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Why is auto insurance getting more expensive in Nevada?

Updated November 24, 2023 - 7:13 pm

Nevada has one of the fastest-rising vehicle insurance rates in the nation, and experts blame a array of causes.

A report from Insurify, a company that compares insurance policies, found that vehicle insurance rates in Nevada have increased by 36 percent over the first half of 2023. Overall vehicle insurance rates have increased by 18.9 percent from September 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Nevada Division of Insurance held a panel discussion with experts in the auto insurance industry to discuss rising interest rates. The array of factors increasing rates are a “perfect storm,” according to Todd Rich, the chief deputy commissioner for the Division of Insurance.

Some factors behind rising rates

High number of crashes: 2022 was the third-deadliest year for Nevada roads as there were 416 fatalities, in 2021 there were 385 fatalities. From the start of 2023 to the end of October there have been 325 fatalities on Nevada roads, according to Zero Fatalities, which collects data from Nevada state agencies.

Population growth: More people are moving to Nevada and driving on the roads which in turn can increase the number of collisions and insurance claims. Overall Nevada’s population has increased by over 73,000 people from 2020 to 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Costs of new vehicles: The costs of new vehicles are up 2.5 percent compared to September 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kelly Blue Book estimates the average cost of a new car in September of this year was just under $48,000.

Specialized repairs: Many cars now have high-end technology systems that can monitor lanes, control speed, brake automatically in emergencies and have blind spot warnings. While most of this technology is meant to prevent crashes vehicle collisions still happen and repairing this technology is expensive.

Increasing costs of claims: The Insurance Information Institute found that the 2022 average collision claim in 2022 was just under $6,000, a roughly 70 percent increase over five years when the average claim was just over $3,500 in 2017.

Consumer outlook

There weren’t wasn’t much optimism from the panel that vehicle insurance rates would decline anytime soon as inflation continues to stay about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent and keep costs related to vehicles high.

The Division of Insurance representatives on the panel said that any further rate increases are reviewed by the Division for prudence and advised customers to compare and double check insurance policies and contact the Division to lodge a complaint if a insurance provider is acting poorly.

People can reach out to the Division of Insurance by calling 888-872-3234 or emailing insinfo@doi.nv.gov or visiting the Division’s website.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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