Auto Insurance Basics

Best Auto Insurance Rates in St. Petersburg, Florida

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St. Petersburg - St. Pete to its residents - is known for its lower cost of living compared to the rest of Florida and the nation. On one of its components, car insurance rates, however, the Sunshine City ranked within the top 15% of the most expensive locations in Florida. Our analysis shows that costs for St. Petersburg drivers can range depending on what neighborhood they live in, and the insurance company they pick. Even with costs being relatively higher, individual St. Petersburg drivers can save by comparing auto insurance quotes across different companies. 

Overall, for our sample driver, car insurance quotes in St. Petersburg differed by almost as much as 4x between the costliest and cheapest insurance companies. Put another way, an annual policy at one company could pay for almost four years of liability coverage at another. Compared with the city’s mean, the cheapest auto insurance company in St. Petersburg offered rates that were 37% lower on average, while the most expensive auto insurance company quoted rates that were 2.5x higher. With regards to car insurance in different St. Petersburg neighborhoods, costs ranged between plus and minus 3% difference from the city’s overall average annual auto insurance cost. Since St. Petersburg is the second largest principal city of the Tampa Bay metro area (Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area), we also looked into quote comparisons in the closest and largest suburbs around St. Petersburg. Most suburbs' mean car insurance costs were lower than the city’s average, with the exception of one.

Cheapest Auto Insurance in St. Petersburg, FL

We looked at auto insurance quotes for a typical man living and driving in sixteen neighborhoods and eleven suburbs in St. Petersburg, FL across fifteen companies to determine which had the best and cheapest rates. Across the St. Pete city proper, our sample driver found State Farm, Electric, and 21st Century to have the 3 most affordable auto insurance rates. In general, the three cheapest companies on our list quoted basic liability policies that cost 35% lower premiums than what the typical insurer charged in St. Petersburg, FL. Depending on the neighborhood our sample driver lived in, the lowest premiums typically came from one of these three cheapest auto insurance companies (read below for more information). Check out our discount section to see what additional savings and reductions these cheap car insurance companies offer.

This graph shows the companies in our quote comparison with the eight lowest annual rates for our sample driver. The table below shows the complete list of auto insurance companies that were included in our analysis.

This graph ranks the eight companies in St. Petersburg with the lowest auto insurance quotes on average for our sample driver.

RankCompanyAverage Annual RatesChange vs. City Average
1 State Farm $1,341 -37%
2 Electric 1,371 -36%
3 21st Century 1,452 -32%
4 Allstate 1,460 -31%
5 Amica 1,536 -28%
6 GEICO 1,721 -19%
7  Mercury 1,727 -19%
8 Liberty Mutual 1,774 -17%
9 Travelers 1,778 -17%
10 Auto-Owners 1,825 -14%
11 Allied 1,951 -8%
12 Safeco 2,250 6%
13 Direct General 3,008 41%
14 Kingsway America 3,394 59%
15 United Automobile 5,363 152%

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State Farm

With an average quote of $1,341 for our sample driver's car insurance policy, State Farm ranked as the cheapest auto insurance company in St. Petersburg, FL. Quotes in St. Pete were 37% or $789 lower than most other offers available from other insurers. The neighborhoods where State Farm came on top with the best rates for insuring a car included Treasure Island, Greater Pinellas Point, and Madeira Beach, to name a few neighborhoods in St. Pete. 

Electric

The company with the second lowest rates for car insurance in St. Petersburg was Electric Insurance. Electric’s average quotes for our motorist were $1,371 for basic auto insurance coverage, allowing him to save 36% compared to his neighbors living elsewhere in the city. The cheapest annual premium from Electric was $1,296, which was for our sample driving living and commuting in the eastern neighborhoods of St. Pete.

21st Century

Based on the results of our quote comparison, the third lowest lowest rates in St. Petersburg came from 21st Century, at $1,452 a year, which beat the city’s average by 32%. The lowest premiums for our sample motorist from 21st Century were found in the Treasure Island and Tierra Verde regions.

Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in St. Petersburg, FL

The most expensive car insurance companies for our sample driver were United Automobile, Kingsway America, and Direct General, in that order. Among the 15 car insurance companies we conducted our study with, 4 of them offered average price above St. Petersburg’s mean. The three most expensive companies’ premiums for our sample driver averaged 84% higher than most other quotes received.

Regardless of the neighborhood examined, the highest regional quotes all came from United Automobile. At an average of $5,363 a year for a basic liability policy, United Automobile typically cost 152% more than any other company's quotes in St. Petersburg. The annual price difference from place to place varied within $72. Kingsway America was our second most expensive insurer, with annual rates that were typically 59% higher than most other companies that quoted our driver. Annual premiums were around $3,394 across the city. Compared to United Automobile, Kingsway America had more variation in prices across the different St. Pete neighborhoods. Kingsway America (also known as KAI Advantage) is a specialty insurer that provides coverage for a wide variety of drivers, including non-standard ones, through agents. Rounding out our top three costliest insurers in St. Petersburg was Direct General. On average, Direct General quoted rates that were $878 or 41% higher for our driver compared to the city’s mean. Annual rates could also vary by $312 depending on the neighborhood our driver lived in. 

