Car insurance stands to rise

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Thousands of Georgia drivers could see substantial increases in their auto insurance rates -- as much as 81 percent, for some -- as insurance companies begin setting their own rates under a law that took effect Oct. 1.

WHO'S GOING UP?

Nineteen insurance companies have set new rates that renewing or new customers will encounter, with 14 enacting average increases between 2 percent and 11 percent, according to the state Insurance Commissioner's Office.

The increases are much higher for certain drivers. A 28-year-old man with a DUI conviction, an accident or other violations who is insured through Central Mutual Insurance Co. can expect his rate to climb 81 percent.

Drivers insured through 21st Century Insurance Co. will see their rates climb at least 9 percent, on top of a 7.5 percent increase the insurer received in August, when the state still had authority to review and approve insurance rates beforehand.

"We're seeing a lot of companies coming in with very significant swings," Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said.

The largest increases, between 24.5 percent and 81 percent, would affect about 60,000 drivers.

Six of the companies raising rates, including 21st Century, are owned by underwriting giant American International Group, or AIG, which is in line for a multibillion-dollar government bailout. AIG officials did not respond to a request for comment.

WHO'S NOT GOING UP?

Four companies will reduce their rates by a fraction of a percentage, including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the state's largest insurer with 1.4 million policies. Lincoln General Insurance Co. will cut rates the most, by 10 percent.

WHY DID THE LAW CHANGE?

When state lawmakers debated the law, supporters said allowing insurers to set their own rates would spur competition and improve prices for consumers. It passed the House and Senate with only 13 votes against it.

Mr. Oxendine fought the change, which was added to a bill allowing drivers to bolster their coverage against uninsured motorists.

Mr. Oxendine said Friday that he doubted the law would ever increase competition.

"These companies can come back every couple of months and raise rates if they want to," Mr. Oxendine said. "I think the key is going to be what happens over the next year."

Sen. Jeff Chapman, R-Brunswick, voted against the bill. He said he hoped rates would eventually be driven down.

"You obviously don't want to see anybody get taken advantage of," Mr. Chapman said.

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GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 11/24/08 - 03:25 am
0
0
Great going,

Great going, Republicans.....all idiots.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 11/24/08 - 03:54 am
0
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Thanks Ga Legislature. Wonder

Thanks Ga Legislature. Wonder who butters your bread.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 11/24/08 - 06:45 am
0
0
I'm sure we'll hear how those
Unpublished

I'm sure we'll hear how those shifty Dims tricked the trusting Republicans into passing this bill too. Enjoy your early Xmas. present.

white_trash
0
Points
white_trash 11/24/08 - 06:51 am
0
0
Want to see insurance rates

Want to see insurance rates drop...........stop suing for every little fender bender. Forget "One call, that's all" and "Let us supersize you settlement". The idea is to make things as they were before, not enrich people.

Captain Obvious
0
Points
Captain Obvious 11/24/08 - 07:17 am
0
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Well hopefully the ones that

Well hopefully the ones that DROPPED rates will get more business, forcing the ones that Raised to lower theirs or go out of business...

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/24/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
You have got to be kidding

You have got to be kidding me! This is an outrage! Not even politicians at the state level give a hoot about their citizenry. All we need to do is find out who penned the bill and we will know in whose interest it lies. This is absolutely crazy. The famous economist John Nash from the movie "A Beautiful Mind" put forth an economic theory that won him the Pulitzer Prize which works something like this. If everyone agrees that they are in competition and they don't truly compete, then everyone wins...except the Citizens of the State of Gerogia! I will bet anyone my last dollar that this is exactly what these insurance companies are going to do. JOHN OXENDINE FOR GOVERNOR!!!

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/24/08 - 07:58 am
0
0
I am furious why did we not

I am furious why did we not hear about this sooner!
This should have been a major news story! The Augusta Chronicle is a completely biased newspaper.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 11/24/08 - 08:46 am
0
0
Just goes to show you how

Just goes to show you how great DEREGULATION is in a FREE market society. Really are any CONservativeS really surprised by the action of the legislature? And BINGO what really great LTE would you have replaced with a report about what the CONS were getting ready to do to you? And you expected the A.C. staff to advise you?

sharpshooter
0
Points
sharpshooter 11/24/08 - 08:58 am
0
0
It's a sign of the times; not

It's a sign of the times; not from good to bad, but from bad to worse. "SOMEBODY" will have to pay for the insurance companiies bad investments and we are the the "somebody".

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 11/24/08 - 09:05 am
0
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I wonder how high the number

I wonder how high the number of uninsured motorists will go?

