The largest auto insurer in Illinois, State Farm, which insures about 33 percent of cars in Illinois, will be cutting its auto rates by 2 percent effective March 18, 2019, according to a State Farm source.
In May 2018, State Farm implemented a similar 2.9 percent rate cut, after a large number of customers left State Farm following price hikes in 2016 and 2017. Following the exodus in Illinois and the rate reduction in 2018, the number of State Farm policyholders was steady during the past year at over 2.8 million policyholders. State Farm headquarters is located in Bloomington, Illinois.
State Farm’s rate cuts follow a period of steady increases that State Farm and many other insurance companies implemented following a sharp increase in car crashes in 2015. After decades of decreases in deaths from crashes prior to 2015, the number of deaths from crashes increased in 2015. The increase was shocking, considering the improvements in vehicle passenger restraints, airbags, passenger compartment protection improvements, and reductions in alcohol-impaired driving resulting from laws and police enforcement.
However, nationwide in 2015 there were 35,092 traffic crash deaths, compared to 32,744 crash deaths in 2014. The jump in deaths ended a 50-year trend of declining traffic fatalities. Distracted driving is suspected to be the cause of increased traffic fatalities.
Previously State Farm had been able to increase prices without losing customers, but competitors such as Geico and Progressive have offered lower premiums with many policyholders buying auto insurance online, instead of through insurance agents. During 2016 to 2017, State Farm lost market share, while Geico and Progressive gained market share, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Policyholders in Indiana are getting a significant drop in their rate. State Farm’s deal in Indiana is in response to a high loss of policyholders, even in 2017 and 2018. Policyholders in Indiana are getting a 4.6 percent drop in February 2019. Policyholders in Wisconsin are getting a little better rate cut than Illinois policyholders — a 2.9 percent drop in February 2019.
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