Many drivers are asking why auto insurance rates are rising. There are several factors that are driving rates up – more vehicles on the road, lower gas prices and distracted driving – among them. These factors result in an increase in crashes and an increase in costly claims that push up auto insurance premiums.
Let’s take a look at the details from Hanover Insurance.
- More Fatalities and Injuries– According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities in 2016 increased 6% from the previous year where about 40,000 died on the nation’s roads – a 10-year high. There were about 4.6 million injuries as a result of crashes.
- Costly Crashes – The cost from crash-related injuries, deaths and property damage crashes spiked 12% last year to about $432 billion. The costs include losses from wages, medical expenses, productivity and damage.
- More Distracted – At any given time, about 660,000 American drivers are using cellphones and electronic devices while driving. Distracted driving played a role in about 10 percent of fatal crashes.
- Lower gas prices – Gasoline prices in 2016 average $2.01, the lowest since 2009.
- More Hitting the Road – A total of 3.2 trillion miles were driven in the US in 2016, an increase of 100 billion from the previous year. This is the fifth straight year the numbers have risen.
- More Social – It is estimated that 74% of drivers use Facebook while behind the wheel.
- More New Cars – A record high of 17.6 million new cars were sold in 2016. More cars on the road lead to more crashes. The more crashes, the more claims.
- Fatigued Drivers – A study found that some 83 million sleep-deprived Americans drive every day. Drivers who are short one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep a night doubles the risk of a crash.
- More Technology – Today’s vehicles have more high tech-parts than ever – sensors, xenon headlights, and cameras to name a few. These are expensive to replace when damaged and have increased the costs of claims by $300 in the last five years.
If you have questions about you auto insurance policy, please call me, Lois Drukman, at Walter May Insurance, at 781-740-5421.