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/24/08 - 09:08 am
0
0
Well dissman, first of all I

Well dissman, first of all I think there is something wrong with your keyboard because typing like that is a bit obnoxious. And second, I am not surprised that A.C. did not print this story or at least advised us about it in a way that we would read it. I have just discovered that a study done by the Georgia State University was used to validate this bill. That study was indirectly paid for by...would anyone care to guess? This bill is not in our best interest at all. I personally will not be affected by this bill at this time. But what if I have a wreck and it is my fault? What if my insurance company decides that they won't drop me but they will just triple my rates? Then I suppose I just go down the street and buy the cheap insurance elsewhere?? This is bad. bad. bad. John Oxendine's opposition of this bill says it all for me.

cherylaxel
0
Points
cherylaxel 11/24/08 - 10:04 am
0
0
I am insured with Traveler's

I am insured with Traveler's and just received my renewal premium for the next 6 months and my premiums DECREASED from $944 to $912. So, I guess not every company is increasing.

HippieChick
0
Points
HippieChick 11/24/08 - 11:34 am
0
0
FYI they did run a stroy on

FYI they did run a stroy on this a couple of months ago when the law was passed. I read it.. They chg.'ed the UNDERINSURED motorist cov not the "Uninsured" motorist Mr. John Oxendine. So listen up folks if you get hit by someone without enough coverage to pay for your bodily injury thier limit of coverage will be subtracted from your UM limit and you get the difference if any becuase most folks carry the min. amount of cov. Oh yeah by the way your insurance carrier will either add the cov to your policy as of 01/01/2009 or send you a LTR to reject the cov which if you don't sign & return it will be added as Excess UM cov. AKA more money out of your pocket.. Happy holidays!

reader54
329
Points
reader54 11/24/08 - 12:59 pm
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0
WhiteTrash: I see that you

WhiteTrash: I see that you have naively bought into the insurance companies propaganda . What reason do you think they are going to use: we're greedy folks!!? The lobbyist have won another at the people's expense. Who are these legislators representing ? Definitely not our interest !!!!

sunflower61
0
Points
sunflower61 11/24/08 - 01:32 pm
0
0
For all you Central Insurance

For all you Central Insurance Customers out there. Central is a preferred auto market and would never write someone who has a DUI and two accidents. You would expect someone who has a DUI and two accidents to pay more than the average Joe who has a good driving record. There may be slight increases due to the new uninsured motorist law but its certainly not the increase that this story reports. The new uninsured motorist law gives you the option for better coverage, call your agent and have them explain it. My suggestion is to opt for the better coverage as you will be better protected in the long run.

christopher8403
0
Points
christopher8403 11/24/08 - 04:27 pm
0
0
what they dont say is that

what they dont say is that this increase is OPTIONAL. you dont have to have the increase if you dont want it. Call your agent if you want more details as to what the increased coverage is and how to decline it.

reader54
329
Points
reader54 11/24/08 - 05:26 pm
0
0
Yeah,It'll start out benign

Yeah,It'll start out benign but let's see how they shove rate increases down our throats.No oversight ;no regulation!! have we not learned anything about the fox guarding the hen house?

peach66
0
Points
peach66 11/24/08 - 09:02 pm
0
0
I can see why they would go

I can see why they would go up in this area, Have any of you seen the mess at the intersection /light at Wheeler Rd. at Docters's Hospitals, there accidents just waiting to happen!!

mable8
2
Points
mable8 11/25/08 - 12:39 am
0
0
Raising rates 50% to 81% is

Raising rates 50% to 81% is ludicrous and certainly uncalled for. Certain industries, such as insurance companies, utilities, and transportation, should ALWAYS be regulated. The deregulation does not create a healthy competitive market and never will. GA legislators need to return to Atlanta and undo this sordid mess. If they fail to do so, ALL CONSTITUENTS NEED TO REMIND THEM THEIR NUMBER IN CONGRESS IS UP--AND VOTE THEM OUT.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 11/25/08 - 08:48 am
0
0
"Well hopefully the ones that

"Well hopefully the ones that DROPPED rates will get more business, forcing the ones that Raised to lower theirs or go out of business..." Not "hopefully"...that is what will happen. Jesus, you all, do you not think that the consumer has ANY responsibility to look out for his own wallet? If I am a 28-year-old male with a DUI, then I should expect to get charged every dollar the market will bear for my car insurance...I should be grateful to be able to get a policy at all. However, as a middle-aged guy with kids and no tickets, if I go to renew my policy and my insurer says that my rates are going to increase by 81%, I'll just go somewhere else. Hell, you think State Farm is lowering rates because they don't like money?! Here's an alternative explanation: they want more policyholders. I'm quite sure that they'll be there if I want to switch insurers... Good lord...the State of GA does not set gas prices, and yet every station in town is racing toward a buck fifty as fast as they can...you make money capturing market share, dolts! Companies raising rates were either inappropriately constrained from charging fair market to that DUI, or they are counting on idiots not to shop rates...

