Across the country, a major topic of conversation among those in the insurance industry, and the entities that regulate it, has been the cost of auto coverage. While consumers are growing more conscious of just how much these often necessary policies will cost them on a monthly basis, the fact is that many will see their premiums rise next year as a result of a number of different factors, depending upon where they live. This is certainly true in Ohio, and as a result insurance agents working there may need to do a little more to let their clients know why this is happening and what they might be able to do about it.
In the Buckeye State, it seems that the reason auto insurance rates are probably going to go up – perhaps sharply – next year is that more people there are getting into accidents, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. In 2014, for instance, the number of crashes jumped 7 percent from the previous year, leading insurers to pay some $3.8 billion in claims, the highest dollar value in almost 10 years. In addition, the number of fatal crashes has increased 10 percent for 2015 year-to-date.
Why is this happening?
There are a number of reasons why there are more accidents in Ohio these days, but perhaps the biggest reason is also the most obvious: There are just more people on the road, the report said. Consumers tend to boost the amount they drive following the end of recessions; they usually start buying or leasing new cars en masse. Combine that with the fact that gas is cheaper now than it has been in years, and that’s going to entice a large number of people onto the road.
“People are driving more,” Bob Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, told the newspaper. “There’s no question about it. That is the result of an improving economy, improving job picture and lower gas prices. When people drive more, they get in more accidents.”
How long will it last?
The good news for drivers worried about higher insurance costs is that this isn’t likely to last much longer, the report said. These increases will tend to flatten out over time, as the economy stabilizes. Moreover, it seems that the increases might not actually be that big; the average rate hike from the state’s 10 largest insurers for 2014 was just 2.6 percent.
The more insurance agents can do to help their clients understand why they pay what they do for their auto plans, and what those policies actually cover, the better off both they and those consumers will be. People who know more about their insurance tend to be happier with it, as a general rule, and this is also true when they have a good relationship with an insurer or agent. As such the educational efforts agents undertake could go a long way toward boosting customer satisfaction numbers and, in turn, probably client retention rates as well.