Mercury Insurance Hikes Auto Insurance Rates for 1 Million Customers
Mercury InsuranceÂ has made headlines after announcing its plan to increaseÂ auto insurance ratesÂ for 990,000 auto insurance customers in California.
Critics of theÂ controversial premium increase say the company is making an attempt to earn extra revenue ahead of an even more controversial vote on Prop 33, which isÂ legislation that could allow for an increase in premium costs for individuals who don’t maintain auto insurance coverage.
Mercury Insurance Increases Auto Premiums
Recent reports show that, in September,Â Mercury Insurance CompanyÂ was granted permission to increaseÂ auto insurance ratesÂ for California customers by 4.3 percent, while customers of Mercury Casualty Company and California Automobile Insurance Company will see an averageÂ hike of 3.6 percent.
The increases in auto insurance rates are expected to result in a total of $63 million in additional costs for current customers.
According to Consumer Watchdog, a larger increase was requested that would have resulted inÂ an additionalÂ $29 million in premium costs, but the request was blocked by a challenge posed under California’s insurance reform law, Proposition 103.
How to Offset a Hike in Auto Insurance Rates
Critics of the hike in auto insurance rates say that Mercury Insurance is attempting to bring in more revenue prior to the November vote on Prop 33, which will reportedly provide drivers who maintain continuous auto insurance coverage a discount, whileÂ penalizing drivers who allow their coverage to lapse.
While the reasons behind the increase in auto insurance rates are debatable, it’s important for drivers affected by the increase to ensure their wallets are not severely impacted by the change. Here areÂ a few ways to offsetÂ a hike in auto insurance rates:
- Ask about discounts:Â If you have not already taken advantage of auto insurance discounts with the company, ask about options that may be available to help lower costs.
- Consider an online driving course:Â Taking anÂ onlineÂ defensive driving courseÂ is possibly a way to receive a discount on auto insurance rates. Check with your insurer to see if it will honor this discount option.
- Insure with your partner:Â Some companies provide discounts to couples who purchase insurance together. Consider this as an option if you are currently married, or in a long-term relationship.
Another optionÂ for lowering auto insurance rates isÂ shopping around for coverage with different companies, something all policyholders should do at the end of their term. Taking this step may help you find coverage with a company that is more affordable and better suits your needs.