Tampa ZIP code 33603 is the most expensive place in the Tampa metropolitan area for Florida car insurance, $600 more than the cost of the cheapest, according to our rate analysis of six major car insurance companies.
Comparison shopping is critical to finding the best rates regardless of where you live because no two insurance companies will price a policy at the same amount. The wide range in rates from different insurers for the same driver in the same car in the same ZIP code shows why it's prudent to compare car insurance companies. For example, the highest rate from any carrier for ZIP 33603 in our analysis was $3,016 -- 192 percent or three times more than the lowest ($1,031).That means the savings could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars for those who shop around.
To see how Tampa car insurance rates compare, use our average rates tool below. Enter a ZIP code and it will show the average rate, as well as the highest and lowest, for your location.
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
The average rate of $2,001 in ZIP code 33603 is the highest in the four-county Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area. The least expensive average rate in the Tampa metro area is $1,401 in Brooksville ZIP code 34601 in Hernando County. The average rate of $1,579 in ZIP code 33705 ranked No. 1 in St. Petersburg.
You’ll see in the chart below the top 10 most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in Tampa, and how much you can overpay if you don’t compare rates.
Most expensive Tampa car insurance rates
*Methodology for rates by ZIP code:
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for more than 30,000 ZIP codes in the United States using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where an insurer’s rate wasn’t available, another major carrier's rate was substituted.) Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
Here's how Tampa’s highest average rate ($2,001) for ZIP code 33603 compares to others:
$923 more than the least expensive average rate ($1,078) in Florida, Waldo ZIP code 32694
$599 more than the state average ($1,402)
$770 more than the national average rate ($1,231)
Here’s how the average rates compare across counties the Census considers part of the Tampa-St. Pete metro area:
Here’s what the same driver would pay, on average per year, in the costliest ZIP codes in other large Florida cities:
Hialeah ZIP code 33010: $2,248
Miami ZIP code 33142: $2,248
Orlando ZIP code 32818: $1,539
Jacksonville ZIP code 32210: $1,360
Tallahassee ZIP code32305: $1,136
Tampa car insurance requirements
Florida state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability
Minimum property damage liability
*Bodily injury liability not required by state; many carriers require $10,000/$20,000
Cheapest car insurance in Tampa
If you want just enough coverage to be legal on the road, buy the lowest amount of liability insurance your insurer offers. That’s the cheapest policy you can buy. Florida car insurance laws mandate that you must have a car insurance policy covering $10,000 in property damage liability and $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP):
$10,000 in PIP covers you, your passengers and other authorized drivers of your car who are injured while in your insured vehicle
$10,000 for damage you cause to others’ cars and property
Bodily injury liability not required, but recommended
Florida car insurance laws don’t stipulate that you carry bodily injury liability insurance, which pays for injuries others get from an accident you cause. However, many car insurance companies do require it to be part of any policy they sell in the state. That’s because Florida is a no-fault state. Treatment for any injuries you suffer is covered by your personal injury protection, up to its limit. This is regardless of who caused the accident. If bills exceed that limit, the at-fault driver is legally personally responsible unless he or she has bought bodily injury liability coverage.
If you buy bodily injury liability coverage, the smallest amount you can buy is $10,000 per person (up to $20,000 per accident).
The state average rate for a year of minimum coverage (with bodily injury amounts most insurers require) is $1,058, according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to $50,000 worth of liability coverage for others’ medical bills, up to $100,000 for an accident, with $50,000 to pay for others’ property damage (50/100/50), you would pay just $313 more.
Best car insurance in Tampa
Even a minor accident can put your savings and home in jeopardy if you have just the state required minimum of insurance. To protect your assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:
$100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
$300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
$100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property
You should also consider buying these optional coverages:
Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.
Comprehensive insurance and collision coverage are advised unless you have a very old car that’s of little value. That’s because these coverages pay out only up to the actual cash value of your car. In Florida, comprehensive costs $107 and collision costs $242, on average per year, for drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Unlike liability insurance, these optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.
Florida car insurance rates for coverage recommendations
With $1,000 deductible
With $500 deductible
With $250 deductible
*Average rate of six insurance carriers for a 2015 Honda Accord LX, from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Driving in Tampa
Traffic in Tampa: As with most major cities, traffic can be congested, especially during rush hour, but Tampa did not make a list of the worst U.S. cities for traffic recently reported by USA Today.
Car Crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of 40 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).
Commuting: The average commute in Tampa lasts 21.3 minutes.
Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Tampa who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 16 percent), Hispanic (about 67 percent) and black (about 10 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people turn to mass transit.
High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In Florida, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses, and motorcycles are allowed to use the lanes. The lanes may be restricted during specified hours.
Bad drives: Fowler, Fletcher, Waters and Hillsborough avenues are considered some of the most dangerous roads in the Tampa area, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.
The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.