Every morning I come into the office, check voicemail, answer a few emails, drink my jade citrus mint tea, and review my client’s upcoming renewal policies. Most days I only have a handful of policies to be reviewed, but today was an exception. Today I had forty five policies to review, and every single one had a premium increase. Some more than others, but in most cases – the increase was substantial to their Washington car insurance rate. One of those policies was my own, and the increase was over $500 a year.
You would think that my clients (and myself) would have received tickets, been in accidents, filed a ton of claims…ya know, something that would make sense. But no, they didn’t.
Except…Washington Car Insurance Rates.
Which Washington car insurance companies are increasing premiums?
A lot of carriers are increasing premiums is the short answer, the slightly longer answer is: Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, The Hartford, Progressive, Safeco, State Farm, and pretty much any company you’ve heard of or seen with crazy ads on TV.
And the saddest of them all is my car insurance company Mutual of Enumclaw, who I LOVE, (and if you want to see me fangirl over them take a few minutes to read about my claims experience last year) increased their Washington car insurance rates. There are all kinds of fun statistics that are behind the increase, and I won’t bore you…but here are a few that stand out:
- New technology in cars. Newer cars have all kinds of advanced technology that costs more to repair. Back up cameras, blind spot detection, and parking sensors all add thousands to the cost to repair vehicles. What it costs this year to repair a car is more than it was last year and that’s a trend that will continue.
- 3.148 trillion miles were driven in 2015, a 3.5% increase over the prior year. (That’s the largest increase in 25 years). To put this in perspective, you would have to drive round trip from Earth to Pluto 337 times to equal that. (And a moment of silence again for Pluto losing its planet status). Bottom line is more driving equals more accidents.
- The average cost paid for bodily injury increased 31%. Insurance companies are paying more in medical bills when accidents do occur.
- Traffic deaths have increased 22% over the last 15 years, and are estimated to increase another 7.7% this year.
How do I lower my Washington car insurance rate?
Alright, so now we understand WHY it went up, let’s get to the important part. What can you do?
- Call (or text, email, send smoke signals to) your Washington independent insurance agent. We work for YOU, and represent multiple carriers. We’ll shop around, check out your discounts and make sure you’re in the best spot. This is why we are an independent insurance agency, because it provides us with the freedom and flexibility to do what is best for you, not an insurance company.
- Check your discounts. Some commonly missed discounts include low mileage, homeowner, a multi-policy discount, or good student discount.
- Review your coverage. Do you need that collision coverage on your 25 year old truck? This is another great time to reach out to your independent agent and get the advice of an expert.
- Don’t jump ship. This seems counter intuitive, I know. BUT, most insurance companies heavily rate based on how long you have been with your prior carrier. Someone who switches carriers every couple of years isn’t going to get as good of pricing as someone who moves once every 10 years. So if the increase is minimal, consider weathering the storm.
And if I still didn’t make you feel better and you need to turn that frown upside down… here’s my adorable son, Nolan, with his best superhero pose.