What’s behind auto insurance premium increases?

The number at the bottom of your auto bill is determined by many different factors. Sometimes the causes for increases are simple and can be easily anticipated based on common circumstances, while others may be unforeseen and are more complex.

National trends affect insurance rates across all carriers and types of drivers

  • Distracted driving leads to more claims — Texting and other forms of distracted driving increase the chances of a crash—and distracted driving is on the rise. This leads to an increase in claims made to insurers, making the cost to insure everyone higher.
  • People are driving more — Low unemployment and low gas prices mean people are driving more, both for business and personal reasons. This equates to more accidents on the road.
  • Repair costs are increasing — New technology in today’s vehicles is more complex, and more expensive to repair. For example, in 1990, a Honda Accord LX bumper had 10 parts. The 2015 model bumper has 22 different parts, including new sensors.
  • The economy — Increases in legal and medical expenses affect how much insurers need to pay to ensure claims are handled properly.

Individual factors may affect how much you pay

  • Type of vehicles — The type and year of your vehicle, engine size, safety ratings and risk of theft affect your premiums.
  • Drivers covered — Because of lack of time behind the wheel, insuring a teen or less experienced driver adds to your risk and can increase your cost.
  • Where you live and work — Population density, commuting miles and the average number and cost of claims in an area all have an impact on the chance that you’ll be involved in an accident.
  • Your driving record and claims history — Receiving a speeding ticket or filing a claim may result in an increase in your rates, as your insurer may see them as an indication that you are at a greater risk of having a future accident.

There are ways to manage your cost

There are some coverages you’re required to have on your vehicle; however, as your needs change, regularly review your policy to make sure it still works for you.

  • Choose a higher deductible to lower your premium – Increase your deductible, but keep in mind that while your monthly cost will be less, your out-of-pocket costs will increase if you file a claim.
  • Look for discounts – Make sure you’re getting all of the discounts you qualify for – like multiline, multicar, safety features, good student, etc.


WBLT-0741 (Apr. 19)

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