As 2010 continues to unfold, millions of Americans are still experiencing record-level increases in their automobile insurance premiums. As of January of this year, 23 states had been jolted with heavy car insurance rate increases during the prior 12 months. Eleven other states showed no significant changes in rates while 13 more plus the District of Columbia actually showed decreases.
States with the highest percentage increases in auto insurance premiums during 2009:
Montana – Up 12 percent
New Hampshire – Up 9.9 percent
Wyoming – Up 8.2 percent
Maine – Up 7.8 percent
Utah – Up 7 percent
In Florida earlier this month, State Farm increased average statewide automobile insurance rates by more than 9 percent. Allstate, the state's second leading insurance provider increased their average rates by a huge 16 percent. Other top insurers like Geico and General are expected to follow suit soon. Meanwhile in the U.S., statewide average unemployment rates have now topped 9 percent. Americans everywhere are wondering why their car insurance rates are climbing so steeply.
According to a study conducted in 47 U.S. states, auto insurance rates are increasing dramatically because of poor economic conditions. People are stressed out. They are losing their jobs. They are being forced to foreclose on their home mortgages. They are filing bankruptcies like they're going out of style. This downturned economy is also causing elevations in various types of crimes rates including false insurance claims, false medical claims due to auto accidents, intentional auto theft (to avoid loan repayment), intentional accidents between teammates, and many more.
When people commit insurance-based and other crimes, regardless of their stress levels, either they or someone else must pay for the damages incurred by the insurance companies. Billions of dollars are paid out every year from insurance companies, hundreds of millions because of criminal activities. Let's face it, the insurance companies are not just going to sit back and make massive payouts, lose profits and fight to sustain their vitality as entities. Instead, they, with the full cooperation of the U.S. government, are going to increase auto insurance rates even more.
In states all across the country, Americans are becoming more and more upset as the major insurers continue to nickle-and-dime away their livelihoods with increased car insurance rates. It’s widely believed that these repetitive increases are not necessities, but rather just direct revenue generation tools to unnecessarily inflate profit margins.
The following is a list of tips for reducing your auto insurance rates:
Use comparison shop online for the best rates quotes
Make sure that you read your policy and are getting credit for all insurance discounts that you qualify for
Stack your auto insurance policy with your homeowner's insurance policy to save on premiums
Pay your premiums on time--even being just a few days late can place you in a higher-risk category of insurability
Become a strategic, defensive driver and maintain a perfect driving record
Take a driver's improvement class online to have points against your driving record removed
As 2010 continues to roll forward, Americans in most states can expect to see further increases in auto insurance premium rates. The entire country is in reform right now on many fronts. The insurance providers are going to make sure they get their fair shares of any action that develops.