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Auto insurance rate hikes scaled back

Mature man fastening seat belt in car

With AARP and other opponents of a major automobile insurance rate hike in North Carolina weighing in, the NC Insurance Commission drastically scaled back an industry request that would have significantly raised your premiums.

A settlement was announced recently that will grow auto insurance rates by an average of 4.5 percent, and motorcycle liability by 2.3 percent, beginning later this year. Another increase of the same amount will go into effect in December 2024, totalling nine percent for auto policies.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents the insurance industry, had requested a rate increase of 28.4 percent for automobile insurance as well as a 4.7 percent increase for motorcycle liability. AARP recognized the hardship this would place on many, including limited income older adults.

In a letter sent to NC Insurance Commissioner Michael Causey, AARP State Director Mike Olender said, “Older adults already feel both outrage and anxiety with today’s economic conditions including record setting inflation seen in rising health care costs, prescription drug costs, food prices and other necessities of day-to-day living. Personal transportation is a necessity for many 50+ North Carolinians and the last thing many can handle right now is a large rate increase on their auto policy insurance.”

This settlement is good news to drivers across the state and to the score of AARP members who weighed in with comments to the Commission. AARP has been a strong watchdog against unfair rate hikes when it comes to utilities, insurance, and other necessities.

In a press release Insurance Commissioner Causey said, Causey said North Carolina’s annual average private passenger rates have remained among the lowest in the nation. He said recent rate increases are connected to more accidents and fatalities, which can be attributed to excessive speeding and impaired and distracted driving.

To help keep your driving skills in shape, the AARP Smart Driver course is the nation’s first refresher course specifically designed for drivers age 50 and older. In many states, drivers may benefit from a discount on their auto insurance premium upon completing the course. And you will learn something new along the way. In fact, an evaluation of the course found that 97% of participants changed at least one driving habit as a result of what they learned. WATCH

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