Friday, June 22, 2012

Rates for Good Drivers in Cities Too High, Too Variable, Says Consumer Group

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) says that most good drivers — those with no accidents or moving violations — who live in moderate-income areas in 15 cities are being quoted what the group maintains are high auto insurance rates by major insurers for the minimum liability coverage required by those states. More than half (56 percent) of the rate quotes to two typical moderate-income drivers topped $1,000, and nearly one-third of the quotes (32 percent) exceeded $1,500.
CFA said its research, which used the websites of the four largest auto insurers nationwide — State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO — also revealed that rate quotes are often highly variable. Quotes to the same consumer differ considerably. For example, in one city price quotes from these companies to the same woman ranged from $762 to $3,390.

“It is difficult to understand how insurers can justify charging more than $1,000 a year for minimum insurance coverage to drivers who have perfect driving records for many years,” said CFA Executive Director Stephen Brobeck. “It is also difficult to understand why the same driver is being quoted rates from different insurers that vary so considerably. Insurers say rates reflect risk and cost, but if this in fact is the case, why do their assessments of these factors differ so radically?”
But insurers said it’s not that difficult to understand why the same good driver might receive price quotes ranging from $700 a year to more than $1,900 as the CFA report cited.