KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Democrats just significantly raised Washington car insurance rates

Jan 28, 2024, 7:28 PM | Updated: 7:33 pm

Image: Car thefts are a growing problem across the country....

Car thefts are a growing problem across the country. (Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

Your car insurance rates will likely surge this year in Western Washington. You can thank Democrats in Olympia.

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner says the state experienced about an 18% increase in average insurance rates between 2022 and 2023. It will be much worse in 2024, with an estimated 20-25% increase. Some drivers are already reporting a monthly increase up to $200. A key driver of this rate hike? The surge of stolen and, subsequently, damaged vehicles since Democrats passed soft-on-crime laws. 

Washington saw 40,941 vehicles stolen in 2023 according to the Puget Sound Auto Task Force, down from 46,939 in 2022. While the decline is positive, we’re still roughly double where we were in 2019. And the stolen cars are being used differently than in the past.

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Driving stolen cars into storefronts impacts state insurance rates

Many of the stolen cars are used in smash-and-grab robberies where thieves, often juveniles, drive through a storefront, steal what they can, and escape in another stolen vehicle. In other cases, drug addicts and petty thieves break into cars, steal what they can so they can sell it for drug money.

“We’ve seen a significant jump in auto theft in Washington. I believe 30% year over year between 2019 to 2022. We might see that level off in 2024, but those costs are impacting insurance premiums today and probably will through 2024,” Kenton Brine with the Northwest Insurance Council told KIRO 7.

The more stolen cars, the more claims, and the more money insurance companies have to dole out, making business very difficult to financially sustain. Their only option to stay afloat is to raise rates. Inflation thanks to Bidenomics only makes the crisis worse, with car parts costing more than normal. 

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There’s a clear link to Democrat policies

Democrats previously passed legislation banning vehicular pursuits for most crimes. Driving a stolen car into an empty storefront does not legally trigger a pursuit under the law. Democrats also passed legislation stopping police from interacting with juvenile suspects who do not have an attorney present.

Concurrently, left-wing prosecutors and judges embrace restorative justice programs as alternatives to jail. Juvenile suspects have benefited the most; it’s very difficult to get even the most deserving juvenile criminals a jail sentence. Without consequences, knowing police won’t chase, vulnerable juveniles have been convinced by gangs and other nefarious actors to steal cars for them.

We wouldn’t have this number of stolen vehicles if these laws and policies did not exist. Democrats pretend their policies are sound and not responsible for any piece of the crime surge. They will not change directions unless voters force them to — by voting them out of office, and supporting Let’s Go Washington’s Initiative 2113 (which undoes the vehicular pursuit ban). And in the meantime, when you pay you’re rising Washington car insurance rates, remember who is responsible. It’ll make it that much easier to muster the energy to help ensure your Democrat representative is retired.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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