Today’s News: U.S. Vehicle Thefts Decline, Life Insurance Outlook Improves and California’s Low-Cost Auto Insurance to Extend

The auto insurance industry is benefiting from a decline in auto thefts as well as an extension in low-cost coverage for one state. Life insurance is seeing improvements as well, as Moody’s brings good news about the state of the industry.

U.S. Vehicle Thefts Decline for 6th Year Straight

Good news for the auto insurance industry. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, auto thefts have declined nationwide for the sixth straight year. The bureau’s recent report on thefts shows that of the 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, 304 have reported lower rate of thefts for 2009 than the year prior. Fewer thefts have a positive effect on auto insurance rates, so the lower incidences of theft help keep rates lower. (Business Week)

Moody’s Says Life Insurance Outlook Has Improved

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the U.S. life insurance outlook from negative to stable. This upgrade shows that Moody’s expects the industry’s financial strength to grow in the next 12 to 18 months. However, the report looks at the overall state of the industry and not individual life insurance companies, one-third of which are still rated with negative outlooks. (Life and Health Insurance News)

Senate to Look at Bill that Extends California’s Low-Cost Auto Insurance

A bill that will extend California’s Low-Cost Automobile Insurance program has been sent to the state Senate after clearing the state Assembly in a 73-3 vote. Lawmakers hope that by extending the program, drivers suffering through these tough economic times will have continued access to affordable auto insurance.

A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009, but the new bill accounts for his objections. If the bill passes Senate, it could be extended through 2016. (Insurance News Net)