The rising cost of auto insurance

June 15, 2013 Updated Jun 15, 2013 at 9:42 PM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Business First

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The rising cost of auto insurance

June 15, 2013 Updated Jun 15, 2013 at 9:42 PM EDT

If it feels like it’s gotten more expensive to drive in New York, you’re not imagining it: Auto insurance in New York went up by 62.2 percent over 10 years, according to a new analysis.

New York is among 37 states that saw insurance rates increase higher than the national average of 43.3 percent. The Consumer Federation of America analysis of state auto insurance expenditures covered the period between 1989 and 2010.

California was the only state that saw auto insurance expenditures decline, attributed primarily to California’s strong oversight of the insurance industry put in place by a 1988 ballot initiative.

According to the study, Americans spent on average $791 for auto insurance coverage in 2010, 43 percent more than they did in 1989. The analysis used data collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Though they haven’t seen the same increases, Californians are paying nearly the same, spending an average of $746 per year for coverage in 2010, 0.3 percent less than in 1989 without adjusting for inflation.

California’s law took effect in 1989, creating a “prior approval” system of regulation for most lines of insurance, including auto, homeowners, commercial and medical malpractice insurance. The system requires insurance companies to present proposed rate changes to the Department of Insurance, with rate hikes and changes only possible after authorization from the Insurance Commissioner.

New York has a similar prior approval process, but it only applies to health insurance rates.

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