Study: Insurance claims have become significantly more severe since 2020

We’ve been hearing about rising car insurance rates for a while now, but while it’s easy to blame corporate greed for the increases, some of the blame lies in the fact that insurance claims have become significantly more severe over the past four years. LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ recent study found that the costs for bodily injury and property damage claims have climbed steadily in recent times, contributing to the rise in premiums.

Since 2020, claims for bodily injury have risen in severity by 20 percent, while material damages coverage increased 47 percent. Parts and labor shortages contributed, as did increases in the costs of medical care. As LexisNexis pointed out, the more severe accidents have raised questions about minimum coverage limits and whether they are adequate to cover the increased costs.

There are 43 states plus Washington, D.C., that require $25,000 or less in coverage, while four states have $30,000 minimum coverage limits. Three others have minimums of $50,000, barely covering the average new vehicle price in the United States.

Total loss claims have increased 29 percent since 2020, and over a quarter of collisions in 2023 resulted in totaled vehicles. These claims are more expensive for the insurer and can be customer service headaches for drivers. Almost half of the people surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their experience following a total-loss accident, and 40 percent said it took a month or longer to receive payment for their claim.

Another factor contributing to the severity of claims is the fact that a greater number of people are getting legal help from an attorney. A majority of study respondents – 85 percent – said an attorney had approached them after an accident. Around 60 percent had been contacted by two or more lawyers, and more than half of the people who obtained legal help received more money from their settlements.



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