Our team here at RSS always keeps an eye on market trends in order to better advise and prepare our clients and provide them with the best possible insurance rates and coverage we can find, especially when it comes to car insurance. Back in 2016 we published a blog post in which we warned readers about a potential auto insurance rate increase, and well, those rate increases happened and are only continuing to rise. While it’s normal to see individual insurance company insurance rates fluctuate up and down over time, we have seen rate increases from ALL of the insurance carries we partner with. What’s contributing to this increase? More cars are on the road due to our growing population, distracted drivers and the rising cost of vehicles in general.

Here are a few statistics the entire auto industry is experiencing:
3.148 trillion miles were driven in 2015. That’s a 3.5% increase over 2014 — the largest annual increase in 25 years. [1]
More miles driven equals more cars on the road which leads to a higher probability of accidents, and we’ve seen just that with a higher accident frequency.

Traffic deaths decreased 22% from 2000 through 2014. Estimations for 2015 show a 7.7% increase over 2014.[2]
You read that correctly. After a steady 14-year decline, traffic deaths jumped which matches an increase in accident severity that we’ve seen. Claims are also more costly. For example:
The average cost of bodily injury claims rose 32.1% between 2005 and 2013.[3]
Part of this increased cost is due to increased accident severity. The cost of medical care is also rising, and vehicles are more costly to repair because they include more technology like sensors and backup cameras. A few years ago, there were only a few cars with these safety features on the road, now they’re becoming standard:
The U.S. set a new car sales record of just under 17.5 million vehicles in 2015, up 5.7 percent from the year before.[4]
Newer cars are more expensive to replace because what used to be a minor bumper replacement on an older car now involves replacing those sensors and cameras as well.

With the improving economy and lower gas prices, more people are choosing to drive. Drivers are also more distracted than ever.
The National Safety Council estimates one in four car crashes involves cell phone use.
A recent AAA report shows 87% of drivers engaged in some kind of risky behavior behind the wheel. 70% of drivers admitted they talk on a cell phone while driving and 42% said they read texts or emails while driving.
Rest assured, with the RSS team on your side, we will be making sure you have the most competitive auto insurance rate with all applicable discounts applied to your policy.  We are here to answer any and all of your questions and to make sure you have the coverage you need!

Safeco Insurance

[1] U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration
[2] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[3 Insurance Research Council
[4] Strategy& Price WaterHouse Coopers, 2016 Auto Industry Trends