If you’re thinking about buying a car, you may want to think again.
The U.S. auto industry is facing a serious cost-push and it’s getting worse.
It’s one reason why auto insurers are charging even higher premiums for some drivers than they did just a few years ago, according to data from IHS Automotive.
The latest numbers from IHAs research, based on data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, show the average premium for a driver with an accident in 2016 was $1,965.
That’s more than double the $1.04 average in 2017.
The reason: The number of people with auto insurance who were involved in fatal crashes in 2016 rose by a whopping 23 percent to 9,071.
That includes 1,531 drivers killed in collisions and 4,093 who died in crashes caused by distracted driving.
The trend is likely to continue as more drivers get distracted by their phones, said Robert Ewing, chief executive of IHS Auto.
Insurers are paying out even more than usual.
A quarter of all car insurance claims in 2016 were for injuries and death, up from 17 percent in 2017, according the institute.
That number is expected to increase to 32 percent by 2021, up nearly 30 percent from 20 percent in 2021.
In 2016, about half of all people who died on U.C.L.A. freeways in 2021 were in their car, according IHS data.
In 2021, only 39 percent of those people died in their cars, a decline from 62 percent in 2020.
Insurance companies say they’re being forced to lower premiums because more drivers are using cellphones and other devices to get around.
Insurance companies are also raising rates because they are having to pay out more to people who have coverage, or pay for additional care to help them pay for their medical bills.
Insurer officials say they can’t afford to wait until 2021 to raise rates, and they plan to do so even though they’re facing a severe cost-growth challenge.
That will require them to reduce benefits for some older drivers and pay more to younger ones, and increase premiums for others who may not be eligible for the latest rate cuts.IHS Automobile says the rising costs are a drag on the auto industry and will likely lead to a further drop in new vehicle sales in 2021, according a letter sent to members of Congress from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Insure companies say their costs are growing because the number of claims they have to pay for is higher than they would like.
IHS said its actuaries have not yet been able to determine the precise impact of the costs on insurers.