For decades the annual number of traffic deaths in the U.S. has been trending down, the result of safer cars and better-designed roads. Surprisingly, since 2019 that trend has reversed rather dramatically. The U.S. government reports that fatalities from January to September 2021 were up 12% over the same period in 2020, and 7,800 more died than during the same nine months in 2011. That was the highest number since 2006! These increases are likely due to an increase in risky driving — failure to wear a seat belt, distracted driving, impaired driving, and speeding.
Stay safe while driving!
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Never drive while under the influence.
- Follow all traffic laws and ordinances.
For the first nine months of 2021, 38 states had higher fatality rates than the prior year. This includes Indiana, where the number went from 629 to 698 (an increase of 9.2%). Florida’s rates increased by 17.5% to a total of nearly 3,000 deaths. Higher accident and death rates inevitably increase insurance rates. But that isn’t the only factor.
The cost of cars has increased substantially. Only a couple of years ago a new car buyer could expect to get a nice discount off the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), but those days are gone. In many cases now, mostly due to the shortage of chips, dealers are marking the few cars they have above MSRP. The shortage of new cars means used ones are also selling for a lot more. Often, a one- or two-year-old used car will cost more than the sticker price of an unavailable new one.
All this means that the cost of paying for cars totaled in accidents has climbed as well. Supply chain issues have also affected parts costs, adding more upward pressure to rates. It is a virtual certainty you will find your car insurance costing more in the coming months, no matter what company covers you. To make sure our customers are treated fairly, we automatically “shop” any auto policy that increases by more than 7%. We compare the rates of each of our highly competitive companies to make sure we are offering you the best possible price. Please call us anytime to discuss what can be done to keep the increases you will certainly face as low as possible.