If you’ve recently renewed your car insurance and were shocked to see that your rates had increased despite having no accident claims, then you’re not alone. The Los Angeles Times reports that car insurance rates are climbing for Los Angeles residents across the board.
So why are your auto insurance rates going up? Here are the main reasons why.
More Expensive Claims
According to the consumer price index, car insurance costs generally increase by 3%-4% annually. But despite the fact that the average driver will have an auto accident claim just once every 17.9 years, the claims that drivers do have are becoming more expensive.
“Because the industry is expected to lose even more money this year due to more claims — and more expensive claims — we can expect insurers to kick up their rates even more,” writes L.A. Times contributor Lacie Glover.
Lower Unemployment Rate
Even though lower unemployment rates generally reflect a better economy as a whole, these jobless rates are doing nothing but hindering drivers when it comes to auto insurance rates. More jobs inevitably means more cars on the road (especially here in Los Angeles), which means heavier traffic and longer commutes.
“We see more people on the roads, more people commuting,” says California Insurance Information Institute representative Janet Ruiz.
Advanced Auto Features
Another unusual reason for the hike in car insurance rates concerns car technology. Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies a car’s windshield as one of the primary components of a vehicle’s safety restraint system, most new cars come equipped with a slew of cutting edge safety features such as cameras, sensors, and other digital technologies. And even though these features are designed to enhance your safety, replacing them isn’t always cheap.
Medical Care Costs
Medical care costs can be some of the most difficult to navigate during the aftermath of an accident and auto claim. The problem is that many times, auto insurers end up paying for victims’ medical bills instead of health insurers, which can drastically increase the costs for everyone. According to the Labor Department, hospital care expenses skyrocketed by a whopping 32.5% between November 2010 and November 2016, and these costs are now directly reflected in auto insurance rates.
Ultimately, these price increases will surely affect countless L.A. residents, but there are several ways to offset the spike. Keep comparing quotes from different companies, look into usage-based policies if you don’t drive as much, and consider bundling your home insurance and auto insurance to save some cash on both.
And, as always, continue to make car safety an absolute priority.