To the average consumer it probably seems that insurance premiums only go in one direction -- up. But insurance industry professionals do see rates rise and fall regularly. In general, we see that the industry moves in the same direction for each line of insurance. Meaning that when one auto insurance carrier increases its rate others likely have plans to do the same. That is not to say that companies never buck the trend, but it is uncommon.

At the moment the insurance industry seems to be increasing rates across the board. Recent rate change filings and approvals from the California Department of Insurance reports support this observation with recent personal lines rate increase approvals outnumbering decreases approvals by at 3-to-1 clip. The trend seems to be gaining momentum with nine filings for rate increases in the past month to only one rate decrease. It should be noted that Progressive recently decreased rates for its Drive insurance program by 2.6% overall; Progressive deserves some credit for bucking the trend.

Consumers should expect that insurance rates will increase for in the foreseeable future due to recent catastrophic loss activity in 2011 and companies tightening their underwriting guidelines. Now more than ever, consumers should keep their insurance provider honest and make sure the premiums they are paying are fair. We at CoverHound will continue to build the tools to help them accomplish this with our comparison technology and in-house insurance experts advising whenever asked.

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