First Quarter 2008 Car Insurance Rate Report

By Rstaib Posted : 04/29/2008
In another blow to cash-strapped consumers, car insurance rates are on the rise, according to Insurance.com, the leading online auto insurance agency in the United States. For the first time in more than a year, the Insurance.com Car Insurance Rate Report has found signs that car insurance rates are on the rise.

"While the rate increases we are seeing in the 1st quarter are relatively small in some states, they represent a turning point for auto premiums, which had been holding steady or declining over the past four quarters," said Dave Roush, CEO of Insurance.com. "We have seen all of the major auto insurance carriers reporting an increase in the average amount paid on bodily injury claims, fueled by rising medical costs. Historically, these factors have signaled the beginning of a national upward trend in rates that may continue throughout 2008 and beyond."

The Car Insurance Rate Report is a compilation of the lowest car insurance rate quotes given to consumers who visited Insurance.com during the first quarter. On average, the lowest quotes given during that timeframe increased 1.05%, from $1,811 per year to $1,830 per year. At the state level, rates in 28 states were higher in the first quarter, while rates decreased in 19 states and the District of Columbia. These figures reverse the trend noted in Insurance.com's 2007 Pricing Report, which reported a 5.2% decrease in car insurance rates from 2006.

"To be sure, individual companies or industry groups might report annualized increases that are still quite small, our data is real-time and represents the real-world experience of consumers who have gotten an online or phone quote in the last 3 months."

  • Among the top 10 states seeing the sharpest increase in auto rates in the 1st Quarter were Florida (up 6.56%), Ohio (up 4.77%), Pennsylvania (up 4.18%), Georgia (up 3.15%) and Texas (up 2.4%).

10 States with Largest % Increase in Premium


State

4th Quarter 2007 Premium

1st Quarter 2008 Premium

$$ Increases

% Increases

FL

$1,906

$2,031

+125

+6.6%

OH

$1,220

$1,278

+58

+4.8%

PA

$1,967

$2,049

+82

+4.2%

GA

$1,572

$1,621

+49

+3.2%

OR

$1,468

$1,510

+42

+2.9%

NM

$1,761

$1,808

+47

+2.7%

TX

$1,735

$1,777

+42

+2.4%

MO

$1,533

$1,569

+36

+2.4%

MS

$1,923

$1,964

+41

+2.1%

KS

$1,508

$1,539

+31

+2.1%

  • The most expensive states for auto insurance are Louisiana ($2,674), Washington, DC ($2,515), and New Jersey ($2,499). These rates were twice as high as those quoted to drivers in Wisconsin ($1,237), Iowa ($1,276) and Ohio ($1,278).

10 Most Expensive States


State

4th Quarter 2007 Premium

1st Qaurter 2008 Premium

$$ Decreases

% Increases

LA

$2,645

$2,674

+29

+1.1%

DC

$2,589

$2,515

-74

-2.9%

NJ

$2,516

$2,499

-17

-0.7%

DE

$2,456

$2,378

-78

-3.2%

NY

$2,382

$2,281

-101

-4.3%

RI

$2,201

$2,178

-23

-1.0%

MD

$2,135

$2,165

+30

+1.4%

KY

$2,096

$1,937

-159

-7.6%

NV

$2,092

$2,103

+11

+0.6%

WV

$2,069

$2,083

+14

+0.7%

  • States seeing the sharpest decline in auto rates include Kentucky (down 7.61%), Maine (down 5.46%), North Dakota (down 4.30%), New York (down 4.26%) and Michigan (down 3.33%).

10 States with Largest % Decrease in Premium


State

4th Quarter 2007 Premium

1st Quarter 2008 Premium

$$ Decreases

% Decreases

KY

$2,096

$1,937

-159

-7.6%

ME

$1,355

$1,281

-74

-5.5%

ND

$1,681

$1,609

-72

-4.3%

NY

$2,382

$2,281

-101

-4.3%

MI

$2,028

$1,960

-68

-3.3%

DE

$2,456

$2,378

-78

-3.2%

DC

$2,589

$2,515

-74

-2.9%

IA

$1,313

$1,276

-37

-2.8%

WI

$1,270

$1,237

-33

-2.6%

ID

$1,414

$1,379

-35

-2.5%

  • Even the least expensive States saw increases in their premium, with Ohio and Oregon also appearing on the top ten list of largest rate increases - a clear indication of change.

10 Least Expensive States


State

4th Quarter 2007 Premium

1st Quarter 2008 Premium

$$ Increases

% Increases

OH

$1,220

$1,278

+58

+4.8%

WI

$1,270

$1,237

-33

-2.6%

IA

$1,313

$1,276

-37

-2.8%

ME

$1,355

$1,281

-74

-5.5%

ID

$1,399

$1,407

+8

+0.6%

IN

$1,414

$1,379

-35

-2.5%

VT

$1,431

$1,439

+8

+0.6%

OR

$1,460

$1,488

+28

+1.9%

KS

$1,468

$1,510

+42

+2.9%

IL

$1,469

$1,478

+9

+0.6%

Where you live plays a large role in how much you pay for car insurance. Factors such as traffic density, vehicle theft rates, and the number of uninsured drivers in your area are often as important as local repair costs and medical costs. So the worse your state's statistics are, the more you will pay for auto insurance. "As consumers get ready to buy new policies - or renew existing policies - they should do their homework and shop around," added Roush. "Comparison shopping and taking advantage of money saving tips can help consumers take the bite out of the increased cost of insuring their cars."

