It’s the most common question we get: I’m a good driver, so why did my car insurance premium go up?
Obviously, an at-fault accident or speeding ticket will likely cause a significant change in your car insurance premium. But if you’ve been a responsible driver, why are you still paying more this year? The truth is, you’re not the only one seeing a rate hike. Companies across the state and across the country have had to raise their auto insurance rates to compensate for greatly increased costs – and we don’t say that lightly. State Farm lost $7 billion on auto claims last year.
So what is driving up the cost of insuring a vehicle?
- Repair Costs. This is undoubtedly the prime factor in rising auto insurance rates. Enhanced technology in new cars means that repairs are exponentially more costly. A bumper isn’t just a basic bumper anymore – it’s got motion sensors and a backup camera and all other manner of breakable parts, which not only costs more to purchase but also to install. In the insurance industry, a vehicle is considered a “total loss” (or “totaled”) when the cost to repair it exceeds the value of the car. Safeco reported a 12.7% increase in total loss claims between 2013-2015.
- More Accidents. Lower gas prices and a strengthening economy led Americans to drive 3.22 trillion miles in 2016, more than ever before. It also marked the fifth straight year of increased miles driven. Unfortunately, more cars on the road also means more collisions – and a 14% increase in traffic fatalities from 2015-2016. This problem is compounded by the increasing distraction of smartphones and other electronic devices while driving. (Here’s a refresher on the new e-DUI law in Washington.)
- Higher Payouts. It’s important to remember that a liability policy doesn’t just pay for damage to a vehicle, but also for bodily harm. Medical costs have been on the rise, and so has the average bodily injury payout – by about 31%.
Just because the cost of auto insurance is trending upwards doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a premium increase of 20%. Contact us to quote your vehicle with other insurance companies, see where you may be able to adjust coverages, or enroll you in money-saving programs like Safeco’s RightTrack program!
Source: New York Times, “U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for a Second Straight Year.”