OAI: Consumers Seeing Rising Auto Insurance Prices Should Shop Around

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III predicts average costs have gone up by 2.8 percent this year, making 2012 the third year in a row with an increase

Following a recent report from the Insurance Information Institute (III) showing another estimated uptick in consumers’ annual coverage costs, Online Auto Insurance is advising that consumers who have seen this trend reflected in their own premium bills take advantage of the competitive marketplace and shop around.

The average auto insurance expenditure is projected to be $839 in 2012, up from $816 last year, $808 in 2010 and $785 in 2009, according to III. If projections hold, the $839 average in 2012 is close to 2004’s $842 average, the latter of which is the highest average expenditure since 1994.

Policyholders comparing car insurance costs annually might see an increase year after year and be perturbed, but those consumers still have a bevy of options, according to Michael Barry, III vice president for media relations.

“The big thing is that in almost every state, you have a very competitive marketplace,” he told Online Auto Insurance News in an interview.

Another route policyholders have taken to reduce their costs is the risky move of dropping optional forms of coverage, something that has been more common during the economic downturn, according to Barry.

For example, collision coverage, which covers your own vehicle’s damages in a crash, can be dropped as “a great way to save money if you have an older car,” Barry said.

“Collision is a substantial portion of your premium dollar,” he said.

But policyholders looking to cut their premium bill should keep in mind the fact that if they drop collision and cause an accident afterward, they'll have no coverage for the damage their own car sustains.

Progressive offers this guide to the best situations in which to drop collision coverage.

The rising trend highlighted by the III numbers, however, is not all bad.

III also released projections adjusted for inflation, showing a much smaller hike that amounts to a mere $3 increase after adjustments between 2011 and 2012.

For more on this and related issues, head to OnlineAutoInsurance.com for access to an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator and informative resource pages.

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Charles Nguyen
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