Auto insurance charges are prone to go up, which suggests now is an effective time to go searching –

Experts say now could be a good time to start looking into auto insurance as rates are expected to rise this year.

Several factors are driving this increase, including a rise in dangerous driving that the US has seen since the pandemic began, causing damage costs to rise.

Another factor is the shortage of cars and car parts, which makes cars more expensive to repair or replace.

Inflation also plays a role.

"Late last year we were basically back to normal auto insurance rates so I think with inflation this year we'll probably see it creep around normal amounts, maybe a bit more depending on how much inflation." is really driving things forward,” said Penny Gusner, insurance analyst at Forbes Advisor.

According to Gusner, the average annual increase is about 5%.

Gusner adds that drivers looking to buy a new car might want to consider gap insurance. If a vehicle is totaled or stolen after the car's value has fallen, drivers could owe more than the car's value. The gap insurance covers this difference.

Motorists can expect more companies offering usage-based auto insurance this year, according to Gusner.

"I think people are more used to being monitored and doing things virtually," she said. "It's becoming more popular and can really help, too, as insurance companies are more focused on your actual driving behavior than other things, say credit or gender, which are factors they're currently trying to get away from."

With usage-based insurance, companies let customers connect a device to their car or use an app that allows them to monitor someone's driving. According to Gusner, most companies give drivers a 5% to 10% discount for signing up. Many companies claim drivers get an overall discount of 20 to 40%, but she says it doesn't save drivers that much.

According to Gusner, usage-based insurance is probably best for good drivers, those who don't drive much and those who don't work nights, because companies factor in the time of day in their analysis.

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