December Online Auto Insurance News Wrap-Up

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Online Auto Insurance News summarizes some of the past month's biggest industry news developments.

New estimates of property/casualty insurers’ huge losses, sparring over the existence of coverage crises, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines levied on insurers, rising overall claims costs, new State Farm rate changes and another round of Allstate non-renewal notices. The following summary sheet wraps up some of December’s most significant auto insurance news developments covered at :

  •     A.M. Best reported that property-casualty insurers were dealt an estimated $38.6 billion in pretax, total net losses during the first nine months of 2011. That’s almost double the total for all of 2010.
  •     Massachusetts fined Progressive $125,000 for giving policyholders in that state the false impression that it had been using credit information to help set their rates.
  •     GEICO will be paying Washington regulators a $100,000 fine and refunding customers in that state a total of $7.5 million after determining it had overcharged about 7 percent of its policyholders.
  •     The Hartford announced it would be throwing its hat into the usage-based-coverage ring in 2012 with the introduction of TrueLane, a product that will work much like Progressive’s Snapshot.
  •     Dueling reports were released regarding the extent of Florida’s no-fault problems. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) released numbers showing that the frequency and severity of the state’s PIP claims have skyrocketed since 2006. But a detailed report from the Florida Consumer Action Network questioned the reliability of the OIR’s data and conclusions.
  •     About 4,000 Arkansans received notice from Allstate that their homeowner policies would not be renewed if they failed to also purchase auto coverage from the company. Arkansas is at least the second state where Allstate policyholders have received such notices.
  •     A report from a nationwide coalition of consumer advocacy groups alleged that property/casualty insurers have been and currently are overstating industrywide losses to justify raising policyholders’ rates.
  •     The Michigan state Supreme Court ruled that one of the state’s resident’s Allstate car insurance policy does not cover her $433,000 injury that allegedly occurred while closing her car door one morning in December 2005.
  •     The IRC released a new report showing insurer costs are being driven upward by an increase in the frequency of claims being filed.
  •     State Farm said that it will be lowering rates for most car insurance policyholders in Illinois and Wisconsin, while some in Michigan will be seeing increases.

To get the full stories about these and other industry- and consumer-related news developments, readers should head to to check out the only site on the Web devoted to publishing nothing but the latest news in the U.S. car coverage industry.


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Benjamin Zitney
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