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Susan Tompor: High-tech features on new cars drive up auto insurance rates

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

The car payment is one part of the financial decision, but car insurance is another. So consumer experts advise reviewing insurance costs before buying a car, as well as comparing insurance premiums for different makes and models.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine notes in a February report that consumers may even want to shop around for car insurance when their lives change, such as when they marry or get a new job.

Car insurance rates are likely to rise in 2018 across the country, according to industry experts. The consumer price index for auto insurance jumped up 25.9 percent -- the largest five-year increase -- from early 2012 through early 2017, according to ValuePenguin.com.

During the same time, the overall consumer price index rose by 6.7 percent.

Nationwide, the average cost of auto insurance has gone up from $915 in 2015 to $980 in 2016, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

By 2017, though, the average cost of auto insurance was $1,060. It's expected to climb to $1,150 in 2018.

Michigan is notorious for its high car insurance rates given its unique no-fault system. Michigan ranks as the most expensive state for car insurance with an average of $2,394, according to rankings by Insure.com.

To be sure, insurance premiums are going up across the country for a variety of reasons other than expensive auto parts. The Insurance Information Institute also blames higher rates on distracted driving, more drivers on the road during the economic recovery, faster driving and, in some states, legalized marijuana.

The more people are working, the more they're driving, the more likely they're to get into an accident.

The average age of vehicles on the road is 11.6 years. So many people who trade up to a new vehicle aren't even considering how new technology might drive up their insurance bills.

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