Car insurance companies are paying out claims in record high numbers. Inevitably, this will have an effect on your insurance premium, as insurers have to raise rates to offset these claims. What's causing this spike in claims, and what can you do?

The experts at Selective Insurance explain the 4 reasons your car insurance rates are rising:

1. Drivers are driving more

Maybe it's due to airfare being expensive, having to commute to work or gas prices making car travel more affordable - but Americans are driving more than ever. Simply put, the more people drive, the more likely they are to get into accidents. And in 2016, Americans were packing in the miles: some 3.22 trillion miles collectively in 2016 -- a record high.

2. More crashes

As hinted at, we're seeing more crashes. Deadly crashes spiked 7.2% from 2014 to 2015.

3. Distracted driving

We can't say this enough: distracted driving kills. (In fact, Apple is trying to prevent it!) According to Selective, a whopping 19% of the time, drivers are distracted by
a phone. About 660,000 drivers use an electronic device while driving. Texting and driving increases the chance of being involved in a collision by 23 times.

4. Car technology is $$

The good news: More people own new cars with advanced safety features designed to protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The bad news: These safety features add mightily to repair cost, even for a minor accident. For example, the cost of a windshield/headlight repair jumped 63% from 2013 to 2017 for one particular car model.

What's a driver to do? Well, for starters: ditch the iPhone and commit to driving without distractions. And contact your agent to be sure you’re getting all the right discounts and coverages. It's always a good idea to review your plan and see what needs to be adjusted.

Drive smart!

Source: Selective.com | CDC, Distracted Driving

Photo credit: Flickr/Amanda W.

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