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Both hands on the wheel, Washington drivers. Your insurance rates are about to jump 24%

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Washington drivers may see an increase in vehicle insurance costs by an average of 24%, the biggest bump in a long time. This comes on the heels of a relatively tame period for rates over the last five years.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner – the regulating body for the insurance industry in Washington state – approved a 2023 rate increase average of 24% for car insurance companies.

“We saw a 2.8% increase in 2022,” said Aaron VanTuyl, communications manager for the insurance commissioner. “No increase the year before that, and then 2020 there was actually a 3% decrease.”

VanTuyl added that consumers could look at this information and say insurers are just catching up on things.

He said the reason for the approved rate increase is because insurance companies have reported an increase in serious bodily injury and fatal auto accident claims over the years.

“The biggest factor we've seen is that there have been more severe accidents the last few years,” VanTuyl said.

More severe accidents have led to larger payouts. Another factor impacting rates is the cost of buying and repairing cars.

VanTuyl shared that the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a new rule going into effect in June 2024. Upon request, insurance carriers will have to give consumers an explanation as to why their insurance rates have increased – in terms they can reasonably understand.

In 2027 carriers will have to provide this notice, even if a consumer doesn’t ask. The goal is to make things easier for consumers and require carriers to be more transparent with policyholders.

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