It's not just you, car insurance and crash costs are skyrocketing

Even if you have a perfect driving record, other factors have caused rates to jump significantly this decade.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Car crash
Pattanaphong Khuankaew/EyeEm/Getty Images

Signing on the dotted line after agreeing to a car payment isn't the end of vehicle costs. The all-important car insurance quote should always be factored into a monthly budget for transportation, but as new research shows, it's getting more expensive to insure a set of wheels.

Research from Motus unearthed the fact that, on average, car insurance premiums have risen every year since 2013, and since 2011, insurance premiums have gone up by a whopping 23%. Although numerous factors can affect a person's insurance premium, the bigger picture has also changed. 

Data supports the fact that insurers are paying out more frequently than before. When that happens, insurance companies raise rates to offset the losses. In the US, the number of car crashes has increased this decade, even though traffic fatalities continue to decline. Chalk the mixed bag up to safer cars than ever. Pedestrian fatalities, meanwhile, continue to climb.

It's not only an increase in crashes, but natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires may provide an unsuspected wave of claims for these companies. In turn, they raise rates. And when it's time to pay out for repairs, it's gotten far more expensive, too.

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As an example, the research looked at what it would cost to repair a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu after a front end collision. Nine years ago, the job cost $1,652 on average. Today, a 2018 Malibu in for identical repairs would return a $3,627 repair bill on average. The average repair cost after a vehicle crash rang in at $3,053 last year.

Two factors have led to the upward creeping of repair costs. Motus found the abundance of crossover SUVs on the road contribute to higher costs. These vehicles are more expensive than the now-unpopular sedan body style. The bigger contributor is technology, though.

While active safety features undoubtedly make for safer drives, these sensors, parts and computers come at a cost. When it comes time to replace and repair them after a crash, drivers are seeing increased costs. On average, there's been a 23% increase in the number of parts needed when performing repairs. More parts equals more money, and these parts aren't always cheap.

The outlook isn't exactly peachy. Increasing the technology used in cars will likely continue to make repairs even more expensive when needed, and if Americans continue to contribute to a rising number of vehicle crashes, insurance will remain a large financial part of vehicle ownership.

Watch this: New tech braces you for the dirty little secret of car accidents