Q: I read that auto accidents in Washington state have decreased, as have accident-related deaths. But my insurance premium just went up 15 percent. What's going on?
A: As Washington state's insurance regulator, we do our best to hold down insurance costs. But there are things other than accident rates that can affect your auto insurance premiums. Theft rates, auto glass costs, health care costs (for injuries in a crash) can all play a role. So can the fact that modern vehicles, with more airbags, high-strength steel and sophisticated safety features can be more expensive to repair.
Rates are driven by insurers' actual claim payments, administration costs and the company's cost and loss projections for the near future.