Cheapest Car Insurance in St. Petersburg, FL: by Neighborhood

Our sample driver found the cheapest rates for auto insurance living in the outer limits of St. Petersburg. Our quote comparison analysis found that the top five most affordable locations for auto insurance included both island locations and St. Pete’s mainland neighborhoods. Tierra Verde was our cheapest and Gandy in the north was our second cheapest - we've covered them and the top five cheapest and some of the most expensive areas after the table.

The table below displays the three cheapest auto insurance companies in various St. Pete neighborhoods based on our example driver, along with the annual rate quoted given his driving background and other profile characteristics. Neighborhoods are listed in alphabetical order.

St. Pete NeighborhoodCheapest Insurer #1Cheapest Insurer #2Cheapest Insurer #3
Big Bayou State Farm $1,356 21st Century $1,404 Electric $1,428
Disston Heights State Farm 1,356 Electric 1,416 21st Century 1,524
Downtown Electric 1,296 State Farm 1,356 Allstate 1,440
Gandy Electric 1,296 State Farm 1,356 Allstate 1,440
Greater Pinellas Point State Farm 1,356 Electric 1,476 21st Century 1,548
Gulfport State Farm 1,356 Electric 1,368 21st Century 1,404
Harbor Bayou Electric 1,296 State Farm 1,356 Allstate 1,440
Kenneth City State Farm 1,356 21st Century 1,368 Electric 1,368
Lealman State Farm 1,392 Allstate 1,452 Electric 1,452
Madeira Beach State Farm 1,284 Electric 1,452 Allstate 1,476
Marina District State Farm 1,356 21st Century 1,404 Electric 1,428
North Kenwood State Farm 1,392 Allstate 1,452 Electric 1,452
Placido Bayou Electric 1,296 State Farm 1,356 Allstate 1,440
Snell Isle/Euclid-St.Paul's Electric 1,296 State Farm 1,356 Allstate 1,440
Tierra Verde/Bayway Isles 21st Century 1,224 State Farm 1,236 Electric 1,308
Treasure Island 21st Century 1,224 State Farm 1,236 Electric 1,308

Tierra Verde

The cheapest car insurance rates in St. Petersburg were found in the Tierra Verde neighborhood. Here, rates for insuring a vehicle averaged $2,067 a year for our sample driver, making him 3% better off compared to living elsewhere in the city. Rates could be even lower for a driver in Tierra Verde, however by comparing auto insurance quotes. Our sample driver's cheapest quote in Tierra Verde was only $1,224 a year from 21st Century, which placed it 43% lower than the city’s mean. Tierra Verde is the least densely populated neighborhood among our list, and consists of 15 islands beyond the southern tip of St. Pete’s mainland.

Gandy

On average, auto insurance quotes found in the Gandy neighborhood were 2% cheaper than most places in the city for our sample motorist. Annual rates of $2,080 in Gandy translated into lower car insurance premiums by $50 a year compared to elsewhere in St. Petersburg. Going with the cheapest company's quotes in Gandy (Electric Auto Insurance) could save our driver a further $830 every year compared to the typical insurer in St. Pete. Located on the northern end of St. Petersburg, Gandy is our second least densely populated neighborhood. 

Treasure Island

The average auto insurance rates in Treasure Island were our third lowest among the St. Petersburg neighborhoods. The insurance companies here, on average, offered $2,082 for an annual plan to our sample driver. Nevertheless, the single lowest quote was actually $1,224 from 21st Century for our sample motorist in Treasure Island, which was $900 better off compared to the city’s mean. An incorporated city of its own, Treasure Island is one of the popularly sought-after vacation beaches near St. Petersburg. 

Harbor Bayou

Harbor Bayou drivers could enjoy auto insurance rates on average 2% lower compared to the city’s mean. Our sample motorist’ average quotes here were approximately $2,088 a year, which he could still cut down almost $830 more when insured with one of the cheapest auto insurance companies in our analysis - Electric Insurance Company. The Harbor Bayou neighborhood is situated in the northeast quarter of St. Pete.

Placido Bayou

Situated approximately 4.5 miles north of the city center, another preferred neighborhood for our sample driver for cheaper auto insurance in St. Pete was Placido Bayou. The average insurance rate here of $2,091 beat the city average by 2%. Based on our rate comparisons, we found that our motorist could reduce his rates by 39% by insuring with Electric, which had the lowest car insurance quote in Placido Bayou.

