The leading cause of automobile accidents in the United States is now distracted driving. It accounts for 80% of traffic related accidents and 65% of near-collisions. This comes before drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving, and weather according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Unfortunately, this uptick in frequency combined with more drivers on the roads, drivers doing more miles annually per year (largely due to lower gas prices), and economic growth have created a negative trend for automobile insurers. In the short and long-term view we’ll likely see continued rate increases on automobile insurance countrywide. Insurance carriers throughout the United States are experiencing the higher loss ratios due to combination of these trends. From 2011 to 2015 there was a 4% increase in losses countrywide, compared to 2006 to 2010.
We don’t suspect this will stop insurers from constantly advertising savings of 15% or more…my feeling is that it will continue to waste a lot people’s time shopping for a small amount of savings typically at the cost of losing meaningful coverage.