Clearwater, Florida is one of the most picturesque cities in the Tampa Bay area, with beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear ocean waters (hence the name), and no shortage of things to do. But living in a vacation community year-round comes at a price. Florida boasts some of the highest insurance rates in the nation, continually ranking in the top 5 for both car and home.
There are a number of reasons Clearwater insurance is so pricey, the main one being the potential for hurricanes and flooding. Other factors, such as cost of living and crime, also play a part. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can save on your insurance so you have money left over to enjoy the beautiful area you live in.
Saving on Clearwater Auto Insurance
There are a number of factors that go into determining auto insurance prices. Some of these, like population density or the average number of traffic deaths, you can't really influence. Others you can, such as:
- Driving record. You may think getting a speeding ticket now and again isn't a big deal, but insurance companies think otherwise. Tickets stay on your record for 3 years and in some companies, will raise your rates a whopping 25%. It's even worse for accidents--at one major company, your first accident raises your rates 30%; if you have a second, it climbs to over 50%. So it pays to drive safe and slow.
- Your car. It's not a bad idea to get Clearwater insurance quotes to see how much a car will cost to insure before you purchase it. Certain cars are much more expensive to insure, such as sports cars or luxury and foreign cars, which cost more to repair. In some cases, you may end up paying more than half your car payment in auto insurance.
- Your deductible. The lower your deductible (or how much you pay before your insurance kicks in), the higher your premium. But if you switch a $250 deductible to $1,500, you could save around $50 a month with some companies. If you are a safe driver with a clean driving history, this could be a good choice.
Saving on Clearwater Homeowners Insurance
Florida is often hit by major hurricanes, and the wind damage and flooding that ensues as a result drives your rates up. However, you should be aware of the following when looking for Clearwater insurance quotes:
- Hurricane damage is not covered. Many people mistakenly believe that wind and water damage from hurricanes is covered under the perils listed in their homeowner insurance policies. However, almost all policies have exclusions for hurricane damage. This type of insurance must be purchased separately.
- Flood insurance is not included. Like hurricane damage, damage from flooding is not covered under any insurance policy and must be purchased separately. The government regulates flood insurance.
Purchasing these separate policies can raise your rates, but you can still save in a number of ways, including:
- Make your home more weather-resistant. There are many things you can do to make your home less susceptible to wind and water damage, such as storm shutters, which will in turn lower your rates.
- Install security features. Burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, and motion lights are a few of the security features you can install. Not only will they make your home safer, but they can save you up to 15% on your insurance.
- Increase your fire protection. Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems in your home can also save you a percentage on your homeowners insurance.
Comparing Clearwater Insurance Quotes
Another great way to save money is to shop around and compare quotes. Netquote.com makes this easy by finding multiple Clearwater insurance quotes in a matter of minutes. From there, you can compare them and find the most affordable rates.