Which states cover more auto insurance?
Auto insurance companies have increasingly been shifting coverage to higher-income drivers in order to attract consumers, as the cost of insuring a driver has increased significantly, according to a new study from a nonpartisan group of researchers.
The researchers, who are from the nonpartisan National Insurance Crime Bureau, looked at data from more than 200 states from 2012 to 2014 and compared the costs of insulating drivers in the two groups.
The study, published in the journal Insurance Science and Policy, found that in the four years ending in 2017, average auto insurance rates were 8.2% higher for drivers in states that covered them more, while the rate for those in states with lower levels of auto insurance coverage was 12.2%.
The cost of the two-week insurance plan varied depending on the state, but auto insurers paid more to cover lower-income customers, with rates ranging from $7,000 to $12,000 per driver, according the researchers.
That may not sound like a lot, but the cost to the state of insuing a driver who makes $60,000 a year was more than $50 billion in 2017.
That means a person making $40,000 or less would be responsible for paying $2,955 in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for the entire year, the study found.
States that did not offer insurance to lower-earners, such as California, Texas and Florida, had lower rates than those that did.
That’s because insurers generally offer lower-priced policies, while lower-paying drivers often don’t qualify for insurance, said Michael D. Miller, director of the Insurance Research Center at the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research.
That could mean lower-cost plans may not be offered to lower income drivers, said Miller, who was not involved in the study.
“States that have high rates of underinsurance may be the ones who are able to lower their rates,” Miller said.
The authors of the study, which included researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cautioned that their study focused only on auto insurance and did not address other insurance products, such health and disability, and retirement plans.
The report noted that the number of drivers in this group could change in the future, and that the study relied on data from insurance claims filed by drivers.
However, the report said that it is “very unlikely” that the increased premiums will be offset by the cost savings.
“There is a lot of money to be made by getting people into more affordable insurance plans,” Miller added.
The Insurance Institute’s Miller said it is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer higher rates to higher income consumers.
The average rate of an individual driver is about $35,000 in Texas, for instance, but he or she is unlikely to be paying more than that, Miller said, pointing to the fact that a driver earning $80,000 pays about half of the average rate for auto insurance in that state.
“It’s a really difficult argument to make,” Miller told CNNMoney.
“I would say it’s probably a little bit of a stretch, but I’m not sure.”
However, insurance companies generally do offer higher premiums to higher incomes.
Miller pointed to a study by the Institute for Justice that found that the average premium in 2017 for the average family earning $50,000 was $1,869, compared to $1.18 for those earning less than $10,000.
A person earning $10 million a year pays about $1 million more than someone earning $20 million, according a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, while an individual earning $40 million a week pays $4,715 more than an individual making less than that amount.
“The idea that people are paying more is a pretty strong argument to say, ‘Well, there’s a lot more people that are going to be insured,'” Miller said of the high premiums.
“But I think that’s a very good argument.”
A more recent study from Insurance Research Council, an industry trade group, found the average annual premium for drivers making more than a million dollars was $2.6 million in 2016, which is about 15% higher than the average for all drivers.
That number is expected to continue to grow.
“Our analysis of individual-insurance data shows that insurance premiums are growing at an unsustainable rate, particularly for drivers who make less than about $60 a year,” said the report, which was based on a survey of 2,700 drivers and insurance executives in 20 states.
“This report shows that drivers are paying higher premiums than they should be, and the insurance industry needs to do a better job of explaining why.
Insurance companies should also take the lead in making sure that they cover their workers.”
The report is part of a broader effort by the insurance lobby to expand access to health insurance to low-income Americans, and argues that expanding coverage is a more effective way to reduce the cost for health care.
The American Hospital Association has