If your auto insurance policy has recently renewed, you’re probably paying more than you did at this time last year. Most auto insurance companies across the nation are following this trend. And, Minnesota car insurance premiums aren’t the only ones on the rise. In fact, auto premiums have generally been increasing since 2012 across the United States.
No matter if you have a clean driving record, obey all traffic signs, and are a Minnesota Nice driver on the roads, your auto insurance premium may still be increasing. Here’s why:
- ·Distracted driving claims are huge factors in auto rates:
o 60% of teen crashes involve distracted driving according to AAA.
o The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that every day, 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
- An upward trend in fatal car accidents is expected once all the data for 2016 is processed. The National Safety Council expects fatal accident to have risen by some 6% year in 2016; the highest number of total of fatalities since 2007.
- Costs of repairs to diverse types of vehicles, how well vehicles stand up to accidents, rates of accidents in various parts of the country, etc. are all monitored closely by insurance companies.
More Severe Weather
- Weather affects more than just homeowner’s insurance. Disasters such as hail storms, floods, tornadoes, etc. ends up costing millions in car damages which auto insurers cover through comprehensive insurance.
- Even though we may have had a mild weather year in Minnesota, if your insurance company has policies and claims in other states, the expense gets spread around to all policy holders.
- The insurance companies are indeed paying out (and losing) more for comprehensive claims than they have in over a decade. The hurricanes in the southern states have been a significant factor in the recent increases.
Looking forward, we need to hope for a mild storm season across the United States. Hurricane Matthew cost the insurers billions in 2016, and the hurricanes that hit Texas (Harvey) and Florida (Irma) this year are not helping the insurers out very much.
Calmer weather isn’t the only thing that needs to happen to keep auto rates in check. There is also going to need to be a reduction in the amount of accidents on the roads.
The list above may make you feel as if your auto premiums are completely out of your control. But, there are some things you can do:
- Keep your eyes on the road. Keep your mind on driving. Keep your hands on the wheel.
o Turn off your phone or notifications when in the car
o Place your phone in the backseat or in a spot that you cannot reach while you’re at the wheel.
- Reduce or eliminate other distractions while driving
o If a child needs your attention, pull over before handing them their snack.
o Don’t eat or drink while driving.
· If you’re 55+ years of age – take a Driver Improvement Course and save 10% on your auto insurance. Visit the Minnesota Safety Center to learn more and enroll today.
· New driver in the household? Consider the Teen Crash Prevention Skills course for them.
Casazza, Craig. “Why Are Car Insurance Rates Still Going Up?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 23 May 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/ccasazza/2017/05/23/why-are-car-insurance-rates-still going-up/2/#74474d1d347a.