Auto insurance premiums have gone up and there's a reason -

3 On Your Side

Auto insurance premiums have gone up and there's a reason

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If you've noticed a recent spike in auto insurance rates, you're not imagining things.

Daniel Hiralez has been in the insurance business for 15 years and is currently a broker at Integra Insurance Group in Peoria. He acknowledges that auto insurance rates have in fact gone up over the last few years.

“I think a lot of clients are upset and concerned; in the past insurance rates were pretty stable,” he said.

Hiralez says rates have particularly gone up here in Arizona, even for those with clean driving records.

“Most people are still thinking how insurance rates were 10 to 15 years ago, where their own personal driving history or their vehicles would make the biggest difference in their rates."

But Hiralez says that's just not true anymore. He says, across the board, the insurance industry has had to pay out more for claims. And, in order to pay those claims, premiums have spiked even for good drivers.

“There's been a trend for the last two years where the severity of auto accidents really increased. For example, there's been a 12 percent increase in the cost of bodily injury. There's been a 15 percent increase in the cost of a collision,” Hiralez told 3 On Your Side.

Adding to the problem are the severity of accidents and the number of fatalities involved in those collisions. Insurance companies have to pay those claims and as a result, they pass on the higher expenses to you.

“What that means is, as there's an accident the amount of money that's paid out by insurance company has gone up 12 percent, 15 percent and sometimes 20 percent depending on the type of accident there is,” he said. “So, the accidents are getting worse! If they have to pay out more money than they take in they ultimately they'll have to raise rates."

So, why are there more accidents with more serious injuries? Well, there could be a connection when you consider there's an increase in driving and texting.

Hiralez says there are also other factors causing rates to rise.

“There are more distracted drivers, vehicles are more expensive. If a car costs more than it used to, then obviously to repair that vehicle, parts, things like that, are going to cost more, too.”

So if you're thinking insurance premium quotes are like the "old" days, think again and drive safely.

“You might have the best driving record in the world but if your neighbor gets into an accident and you're with the same insurance company and it costs a lot of money, that's ultimately going to affect if your rates are going to go up or go down.”

One final note. Hiralez says it may not be a benefit anymore to stay loyal to your insurance company just because you’ve been with them for years. He suggests talking to an insurance broker or agent and compare your current premiums to other companies.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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