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 11/25/08 - 08:56 am
0
0
"Raising rates 50% to 81% is

"Raising rates 50% to 81% is ludicrous and certainly uncalled for. Certain industries, such as insurance companies, utilities, and transportation, should ALWAYS be regulated." mable8, your faith in government is...well, words fail me...banking is the most HIGHLY REGULATED industry on the planet. Nothing is more closely scrutinized and controlled that financial transactions, and yet...there they went! Gee, maybe we should just nationalize every industry, put our elected officials in charge to manage them for our benefit. How does that sound?

Iceman
0
Points
Iceman 11/25/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
^5 to johnsmith; about the

^5 to johnsmith; about the only one on this blog with a clue.

reader54
329
Points
reader54 11/25/08 - 11:47 am
0
0
JohnSmith:Here we go again!

JohnSmith:Here we go again! Acquiring insurance is mandated; gasoline is not. These big companies will 'stand pat" initially until the smoke clears and then they will illegally collude and stick it to us. Rest assured that they will squeeze every dime they can from their grandma if this is allowed to continue. All you have to do is check the rate variance between states to see how they suck the blood out of the consumer if given the chance.

HippieChick
0
Points
HippieChick 11/25/08 - 01:24 pm
0
0
reader54 is correct - The

reader54 is correct - The state of GA is higher then most states with regards to cost of auto insurance. In additon to that for every $1.00 of insurance they offer the state requires that they have atleast half on that stuck away to cover losses. Guess where they stuck thier money? That's right the stock market and we all know what's going on there. They will either raise your premiums, non-renew your policy or pull of the state all together that are not profitable like the states around the gulf. My GEICO policy went up $260.00 more every 6 mths and my husband & I have good driving records. Never had a DUI, always pay on time, but yet it went up.

voluptuously_auburn1
0
Points
voluptuously_auburn1 11/25/08 - 02:25 pm
0
0
Are all AC reporters boobs??

Are all AC reporters boobs?? Where is the list of Insurance Companies that's raising their rates? Wouldn't this be pertenient info to accompany the article itself??

Iceman
0
Points
Iceman 11/25/08 - 02:31 pm
0
0
Reader54 sez: "These big

Reader54 sez: "These big companies will 'stand pat" initially until the smoke clears and then they will illegally collude and stick it to us."

Collusion and conspracy are crimes. Do you really think a group of insurance company would risk proscecution just to squeeze you for a few more bucks?

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 11/25/08 - 02:44 pm
0
0
reader54, you have no concept

reader54, you have no concept of markets. Of COURSE they will get every dime they can get from you. When those who run a company do not maximize their profits, we send them to jail for malfeasance, or at a minimum, fire them for failing in their fiduciary responsibilities to their stockholders. So NATURALLY, they will seek to maximize profit. However, they STILL need to attract customers. And what's the one proven way to do that? Charge less than your competition, but enough to be profitable. How can you say, with a straight face, that car insurance is a compulsory purchase and gasoline is not? How in the hell do you drive your car, with no gas??? Of COURSE gas is a compulsory purchase, IF you plan to drive your car. Ever notice that there is no law requiring you to buy gas for your car? D'oh! Hippie is closer to the truth when she says that govt regulations cause price increases. Of course they do--just like the fact that GA requires my health ins. co. to cover my wife for maternity, raises my rates there. But, hey, it's FAIR, right? I mean, as long as it's FAIR, and nobody is making TOO MUCH profit, then I guess it's ok, right? It's fascist and oppressive, but it's FAIR...

reader54
329
Points
reader54 11/25/08 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Iceman and John Smith: You

Iceman and John Smith: You guys are naive!! What happened to the five tobacco executives who stood sworn-in before Congress and perjured themselves? Nothing. You guys buy-in to everybody doing things legally ,but yes, collusion is nothing new. Hell, all they risk is a fine which is paid by stockholders. You think the Legislators are going to prosecute their money bag?

reader54
329
Points
reader54 11/25/08 - 03:53 pm
0
0
Smith: I have no concept of

Smith: I have no concept of markets? You have no concept of reality!! Insurance is MANDATED BY LAW in order to drive. Whether it is 10 miles a month or 10,000 you have to have it !! You can control your gas purchases by your driving needs. You are going to stand up and defend insurance companies in the name of free markets? If so, then you have more education in THEORIES than you have of ACTUAL MULTI-NATIONAL BUSINESS PRACTICES!!

mable8
2
Points
mable8 11/25/08 - 09:46 pm
0
0
FYI John Smith, DEREGULATION

FYI John Smith, DEREGULATION IS THE BAIN OF MANY INDUSTRIES, period. My faith in government leaves you what? You have no words? Then why bother to comment? If YOU think you have the economic problems resolved, why are you sitting at home in front of your computer writing blogs and not campaigning for some office of responsibility? Thank you very much, but I stand by my answer in that there needs to be REGULATION of particular industries, which, by the way, includes banking and other financial institutions.

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