Money Saving Tips

Time-tested tips like maintaining good credit, driving safely, and upping your deductibles remain valid strategies for lowering auto rates. Here are some additional, off-the-beaten-path money-saving suggestions for consumers looking to minimize the impact of increasing auto rates:

Earn an early shopping discount
Many auto insurance companies offer discounts to your premium if you shop well in advance of your current policy expiration date. If you were considering switching companies, and give your new provider enough notice (usually two weeks) before your current policy is up for renewal, you might receive significant savings on your new policy.

Look for "good student" discounts
Some auto insurance companies offer discounts to policies with teen drivers if they have a B or better grade average at school. Of course, proof of those good grades is required, but good students can sometimes help parents save as much as a 10-15% on car insurance.

Take a defensive driving course
Some companies offer a discount for a Defensive Driving Course, usually if taken within 3 years. So, you'll get a double bonus - you can learn ways to avoid accidents - and save money on your insurance at the same time.

Shop for insurance before buying a car
The cost to insure different cars can vary as much as the cars themselves. Insurers base premiums on a number of factors including crashworthiness, repair costs and theft rate. Data about each measure is available from the Highway Loss Data Institute at http://www.iihs.org.

Comparison Shop - Online
Comparison shopping online can save you time and money. They key to shopping online is to know when you're getting a "quick quote," which is just an estimate, and real, bindable quote. There can be a big difference between an estimate and a final rate you are charged. Insurance.com provides consumers with real-time accurate, comparative and bindable quotes from over a dozen leading insurance companies, and the ability to buy a policy quickly online.

Wondering where your state ranked in the Insurance.com 1st Quarter 2008 Car Insurance Rate Report? Below is a list of the states Insurance.com surveyed. (Sorry, rate comparisons are not yet available in Alaska, Hawaii and Massachusetts.) States are ranked in alphabetical order with the price increase or decrease displayed as a percentage for each state.


State

4th Quarter 2007 Premium

1st Quarter 2008 Premium

$$ Increases

% Increases

AL

$1,747

$1,761

$14

+0.8%

AR

$1,756

$1,729

-$27

-1.6%

AZ

$1,864

$1,868

$4

+0.2%

CA

$1,797

$1,825

$28

+1.6%

CO

$1,469

$1,478

$9

+0.6%

CT

$2,029

$2,024

-$5

-0.2%

DC

$2,589

$2,515

-$74

-2.9%

DE

$2,456

$2,378

-$78

-3.2%

FL

$1,906

$2,031

$125

+6.6%

GA

$1,572

$1,621

$49

+3.2%

IA

$1,313

$1,276

-$37

-2.8%

ID

$1,414

$1,379

-$35

-2.5%

IL

$1,522

$1,512

-$10

-0.7%

IN

$1,399

$1,407

$8

+0.6%

KS

$1,508

$1,539

$31

+2.1%

KY

$2,096

$1,937

-$159

-7.6%

LA

$2,645

$2,674

$29

+1.1%

MD

$2,135

$2,165

$30

+1.4%

ME

$1,355

$1,281

-$74

-5.5%

MI

$2,028

$1,960

-$68

-3.3%

MN

$1,536

$1,539

-50

+0.2%

MO

$1,533

$1,569

$36

+2.4%

MS

$1,923

$1,964

$41

+2.1%

MT

$1,608

$1,588

-$20

-1.2%

NC

$1,634

$1,638

$4

+0.3%

ND

$1,681

$1,609

-$72

-4.3%

NE

$1,498

$1,503

$5

+0.3%

NH

$1,460

$1,488

$28

+1.9%

NJ

$2,516

$2,499

-$17

-0.7%

NM

$1,761

$1,808

$47

+2.7%

NV

$2,092

$2,103

$11

+0.6%

NY

$2,382

$2,281

-$101

-4.3%

OH

$1,220

$1,278

$58

+4.8%

OK

$1,629

$1,652

$23

+1.4%

OR

$1,468

$1,510

$42

+2.9%

PA

$1,925

$2,049

$82

+4.2%

RI

$2,201

$2,178

-$23

-1.0%

SC

$1,591

$1,597

$6

+0.4%

SD

$1,487

$1,460

-$27

-1.8%

TN

$1,624

$1,589

-$35

-2.2%

TX

$1,735

$1,777

$42

+2.4%

UT

$1,634

$1,623

-$11

-0.7%

VA

$1,554

$1,565

$11

+0.7%

VT

$1,431

$1,439

$8

+0.6%

WA

$1,804

$1,835

$31

+1.7%

WI

$1,270

$1,237

-$33

-2.6%

WV

$2,069

$2,083

$14

+0.7%

WY

$1,907

$1,894

-$13

-0.7%

ABOUT THE CAR INSURANCE RATE REPORT
Insurance.com's latest Car Insurance Rate Report highlights the lowest average car insurance rates quoted to consumers visiting Insurance.com in the first quarter of 2008. The rates consumers viewed, but didn't necessarily purchase, come from quotes consumers received as they shopped and compared rates from over a dozen of the nation's leading auto insurance companies. Over the course of a year, Insurance.com provides car insurance quotes to more than 1 million people visiting the website. While the Car Insurance Rate Report is a broad indicator of pricing activity in the personal auto insurance marketplace, it is not a comprehensive index as it reflects only the quotes of carriers that have participated in the Insurance.com platform in the states where it quotes (all states except Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts).

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