BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, auto insurance companies offered rates at temporary discounts. They did that because stay-at-home orders meant fewer drivers on the road, fewer collisions — and in turn, fewer claims.
But as Louisiana nears 2021, circumstances have changed. The stay-at-home orders are gone. More people are curing their cabin fever by driving, as they did before the virus hit. And insurance rates are inching back up to pre-pandemic levels.
“More miles are being driven,” state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said. “Parents are driving kids to and from school. They’re going to and from work.”
Speaking of cabin fever: Donelon expects the cost of home insurance to rise as well, particularly when the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season nears.
The commissioner owes the projected jump to a 2020 filled with natural disasters. Five named storms hit Louisiana — including hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. Elsewhere, wildfires ravaged California, and a derecho swept across the Midwest — out-of-state circumstances that can still affect in-state rates.
As people lay out New Year’s resolutions, Donelon suggests consumers unsatisfied with their current rates shop around for new providers.
“There are savings to be had,” he said.
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