Car insurance premiums are expected to increase this year

February 2, 2023

Lending Tree estimates the average annual car insurance premium in Washington will be $1,536 this year. This is lower than the national estimated average of $1,780.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Car insurance rates are expected to increase this year in Washington state and across the country. The state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner said this is because companies are having to pay more on claims.

“As we see auto repair costs and damage claims go up, therefore, the insurance companies are going to have to modify their rates,” said David Forte, a senior policy analyst with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Forte said there are multiple reasons rates are expected to increase in 2023. Used cars are now more expensive, which causes insurance companies to pay more when they are totaled. New cars also raise rates because many are more technically complex and take more time and money to fix. Also, supply chain issues are making it take more time and money to fix a car.

“Supply chain problems over the last year, parts shortage, cars taking longer to repair, these things have all contributed to increased claims cost,” said Forte.

The data the Washington State Office of Insurance reviewed from Lending Tree showed two reasons you could see a big increase in rates. If you have traffic violations, your premium could rise 52% on average. If you have a new electric vehicle, you can expect your premium to rise 28% on average due to the cost of repairs.

Lending Tree is expecting car insurance premiums to increase by 8.4% across the nation this year to an annual average of $1,780. In Washington, rates are expected to be lower at $1,536 per year.

Forte said ways to try to lower your premiums are by considering the type of car you buy, shop around for insurance providers, and also discuss options with your current insurance provider.

“You may have changing risk profiles in your life that that they don't know about. So, you may also have some common discounts that are out there,” said Forte.

An initial report from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission showed 745 people died in crashes in 2022, the most since 1990. This increase in deaths is another reason premiums have gone up.

“The increase in fatalities is a big consideration, but also the rising medical costs for individuals that are injured in auto accidents,” said Forte.

Forte said cost of repair and cost of medical needs have dramatically increased auto insurance. He said as rates increase, the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner will continue to look over all rate increases to make sure they are needed.

“We’re doing all we can to make sure that these auto rate increases are actuarially sound and justifiable by the insurance companies,” said Forte.

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