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While previous studies had found that the cost of auto insurance claims was trending downward, a new report finds it is now increasing once again.

The study, completed by the Insurance Research Council, finds that the severity of insurance claims has been rising steadily, but had been largely balanced out by a reduction in frequency in past years. However, the number of incidents is now rising.

The IRC says that from 2008 to 2010, the national personal injury protection claim costs per vehicle jumped 18 percent. In Florida, Michigan and New York - where no-fault insurance plans are required - PIP claim costs have jumped 62 percent over the same period.

"These are not encouraging findings for insurers or drivers," said Elizabeth Sprinkel, senior vice president of the American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. "While we hope these findings represent temporary conditions, we can't be sure that is the case and can’t afford to ignore the factors driving rising claim costs."

The Insurance Information Institute says insurance fraud plays a large role in Florida auto insurance costs. The group says fraudulent claims will cost drivers more than $650 million in excess premiums this year.

Courtesy: homeinsurance.com

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