New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED 1/11/2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATIONWIDE TO CUT AUTO INSURANCE RATES IN 2005

        The New York State Insurance Department today announced that Nationwide Insurance will reduce auto rate premiums for their New York customers this year, making them the fourth insurer to do so and bringing to $166 million the total consumer savings announced to date.

        "Nationwide’s customers will save more than $18 million because of these premium reductions," Deputy Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills stated. "Governor Pataki’s policies, a combination of aggressive fraud fighting and regulatory reform, are paying real dividends for the state’s drivers."

        Nationwide’s policyholders will see on average a 5.2 percent rate cut on policies that are renewed on or after June 15, 2005. These reductions will to varying degrees lower all of the components within any given auto insurance policy: bodily injury, property damage, personal injury protection, comprehensive (fire & theft) coverage, and collision. The Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance has about 214,000 auto insurance policyholders in New York State, or 3.3 percent of the market share.

        In an unprecedented move, the New York State Insurance Department in November 2004 asked Nationwide and 12 other auto insurance carriers cumulatively serving more than 60 percent of the state’s drivers to meet with the Department’s senior management team to discuss possible rate reductions in light of compelling industry data indicating that losses had dropped substantially between 2002 and the third quarter of 2004. In addition to Nationwide ($18 million), GEICO ($100 million), Progressive ($33 million) and MetLife ($15 million) are the other insurers who will cut auto rate premiums in 2005. State Farm and Progressive reduced their rates in 2004, as well. Meetings with other carriers are continuing.

        "Nationwide’s decision brings to $166 million the savings that will be realized for New York drivers as a result of the meetings we’ve been having with the state’s auto insurers and we’re not done yet," Deputy Superintendent Joseph DeMauro, who has overseen the Department’s auto premium reduction initiative, said.


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