Car insurance rates are higher than they’ve ever been in the U.S., as the national average annual premium is now $1,470 — 23% higher than in 2011, according to a new report. Rates in Connecticut rank 14th in the nation, at an average of $1,550 and an increase of 2.59 percent from the previous year. The most expensive premiums are in Michigan ($2,693) and the least expensive in Maine ($896). Massachusetts ranked number 36, at $1,277.
The report, “The State of Auto Insurance” was issued this month by The Zebra, found that car insurance rates are rising for 184 million U.S. drivers. That’s 83%, or about four in every five drivers. In addition, the report, which utilizes 2018 data, indicates:
More insurance companies are adopting technologies to monitor driver behavior, which has the potential to benefit safe drivers and provide extensive data about driving trends.
Distracted drivers are starting to pay the price for their dangerous behaviors on their insurance premiums.
Newer car models with modern anti-theft and safety technology may reduce theft and collisions, but insurance companies offer few, if any, discounts for having these features in your car.
The data also indicates that vehicle theft has risen steadily in the past five years — up more than 7% since 2013 – and that people are also driving more than ever before, with increasing mileage on U.S. roads since 2011. The report also concludes that new cars are more expensive to insure because they cost more to repair or replace – especially if those new cars feature technology like blind spot sensors and rear-view cameras. On the other hand, a 5-year-old car is about 12% less expensive to insure than its brand new counterpart, and rates drop 2-3% for each year older the vehicle is.
Distracted driving can be costly, the analysis found. Today, getting caught texting or otherwise using your phone while driving will raise your insurance premium 20% ($289) – and in some states more than 50%. This marks a notable increase in the penalty for distracted driving as just three years ago, the penalty for a DUI was more than 40 times what it was for distracted driving, despite the evidence that the behaviors were similarly dangerous.
According to the report, annual auto insurance premiums in Connecticut peaked in 2012 at $1,993 and declined through 2016 before starting to climb. They have now increased in each of the past two years.
Among the New England states, annual premiums in Rhode Island top Connecticut, at $2,110, the third highest in the U.S. New York ranks tenth, at $1,688.
The Zebra is described as the nation’s leading insurance search engine and an independent source for auto insurance quotes, industry research, and educational resources for consumers. The Zebra’s 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report analyzes more than 61 million car insurance rates, according to the report.