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Car crash spike in Florida translates to higher insurance costs

Floridians are facing more than just steep temperatures this summer. A recent report by the Tampa Bay Times notes that the state has experienced an uptick in the number of car crashes. This increase in auto accidents has also translated to a jump in insurance costs.

The former state Insurance Commissioner notes that accidents have increased because more people are driving. More drivers on the roads, to put it simply, lead to more accidents. This has resulted in not one, not two, but dozens of insurance rate increases in Florida over the last 18 months.

Are there really more auto accidents in Florida?

The short answer is yes, there are really more accidents in Florida now than previous years. In 2014 there were 344,344 reported accidents. In 2015 this number jumped to 373,898.

The reason behind this jump is likely two-fold. First off, the unemployment rate is decreasing. As more Floridians find employment, traffic increases as more people drive to work. Since more drivers are on the roads, the rate of accidents will naturally increase. The second reason involves distracted driving, which has posed a problem throughout the country.

Just how much does an accident cost?

According to the piece in the Tampa Bay Times, an average claim where neither driver is deemed to be at fault for the accident costs approximately $8,280.

What if you are involved in an accident?

Drivers who find themselves in an accident should first survey the scene. Is anyone hurt? How much damage was done? If there are injuries or damage is significant, call for help.

After the injured are cared for and the scene is being dealt with, it is important to gather information. Get the names and contact information of all involved. Call your insurance company and document all damage. Keep records of anything connected to the accident. Start a file with a copy of the police report (if one was filed), any related medical bills, bills for repair of your vehicle as well as a note of any missed work.

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