Insurance.com's RateWatch notes car insurance rates decreasing in 19 states.
CLEVELAND, OH – April 8, 2009 – Insurance.com, the largest online auto insurance agency in the United States, today released its monthly RateWatch report for March 2009. The data found that, on average, annual auto insurance rates in March fell $103 to $1879 a year, a welcome decrease from rates that reached $1982 in October 2008.
March RateWatch data found that auto insurance rates dropped in 19 states, with the most dramatic decreases in Arizona (-5.1%), Virginia (-4.5%), New Hampshire (-4.1%), Texas (-2.8%) and Georgia (-2.7%). The complete report is available at www.insurance.com/ratewatch.
“Consumers who shopped for car insurance recently saw rates that were $100 lower on average than rates quoted last fall.” —Sam Belden, Insurance.com VP
After a year of steady auto insurance rate increases, this decline represents a continued shift in the insurance cycle. Coupled with tightened family budgets, the availability of lower rates is causing many consumers to shop for new auto insurance policies. According to an Insurance.com snap-shot survey of car insurance shoppers conducted last month, 44% felt that they were paying too much for car insurance, while 22% said that an increase in rates with the renewal bill from their current carrier caused them to shop for a new policy.
"Consumers who shopped for car insurance recently saw rates that were $100 lower on average than rates quoted last fall," said Sam Belden, Vice President at Insurance.com. "Most policies renew every six months, so this decline in average quotes comes as good news for consumers whose policies were affected by rising prices in late 2008."
Insurance.com's survey data also found that consumers have changed their driving habits. 32% of drivers reported that they were driving less than they did six months ago, which could qualify them for a 5-15% auto insurance policy discount with most carriers.
Consumers are making tough decisions about how much coverage they buy, while still trying to maintain their policies. 25% of car insurance shoppers surveyed bought less auto insurance coverage than they had on a prior policy, and 26% dropped comprehensive and collision coverage.
Insurance.com advises drivers not to cut back on important auto insurance coverage:
Don't slash your policy limits. If you want to protect your assets – now and in the future – it's too risky to cut your limits to state minimums.
Insure your car against damage, even if you increase the deductibles. Unless you can afford to pay cash to replace your car, try to keep it insured for comprehensive and collision. No matter how much someone else would pay for your car, in this economy it's probably priceless to you!
Always buy Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage. With more uninsured drivers on the road, UM/UIM coverage gives you low-cost protection from unnecessary risk.
The RateWatch report data is based on the lowest car insurance rates quoted to consumers in each state, from more than a dozen of the nation's leading auto insurers. The complete report is available at www.insurance.com/ratewatch.
Insurance.com is the leading independent online auto insurance agency in the United States. Our innovative technology allows consumers to link directly to the rating systems of more than a dozen top insurance companies. We streamline the shopping process for consumers, empowering them to instantly compare rates, make the smartest decisions for their insurance needs and buy a policy online or by phone. Since 2000, millions of drivers have benefited from using our online shopping experience or speaking with our expert, licensed agents by phone. Headquartered in Solon, Ohio on the outskirts of Cleveland, Insurance.com also offers information for life, health and home insurance.
Sari Martin/Susan Hartzell, ICR
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