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Traffic fatalities rise again in 2021

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The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released their estimates on fatalities due to traffic crashes for 2021, and the news is unfortunate:

36,096 traffic fatalities

38,680 traffic fatalities
(7.2% increase)

42,915 traffic fatalities
(10.9% increase)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHTSA estimated that vehicle miles traveled decreased by 430.2 billion miles in 2020, compared to 2019. This represents a 13.2% decrease in miles driven year-over-year.

Despite the 13.% decrease in miles driven in 2020, traffic fatalities increased 7.2% compared to 2019.

Traffic fatalities rose another 10.9% in 2021 to the highest levels seen since 2005.

Implications for the insurance industry

There are many factors that go into auto insurance pricing, coverage and availability. The increase in traffic fatalities can lead to an increase in the number of large, catastrophic claims paid out by insurers, which could result in higher auto insurance premiums.

An increase in large losses can also have a spillover effect on umbrella policies as well.

When insurance companies become unprofitable, they take corrective action. They may raise prices, increase deductibles or lower coverage offerings. They may also decide to take less risk by avoiding high-risk drivers and staying away from businesses with high-risk auto exposures. 

If you see an increase on your auto insurance or umbrella insurance policy, know that you do have options. Call us today to learn more.

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