States all over the country are considering new laws that would affect drivers and car insurance companies. Some states are looking to combat fraud, others to tackle uninsured drivers and some simply to lower the cost of auto insurance in their area. Each bill has its supporters and those who are against the legislation but the trend is that states are looking to implement ways to make car insurance more effective and affordable. North Carolina car insurance companies and drivers are no different even though they enjoy one of the lowest insurance rates in the United States.
Politicians in North Carolina have considered many different proposals aimed at making car insurance more affordable. However, the right bill has not come along yet that can meet both the needs of the residents and the needs of car insurance companies.
How a car insurance company determines their rates and premiums differs per business. The North Carolina Department of Insurance regulates items such as licensing insurance firms and looking into insurance fraud, but they do not help determine what policies will cost drivers in North Carolina. There are over 160 different auto insurance companies in the state and each one has their own system for calculating rates.
One of the largest factors that goes into determining a driver’s car insurance cost is risk. Those with the lowest risk to ensure, no traffic violations or accidents, get the best price on car insurance. Others are divided into risk categories: high risk and clean risk. High risk policy holders pay more because they have a poor driving record or history of traffic violations. In North Carolina, around 1 million drivers are considered a high risk. Clean risk drivers pay more because of non-driving related factors such as a poor credit history or driving a red vehicle.
Some policymakers suggest that the clean risk category should be phased out so that car insurance is more affordable for North Carolina residents. Others believe that the costs associated with any new proposals will not ultimately save drivers money in car insurance. Then there are the big players in the car insurance industry who don’t feel that changes need to be made at all since North Carolina already enjoys fairly low insurance rates.
The legislators haven’t given up though. An announcement in January 2012 suggests that the state has recovered around $30 million in insurance costs through overseeing insurance company business practices, investigating claims and working to ensure that residents are getting the best deal on their car insurance policies.