If you have personal auto insurance in California, buckle up! The market is hardening up and consumers will be feeling it.
Some carriers are pulling out of the market in California completely (no longer offering this coverage in our state), some have moratoriums on writing new business (no new business being issued) and the markets that are available have really tightened the screws.
Rates were frozen, often even reduced, during COVID since people were not driving as much (or not at all). The carriers have been operating on years-old rates, even though we have been post-COVID (as far as driving is concerned) for some time. The Insurance Commissioner in California has now begun giving some rate increase approvals, so you will likely be seeing a larger premium bill at your next renewal.
In addition to rate increases, underwriting has become a much more detailed and painstaking process. Many carriers are requiring proof of mileage (documentation in the form of service records), photos of the vehicles, proof of residency and other requirements that were not necessarily required before now.
If you are looking to save money as these inevitable increases come your way, you have some options. 1) You could shop with other carriers to compare rates - just be aware that the underwriting process can take up to 6 weeks so you need to plan ahead! 2) Be sure to ask your agent about any discounts that may apply to you. 3) You could re-assess your coverage and change deductibles or coverage options to cut costs. Be careful with this one as you do not want to increase your exposure.
This is going to be a painful time for Californians with auto insurance. We, as independent agents, always look for the best fit for your specific situation. We strive to provide the best possible value to you!