St. Petersburg Neighborhoods with the Most Expensive Car Insurance

Most of the higher-cost neighborhoods were in the southwest quarter of St. Petersburg. These include Greater Pinellas Point, North Kenwood, and Lealman. Our sample motorist found his insurance quotes in our top 3 priciest neighborhoods to be 3% more expensive than the St. Pete average. Despite these neighborhoods costing higher, motorists can still save by comparing quotes across multiple insurers. Within our analysis of the most expensive neighborhoods, individual quotes from several companies could be as low as 36% less than the city’s average. In fact, an annual plan from the most expensive insurer could pay for almost four years of liability protection at the cheapest insurer in St. Petersburg.

Greater Pinellas Point

Our driver found his most expensive average annual auto insurance rates of $2,192 in St. Petersburg near the Greater Pinellas Point neighborhood. His average rates were on average 3% more expensive than the city’s mean, but this hides a wide range in costs between individual companies. For example, the single most expensive quote for our sample motorist in this neighborhood was more than $5,000 a year, or $4,056 more expensive per year compared to State Farm, which was the cheapest auto insurer in Greater Pinellas Point. Said differently, not comparing sufficient quotes could result in picking a company whose annual premiums could have covered 4x the cost of liability coverage for our motorist. Greater Pinellas Point is found in the southern tip of St. Pete’s mainland, and both its population density and regional population are above the city’s average.  

North Kenwood

North Kenwood was the second priciest neighborhood for our sample motorist; his quotes here averaged $2,186 a year. His single most expensive quote – $5,412 – topped the lowest auto insurance quote from State Farm by almost 3 times. On the other hand, our benchmark motorist's quotes from State Farm were represented a 35% discount compared to the St. Petersburg mean. The North Kenwood neighborhood is located just northwest of downtown St. Petersburg, and it has the second highest regional population in the city.

Lealman

Our sample motorist living in Lealman also found a wide range between his highest and lowest quotes. His best quotes for car insurance came from State Farm and was just under $1,400 - that's almost a quarter of the cost of the most expensive company in Lealman. Annual rates in Lealman run $2,183 for our typical driver here, which made this neighborhood the third highest for auto insurance rates in St. Pete. The Lealman neighborhood sits in the northwest corner of the city, north of our second most expensive neighborhood with a population density that is the third highest in the city proper. 

Cheapest Auto Insurance in St. Petersburg: by Suburb

We looked at rates in 12 suburbs within the Tampa Bay MSA for the purposes of this study, and found that Sun City Center, Ruskin, and Seminole were the three cheapest suburbs to insure a car in for our driver. On average, they were 4% cheaper than most neighborhoods in St. Pete, while both Sun City Center and Ruskin’s average were cheaper than all of the city neighborhood’s averages. The suburbs on our top 3 cheapest list are located an average of 40 miles from St. Petersburg’s city center.

However, not every suburb we studied had lower premiums compared to St. Petersburg; Odessa was more expensive to insure a vehicle in than most neighborhoods in the city for car insurance. We have covered this location in our last paragraph after the table below. The table below presents in alphabetical order the various neighborhoods we analyzed, and the car insurance companies with the lowest rates for our sample driver.

St. Pete SuburbCheapest Insurer #1Cheapest Insurer #2Cheapest Insurer #3
Dunedin State Farm $1,284 21st Century $1,368 Electric $1,368
Holiday State Farm 1,284 Amica 1,320 Electric 1,380
Largo State Farm 1,332 Electric 1,356 21st Century 1,356
Odessa State Farm 1,332 Electric 1,416 Allstate 1,464
Palm Harbor State Farm 1,332 21st Century 1,368 Electric 1,368
Pinellas Park State Farm 1,356 Electric 1,368 21st Century 1,368
Ruskin Allstate 1,068 State Farm 1,224 21st Century 1,356
Safety Harbor State Farm 1,284 21st Century 1,368 Electric 1,368
Seminole 21st Century 1,224 State Farm 1,236 Electric 1,308
Sun City Center Allstate 1,068 State Farm 1,224 Amica 1,416
Tarpon Springs State Farm 1,332 Electric 1,368 21st Century 1,368

Sun City Center

Our sample driver’s average premiums at Sun City Center were $2,004 a year. These rates were 6% lower than what he would have paid living in various neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. The Sun City Center is located 37 miles east of the city, across the Tampa Bay.

Ruskin

In Ruskin, the insurers quoted on average around $2,026 per year for our typical driver’s basic car insurance policy. This put him 5% better off than his counterparts living in the city. Ruskin is also across the Tampa Bay from St. Pete, 34 miles away from the city center.

Seminole

The average quotes we found for our sample driver amounted to $2,098 in Seminole. At 2% lower than the city’s mean, Seminole was the second closest to the city center on our list of suburbs, which might explain how similar its insurance costs are to what St. Petersburg residents would pay.

