State Farm auto insurance policyholders in Oregon, who are accustomed to seeing annual dividend checks, instead will see an average 5.4 percent raise in rates starting Nov. 1, the company said earlier this week.
According to The Oregonian, the increase will be the company’s first in Oregon since 1996 and follows an 11.3 percent decline in rates over the past five years. The rate declines had led State Farm to return $26.5 million in excess premiums since 1997 in the form of dividends to Oregon policyholders.
The current rate increases are driven mostly through higher medical costs, according to Bryan LaBerge, a State Farm spokesman in Oregon. In addition, auto repair costs have risen, he said.
Most customers of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance will see larger premiums for liability and personal injury protection. At the same time, the majority will see smaller premiums for comprehensive coverage, which include non-collision-related losses such as theft, vandalism and fire.
Collision premiums will be a mixed bag, rising for some and dropping for others, State Farm said.
State Farm is Oregon’s largest auto insurer, measured by premiums. The next four largest auto insurers — Farmers Insurance of Oregon, Allstate Insurance, Safeco Insurance of Illinois and Mid-Century Insurance — have not filed for rate increases this year, according to John Piper, spokesman for the Oregon Insurance Division.
Farmers Insurance raised its rates an average of 5.4 percent in September last year, Piper said.
According to Krista Fischer, executive director of the Beaverton-based Western Insurance Information Service, Oregon has pretty good rates as far as liability and PIP (personal injury protection).
State Farm said individuals’ premiums will vary depending on their specific policy provisions, the kinds of cars they are insuring, who drives the cars and how often they are driven.