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Why is My Auto Insurance Premium Higher?

For a few years we have been seeing auto insurance premiums go down on both commercial auto insurance and personal auto policies. Why the recent change?

There are individual characteristics that may affect your premium like usage of your car, driving record, credit/insurance score but let us focus on higher-level trends that are having an impact.

Thanks to our friends at Selective Insurance Company, we have some insight into four key factors that are driving up insurance costs. In the spirit of disclosure, Rue Insurance is an agent of Selective Insurance Company.

More miles driven

Since the recession of 2008/2009, the US Economy has seen growth. That growth has brought about more jobs thus more people driving to work.  In addition to economic growth, lower gas prices have contributed to more miles driven.  The US Department of Transportation stated that Americans drove 3.22 trillion miles in 2016.  This was the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads.

Increase in car crashes

However, with the increase in more miles driven there are also more car crashes. According to Selective and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deadly crashes spiked 7.2% from 2014 to 2015.  In 2015, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives and injured 391,000 people.

Distracted driving

When it comes to distracted driving 19% of the time drivers are distracted by a phone. Texting and driving increases the chance of being involved in a collision by 23 times.

I have seen other articles that suggest that when a person is talking on the phone while driving that their reaction time is similar to someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

You do not want to be that person, or this person:

Cost to repair newer cars is higher

Bluetooth radios, back-up cameras, hazard warning sensors, and dashboard entertainment systems are some of the new technology that we are seeing in cars that never existed before.

This technology brings added comfort, style, and safety to vehicle occupants but also drives up repair costs.   Auto body shops have to provide additional training to their technicians to keep up-to-date on the latest repairs.  The time to repair vehicles due to new technologies is taking longer.  In some cases, only a car dealership mechanic can make certain repairs.  For example, the Toyota Camry has a weight-calculator for the driver and passenger airbags.  After the airbags have deployed, a Toyota dealership has to recalibrate them.


When insurance carriers look at the big trends, like what we just covered, they consider these when making their rates. There are things you can do to help control your auto insurance costs.  Want to know how?  Contact us.  We would love to talk to you.

Scott Harrigan

About Scott Harrigan

Scott started his career in insurance in 1988 and joined Rue Insurance in 2004 as a Marketing Specialist focusing on creating effective risk financing and risk transfer programs for companies and non-profit organizations. In addition to this he is a member of the Rue Insurance educational team that provides ongoing professional development in critical insurance concepts and programs to Rue employees. About Scott | More Posts by Scott