Odessa

Among the suburbs we looked at for our example driver, the highest average car insurance rates were in Odessa. Odessa also turned out to be more expensive to insure a car in than all the neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. Situated the furthest away from St. Pete, Odessa’s average quotes were $2,274 a year, and 7% higher than the city’s mean. Even though costs are more expensive compared to its neighbors, our profiled driver found his cheapest car insurance quotes in Odessa at State Farm, Electric Insurance, and Allstate.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance in St. Pete by Neighborhood & Suburb

The table below shows the average auto insurance quotes our example driver saw in each of the 11 suburbs and 16 neighborhoods included in our analysis. Location names are presented alphabetically. Dollar amounts are annual rates for a basic car insurance policy, and the percentage figure measures the change compared to the St. Petersburg neighborhood average of $2,130 for our profiled driver.

St. Petersburg LocationTypeAverage Annual RatesChange vs. City Average
Big Bayou Neighborhood $2,151 1%
Disston Heights Neighborhood 2,162 1%
Downtown Neighborhood 2,126 0%
Dunedin Suburb 2,126 0%
Gandy Neighborhood 2,080 -2%
Greater Pinellas Point Neighborhood 2,192 3%
Gulfport Neighborhood 2,129 0%
Harbor Bayou Neighborhood 2,088 -2%
Holiday Suburb 2,170 2%
Kenneth City Neighborhood 2,114 -1%
Largo Suburb 2,132 0%
Lealman Neighborhood 2,183 3%
Madeira Beach Neighborhood 2,172 2%
Marina District Neighborhood 2,142 1%
North Kenwood Neighborhood 2,186 3%
Odessa Suburb 2,274 7%
Palm Harbor Suburb 2,178 2%
Pinellas Park Suburb 2,135 0%
Placido Bayou Neighborhood 2,091 -2%
Ruskin Suburb 2,026 -5%
Safety Harbor Suburb 2,132 0%
Seminole Suburb 2,098 -2%
Snell Isle/Euclid-St.Paul's Neighborhood 2,114 -1%
Sun City Center Suburb 2,004 -6%
Tarpon Springs Suburb 2,164 2%
Tierra Verde/Bayway Isles Neighborhood 2,067 -3%
Treasure Island Neighborhood 2,082 -2%

Car Insurance Discounts in St. Petersburg, FL

Another one of our best recommendations, other than to compare quotes from at least 3 auto insurance companies, is to ask for a discount. Many insurance companies offer discounts for qualifying consumers; however, discounts vary from company to company. For example, GEICO and Liberty Mutual both have long lists of discounts for members of qualifying organizations and other group affiliations. St. Petersburg motorists who are members of the University of Florida Alumni Association should definitely check this discount out. State Farm offers a 25% discount for qualifying students who score at least a B average in school – this is higher than most Good Student Discounts that we have seen. Finally, Travelers gives 7% discount to those who have an independent student that is away for school.

There are several more general discounts that are commonly seen across car insurance companies. The Good Student Discount is one, and others include the Defensive Driver Discount. We know that Allstate offers eligible drivers who have completed at least 6 or more hours of defensive driving courses a 10% discount. There is also the Mature Driver Discount, for drivers 55 years old and older who have taken approved driver improvement courses. For the driving courses, we have listed a few St. Petersburg local driving schools and online driving schools for your reference:

Car Insurance Agencies in St. Petersburg, Florida

Some drivers may prefer a face-to-face experience and choose to go into an agency and get their car insurance personally. We found two local St. Petersburg agencies that represent a good range of auto insurance companies. Dougmayer Agency carries Safeco, Progressive, Travelers, Allied, and Foremost insurance company, among others. The Tampa Bay Insurance Group also represents Mercury, Progressive, Travelers, and Safeco. For insurance companies which either only underwrite through their own agents or through phone direct-writing (estimate through phone calls) we have found their contact for you as well:

Florida State Minimum Vehicle Insurance Liability Coverage

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires that all vehicles registered in Florida to have an insurance issued through a licensed Florida agent. The minimum liability coverage mandated is $10,000 personal injury (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability coverage.

While the PIP coverage is the same as the minimum, our sample driver had $25,000 property damage coverage. The coverage that we chose for him in this study is a more complete package. Additional features include both bodily injury and property damage coverage for uninsured motorist. This represents one of the more basic packages of coverage - individual drivers should judge their ideal coverage based on their total assets and budget. Read our article about how much insurance coverage drivers need to learn more about limits.

FL Required Minimum LimitsOur Study Limits
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 10,000 $10,000 per accident
Property Damage 10,000 $25,000 per accident
Bodily Injury (BI) Not Required $50,000 person / $100,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist BI Not Required $50,000 person / $100,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Not Required $25,000 per accident
Comprehensive / Collision Deductible Not Required 500 deductibles

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