Insurance rates going up

Apr 20th, 2009 | By Hot News Reporter | Category: Insurance Today

Indianapolis – From groceries to appliances, prices are going up. You can now add insurance premiums to that list.

It’s the sort of rate hike that quickly raises the ire of insurance policy holders. Insurance companies, watching their own profits and portfolios fall, are passing the buck to consumers. Americans can expect to pay higher premiums for auto, home and life insurance.
In Indiana, industry experts expect hikes to be company specific in a state where consumers pay some of the lowest premiums for home and auto coverage in the nation.

“In Indiana, on the property-casualty side, we have some of the lowest rates nationwide, so relative to what everyone else is paying, consumers are getting a pretty good deal,” said Stephen Williams, Insurance Institute of Indiana.

According to a report in USA Today, the Insurance Information Institute says that the cost of a typical auto insurance policy is expected to jump four percent to $875 this year, on top of a three-percent increase last year. Homeowners insurance will jump three percent to an average $841. Term life rates are expected to jump five to ten percent.

The price hikes couldn’t come at a worse time for policy holders who’ve seen their own household wealth shrink, home values fall and high unemployment.

Insurance companies invest part of the typical premium in bonds and stocks, and like every other investor, has seen a volatile market. Now insurance companies are passing those losses to consumers trapped in a deep recession.

“For this to happen also, it’s like there’s no relief anywhere at the moment,” said Joyce Sultzer, policy holder.

“I just think there’s got to be a better way or maybe they should look at their own front office and take pay cuts like everyone else has had to do,” said Dave Crockett, Plainfield.

While there’s never a great time to hike insurance rates, the industry, also hurt in this economy, couldn’t have picked a worse time.


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