Good Drivers in Washington Get Rate Increases. What to do?
You’re a good driver so why did your auto insurance rates go up?
A good driver still benefits from a good driving record. However, payouts for auto accidents and fatalities in Washington have increased in recent years. Even a few percentage points can represent millions of dollars because of fatality settlements and vehicle repairs.
The vast number of payouts in 2016 and 2017 have resulted in higher rates due to the higher number of payments.
What can you do? Shop around.
This isn’t just my opinion. The blog of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner addresses this issue with advice to shop around.
As your agent, we can source several vehicle insurance quotes on your behalf. New and existing customers have the benefit of staying with an agent that knows them and can shop around on their behalf. Hence, it’s one of the great benefits of working with an independent insurance agent.
What’s causing higher payouts for accidents?
Car Repairs: Newer vehicles are coming with cameras, auto sensing safety systems and other high-tech, as a result leading to very expensive repair. A fender bender or broken windshield can result in expensive replacement parts and costly technology re-calibration.
Distracted Driving: Distractions made up 40% of all collisions in 2014 (Washington State Traffic Safety Commission). The trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down since nearly 40% of drivers admit to texting and driving.
Driving More: Fuel prices and positive changes in the economy lead to more people putting more miles on their cars, which leads to more collisions overall.
Fatalities: In recent years Washington has had year over year increases in accident fatalities. King5 News reported that in fatalities in Washington have increased 7%.
What affects my car insurance rates?
Negative marks on your driving record have a significant impact on your rates. Speeding tickets, reckless driving, citations, accidents, DUI and distracted driving are taken into consideration when it comes to your rates.
Areas where collisions occur more frequently impact those that live in that area. For example: Let’s say you have a twin of the same gender who has the exact same car as you and the exact same driving record. With all other rating factors being equal but he or she lived in Tacoma and you live in Auburn chances are one of you would pay less than the other.
Auto Rate Factors
These are factors that insurance companies can use to set rates:
Where You Live
How Much You Drive
Credit History – This is different from insurer to insurer. They may use your information to help determine your premium
Auto Rates Factors That Insurers Cannot Use
Your credit history alone cannot be used to deny coverage or cancel your policy. These are factors insurance companies cannot use to deny coverage or set your premium:
Amount of Credit Inquires
Medical Bills on Collection Accounts
Total Available Line of Credit
Absence of Credit History – cannot be used to deny coverage. However, can be used to set rates.
True or false? Your insurance agent does not set pricing!
True. In Washington, all rates all pre-approved by the department that regulates insurance, WSOIC. So, if you get a rate increase from your insurance company it has been approved by the state. Your agent should help by making sure you get all the discounts you qualify for, shopping around and presenting you with solutions. That and calling you back… It should be a given, I know but I can’t tell you how many customers I’ve earn because their agent just doesn’t return calls.
If you’re a good driver or have a few bumps on your record due to the occasional mishap, we will shop around for you. Contact Tim at 253-220-5430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org