August Online Auto Insurance News Wrap-Up

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Online Auto Insurance News summarizes some of last month's biggest stories

According to our data, the longer a policyholder stays with the same company, the more they are likely to be overcharged.

Insurers overcharging loyal customers, profits spiking for one major insurer and sinking for another, America’s best and worst drivers, Arizonans showing digital proof of coverage and questionable vehicle claims increasing. The following wraps up a couple of the biggest U.S. car insurance news developments covered in August by Online Auto Insurance News:

— A study released by the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) indicated that an insurer’s most loyal customers may be the ones paying the most for coverage. “According to our data, the longer a policyholder stays with the same company, the more they are likely to be overcharged,” the OPIC stated.

— Allstate released its eighth annual “America’s Best Drivers Report” ranking America’s 200 largest cities by the likelihood that motorists in those cities will get into an accident and file a claim. Sioux Falls, S.D., took the top spot as the safest city, while Washington, D.C., took its usual spot as the most accident-prone major city in the country. On average, Allstate drivers file about one claim for every 10 years on the road. The average in Sioux Falls was 1 in 13.8, while the average in Washington was just 1 in 4.7.

— An Arizona law legitimizing digital forms of proof of coverage that can be displayed on smartphones or other portable digital devices took effect, making it easier for drivers to prove that they’re insured when required to do so by state officials.

— Allstate announced that it saw an incredible improvement in second-quarter profits. Meanwhile, Progressive’s second-quarter profits sunk. Allstate earned a $423 million profit in this year’s second quarter after losing $624 million during the same period last year. Progressive, on the other hand, saw second-quarter profits drop by $126 million, or 52 percent.

— A California superior court judge rejected a challenge to the wording of Proposition 33 that will appear on the November ballot and possibly change how insurers can price policies there. The proposition aims to allow insurers in the Golden State to adjust rates based on the applicant’s coverage history, regardless of who their previous insurer was. Coverage providers currently can only adjust rates based on whether the applicant was insured with their company. Supporters took issue with the phrase, “allow insurance companies to set prices,” alleging that it associated insurers with “price fixing.”

— The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that it has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of suspicious vehicle claims referred to it as questionable in the first half of 2012 compared with the first half of 2011. The biggest increase was in hail damage claims, which increased by nearly two-thirds.

Head to http://news.onlineautoinsurance.com/ to get the full story on these and many other car insurance news developments.

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Benjamin Zitney
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