Washington Auto Insurance Rates Surge Above Inflation Levels

Washington Auto Insurance Rates Surge Above Inflation Levels

The average rise in car insurance rates last year of 24.7% has made people all over Seattle look twice. Rate changes happen all the time, but this latest spike is different.

To get the bare minimum of coverage, car insurance in Seattle costs $901 a year, or $75 a month. One company that studies car insurance and works with Lending Tree says that the average rate for a full-coverage policy is $2,086 per year, or $174 per month.

Insurance rates went up by about 12% in 2023 and 6.5% in 2022, according to the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Washington’s car insurance rates went up a lot. In 2017, the state approved an average 7.1% rise in rates. But in the years that followed, changes were not as big.

In 2022, the average rate change was 2.8%. This was after a 3% drop in 2020 and no change in 2021. One analyst at the office of the Insurance Commissioner says that these numbers show the weighted average change in base rates for 20 insurance companies that write 77% of all car insurance policies in the state.

Consumers’ points of view

Fill-in host Mike Lewis joked on The Gee & Ursula Show, “We all got about 24% pay raises last year, so we’re all good, right?” But these increases in car insurance cancel out any gains.”

Ursula Reutin, the host, said, “Wait, what? Is that it? We’re only coming out with zero?”

Mike Kreidler, who is now Washington’s Insurance Commissioner, is being blamed. Some people say that connecting the rate hike to inflation is avoiding taking responsibility.

Lewis told him, “This is not what you do as an insurance commissioner.” “Does Kreidler work for insurance buyers or the insurance business?”

What the Insurance Industry Says

Insurance companies explain what they’re doing by saying that they need to make money.

“When utility rates go up by 8%, people complain, but when they go up by 24%? “That’s too much,” Lewis said. “Does the Insurance Commissioner really look out for consumers?”

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Kreidler’s time is almost up, and he has already said he won’t be running again.

He wants to work as an advisor for an insurance business. Will that happen? Turn into an expert or lobbyist?

Lewis said, “I won’t guess.” “But this 24% rise calls for accountability.” To be honest, I believe he should step down.

Not Having Insurance

Experts see a very bad future ahead since 8.5% of drivers already don’t have insurance.

“We’re going to have 40% of people without insurance,” Lewis said. “It’s scary,” Ursula said.

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