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By Mike Toole
/ CBS Boston
BOSTON – Car and auto insurance bills are going up across Massachusetts and they’re a lot higher than some drivers expected.
Tom Skelly, vice president and partner at Deland, Gibson Insurance, told WBZ-TV the cost to repair autos has “increased exponentially” and it’s not just because of inflation. Here’s his detailed explanation of why you’re paying more.
“There is more technology in every car part including windshields, fenders, bumpers and grills. All the electronic sensors for auto emergency braking, lane keeping assist or cross-traffic alert systems are located in the bumpers, grills and fenders of cars. They bear the brunt of most crashes.”
“Supply chain issues still haunt the auto repair business. Microchips, which are in all the tech related parts are still in short supply delaying repairs. We have been calling carriers to extend people’s rentals past the coverage date due to materials being delayed. These costs are passed onto the consumer.”
“There is a shortage of auto repair technicians. The technicians that have remained need constant training to keep up with the complex systems they are repairing. For example, paint on the sensors needs to be a certain thickness or the sensors do not work. The connections between the car and sensors need to be calibrated so the sensors can work properly. All this takes a skilled technician and time, increasing costs.”
“Insurance carriers are faced with mounting losses due to increases in car crashes and fatalities coming out of the pandemic. Most carriers attempt to have loss ratios under 100. Most have loss ratios over 100 for 2022 and 2023 looks to be the same. For example, a loss ratio of 108 means $1.08 in losses for every $1.00 in premium. Across all lines; auto, property and liability companies are facing increased losses. That translates into higher premiums to recoup those losses.”
If you end up with a higher bill and there have been no changes to your account, Skelly recommends you ask your agent to shop around for lower premiums or higher deductibles.
If you have a question you’d like us to look into, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Toole is the Managing Editor at wbz.com in Boston. He has worked in the WBZ-TV newsroom for more than 20 years. He previously wrote and produced news and sports at WABC-TV in New York.
First published on November 30, 2023 / 3:30 PM EST
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