami is pretty much in the danger zone if anything comes in from the Atlantic. Factor in the huge floods we have (I managed to drown two cars in 12 months) and that is another reason insurance is high.

    Oh, and all the bad drivers, but we already covered that one

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie1 View Post
    The overall cost of living here is a lot less than in MA, car insurance is expensive but you will still save a lot of money on rent and no state income tax, which are both extremely high in MA
    Hi Julie,

    How long have you been in FL? I know a few people who moved from FL to MA, and trashed FL in their comments. They all agreed on FL being a state when you make half the money for the same job compared to MA. Also, they all said that cost of living was way too high in comparison with the pay. Would you agree with these statements since you have experienced both sides of the fence?

    But then again, most of these people only have HS diplomas so maybe that had something to do with it?

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by laurab View Post
    No problem, La Femme. I am currently living in Bay Harbor Islands, which is on the northern tip of Miami Beach. It is a quiet, safe little area and easily accessable to the beach. We rented our apartment sight unseen from California before we moved here through a rental company called Renters Paradise. We pay $875 for a 1 bedroom. I don't like this apartment much, it is old and kinda trashy. THe good part though is that it is safe and there is plenty of parking available. It has served as a good little launch pad into Miami and we enjoyed living so close to the beach. The apartment community is called Town and Country and consists of several buildings that vary in quality and price. You could give them a call and inquire on what is available. The other buildings seem nicer then the one we ended up with.

    At the end of the month we are moving to Miami Shores. We found a little rental house there, 2 bedroom for $1100. It is a small house for rent by owner. I had to do a lot of driving around to find this little gem. I like Miami Shores area and its where I want to buy a house eventually.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for your reply Laurab. $1,100 for a house sounds great! Glad you found that gem. How far is Miami Shores from downtowm and Coral Gables?

    I'll check out those places you mentioned. Thanks for the heads up!

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    Member Mario's Avatar
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    My old car was under my dad's name. Since he's a senior citizen, the insurance was only like $60. The new car I bought is under my name, and I'm paying double the amount. Supposedly, it's because Miami has a larger amount of accidents and car thefts. Throw in also the lousy drivers and the people without insurance.

    @Jess, you drowned 2 cars. Don't list that on your car rental application!

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Actually, Jess, the Hurricanes have very little to do with why insurance is so expensive. Look at prices in other areas hit frequently by hurricanes, like Coastal North Carolina, the northern Gulf Coast (New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport) Houston and even the West Coast of Florida, and rates are fairly reasonable. Now, for homeowners, sure, Hurricanes are a factor. But car insurance premiums aren't really based on weather conditions. More accident reports, number of insured drivers, cost of repairs and the like.

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    I drive a '96 Toyota and I doubt I'll be able to bring it with me to FL next year. Even if it makes the trip, it'll probably break down into pieces shortly after. I could get a used car here in a better condition and drive it there, but then I'd have to register it twice. Should I ditch my Toyota prior to moving and buy a car there? Are there any reputable used car dealers in FL? Could I find a reliable car (Toyota or Honda) let's say year 2000, for about 3000-4000? Or is this price too low for cars in FL?

    Here in MA I can definitevly find one, but I am unsure if I can drive an unregistered car from MA to FL. I don't want to be pull over, and get hit with a huge ticket. What do you guys think?

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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Actually, Jess, the Hurricanes have very little to do with why insurance is so expensive. Look at prices in other areas hit frequently by hurricanes, like Coastal North Carolina, the northern Gulf Coast (New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport) Houston and even the West Coast of Florida, and rates are fairly reasonable. Now, for homeowners, sure, Hurricanes are a factor. But car insurance premiums aren't really based on weather conditions. More accident reports, number of insured drivers, cost of repairs and the like.
    I figured it was more the floods we have due to hurricanes or intense storms, rather than the hurricanes themselves. After all, Miami Beach doesn't exactly have a good drains system.

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    Preferred Member laurab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    I wouldn't drive an unregistered car to FL, you will be asking for tickets. Maybe rent a car to move down here in or if you are bringing stuff, just drive a rental truck and then buy a used car here if you will be in the market anyway. But look into if you have to pay the first time registration fee anyway, it could be the case. If so, it may be just as well to try to get by with your old car.

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by laurab View Post
    I wouldn't drive an unregistered car to FL, you will be asking for tickets. Maybe rent a car to move down here in or if you are bringing stuff, just drive a rental truck and then buy a used car here if you will be in the market anyway. But look into if you have to pay the first time registration fee anyway, it could be the case. If so, it may be just as well to try to get by with your old car.
    I decided to keep my old Toyota for the time being. I took it to my mechanic this morning and he did a full inspection and the verdict was that the car is still really good. He told me I need to fix a few things here and there because the car is old, but if I fix those little things, for a couple of hundreds, I can count on that car for a few more years. He did tell me that I should not drive this car to FL if I want to keep it because the drive is just too long.

    So after hearing that I figured I have two options: 1) sell the car before I move and buy another one in FL or 2) pay 500-600 to a car shipping company to have it shipped there. The former will make me spend too much money and will require for me to stay in MA longer to make up for it (which I can't stand). The latter sounds like a better option. If I can have my car shipped, I can use it for 1 or two more years, until Iím settled in FL and then buy another one. Besides, driving to FL from MA will mean a lot of money in gas, hotel, and stress because I am traveling with my pets. I rather find a cheap ticket through Spirit Airline or another carrier, and have my pets flown with me. Two-three days driving will be too much for all of us. I hope I am doing the right thing.

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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    I figured it was more the floods we have due to hurricanes or intense storms, rather than the hurricanes themselves. After all, Miami Beach doesn't exactly have a good drains system.
    No Hurricanes, storms, floods have nothing to do with it. My car is kept in an "impact-proof" garage and that is not in a flood plain. My insurance agent says that higher rates in the area, beyond general crime of living in a big city, is that there are a prevalence of old people who just shouldn't be driving and wide-flat roads that promote drag racing and commutes that seem to resemble drag races at times.

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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    We also got a ridiculous quote.

    The solution was that my dad "owns" the car and it is insured with the rest of his cars in Wisconsin. It still has Wisconsin plates and uses his Wisconsin address. We asked, and they do not care that the car is in Miami. I think it is costing something like $200 per YEAR to do it this way instead of the quote of a few thousand bucks.

    Considering the way people drive around here, I am not surprised at all about the cost.

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    Member Mario's Avatar
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    Plenty of old folks driving, pretty true! And many of them drive large Lincoln Towncars and Buicks. It's happened more than a few times, that an elderly person thought they were slamming the breaks and instead stepped on the gas, and rammed into an office building.

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    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami Car Insurance: WHAT THE HELL!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario View Post
    It's happened more than a few times, that an elderly person thought they were slamming the breaks and instead stepped on the gas, and rammed into an office building.
    In Fl too? LOL, I have seen many of those here in MA. The last one was at a Wal-Mart and the man hit a lady who had her baby in the shopping cart. Last thing I heard in the news about it was that the baby was in critical condition. The man lived a at nursing home next door and was in his 80s. I think they should have driving age limit as they have age restrictions (16 1/2 to get a license). What about you can only drive until 70??? Now we don't only have to watch out with teenagers, but the elderly as well. May God protect us drivers and pedestrians!

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