May 9, 2016

Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby

Allstate Insurance Rates Spike

The Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is warning consumers of a huge hike in Allstate insurance costs. Hudgens has issued an alert following Allstate’s filing for a 25 percent hike in auto insurance rates. The hike is expected to occur on May 22.

According to Hudgens, the 25 percent increase is only an average. Some consumers could see their premiums jump by as much as 58.3 percent. Others, on the other hand, will see a much smaller increase, depending on their driving habits and other factors. Unfortunately, Georgia law states there is not much he can do against the hike.

In a statement, Hudgens said, “I am deeply concerned about this filing and the impact it could have on consumers. Georgia law prohibits me from stopping or delaying this increase unless an actuarial examination proves the rate to be legally excessive.”

If the insurance giant cannot defend its increase in rates, Hudgens plans to take action to protect consumers. His words may be due, in part, to his reputation of allowing rate hikes to pass unchallenged.

Hudgens is able to review rate changes to ensure that they are not excessive or inadequate. They must be made to keep the company in business, and they cannot be discriminatory in nature.

In 2014, Georgia led the nation in highest overall premiums with regard to auto insurance rates. The state ranked second the year prior. The state may have also seen other hikes through the years, but Hudgens says he does not look at proposed increases less than 10 percent.

Although auto insurance can be costly, it is a requirement under Georgia law to own a policy. It can also be very important to litigation. Often injured parties are left without viable recourse where the defendant has little or no insurance. O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28 permits a party to obtain, pre-suit, insurance information for a defendant. If a party has little insurance, your own policy may also cover the incident in so-called “UM” or “UIM” coverage. When facing a lawsuit, it is important to consult an attorney with insurance experience, like Carr & Weatherby.