Pharmacist Mutual Insurance Company submitted a request to the Oregon Bureau of Insurance in August 2017 to increase the premiums for its auto insurance customers in the state by an average of 17.7%.
The filing is still pending but, if approved, the proposed changes would be effective for policies written for new and current policyholders in Oregon on or after December 1, 2017.
On top of the rate change, Pharmacists Mutual has included policy changes in the filing that may appeal to pet-owners and families.
Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company will now provide pet injury coverage for policyholders if their pet is harmed while in an insured vehicle. The company will cover the pet injury or death for up to $2,000. This coverage does not require a deductible or any additional charges.
Policyholders with families will now benefit from package discounts if more than one family member is insured under Pharmacists Mutual, and if their policies follow a set of rules outlined by the insurance company. According to the filing, the discount will apply if the policyholders have policies written with similar, if not the same, start or expiration dates. The filing ends this rule with “if possible”, so some policyholders may still be eligible.
The discount given is referred to as a “premium discount” which gives the policyholder 15% off on each policy. The discount applies to full-time students who have parents on the same auto policy as their parents/guardians. If two policyholders are members of the same household and have a co-titled vehicle, they would also be eligible for this discount.
Pharmacist Mutual Insurance Company proposed rate impact
If the rate changes are approved, premiums are estimated to increase for 51 policyholders in Oregon by an average of $268 per policy. As with most increases, though, the impact will be spread unevenly, with some policyholders receiving increases lower than that figure and other receiving larger hikes. In percentage terms, the company reports the proposed rate increases will range from 13.6% to 20.6%.
As of 2016, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company ranked 52nd among auto insurance carriers who are active in the state. Pharmacists Mutual moved up a couple of spots compared with 2015, when they ranked 56th among companies for market share in the state. The Oregon auto insurance market is highly concentrated, with State Farm Group taking the bulk of business in the state, with 21.3% of all policies.
How these increases compare
Assuming these hikes are approved, they would be among the highest rate increases to go into effect for auto insurance in Oregon in 2017. As of August, a total of 11 companies have been approved for rate changes by regulators in the state. The average increase in premiums arising from those decisions is 7.6%. Within the approved list, the largest hikes were for American Family Insurance Group (with an average increase of 15.2%); Nationwide Corporation Group (14.5% on average); and State Farm Group (11.3% on average).
When compared to the rest of the U.S., car owners in Oregon enjoy some of the cheapest auto insurance. Premiums are 11% less expensive than the average premiums for car owners in the country as a whole, with Oregonian policyholders facing an average annual fee of $1,333 to insure their cars.
That annual tab translates into an average monthly cost of $111, which makes Oregon the 17th cheapest state for auto insurance in the U.S. Oregon’s neighbors, California and Washington, are on the more expensive end of the spectrum, paying an average of $164 and $125 respectively. However, just to the east of Oregon lies Idaho, where car owners enjoy the 4th cheapest premiums in the nation, at only $88 per month on average.