Friday, January 26, 2018

Industry-Wide Rise in Auto Insurance Rates. Presented by Tricia Zwirner of State Farm Insurance

The cost and frequency of auto insurance claims are rising. To help cover these costs and ensure you and your assets are properly protected, auto insurance rates are increasing industry-wide. Here are some of the reasons behind rising car insurance premiums, along with what you can do to help manage your rates.
More miles driven

Lower gas prices in recent years mean many American families can afford to drive more. But increased time on the road leads to more accidents and more insurance claims, and insurance rates are adjusting throughout the country to better cover these expected costs. For the safety of you and your family, always make sure you are following good driving habits: Buckle up and obey all traffic laws, such as speed limits, traffic signals and stop signs, and put your smart devices away when you’re behind the wheel. Turn your phone and other smart devices off so you’re not tempted to glance at a notification or incoming call. Even a glance takes your eyes off the road and could lead to danger.

Distracted driving

According to a State Farm survey, almost one-third of drivers access the internet while driving, and 10 percent record video with their phones. Even voice-activated car commands can divert cognitive abilities and attention. Rethink using the phone while driving, and don’t attempt anything else, such as eating or changing radio stations or podcasts. If you have a teen, be sure to talk with them about safe driving habits: The highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are 15- to 19-year-olds.

Rising repair costs
Parking sensors, lane-departure warnings, and even stronger materials are now widely available on many vehicles. While those smarter sensors and stronger devices can help improve safety, they are also more expensive to repair. Since 2005, the cost of body work has risen nearly 40 percent more than overall inflation, and the size of collision claims increased 8.2 percent from 2014 to 2016.

Ways to manage the rate increase

Check with your insurance agent about possible ways to save on your bill:
Take advantage of available discounts by calling your agent and reviewing your policy.
Evaluate how increasing your deductible would reduce your monthly premium.
Consider taking a defensive driving course or decreasing coverage on older vehicles.

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