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California Insurance Rates Rise Sharply

Auto insurance prices are accelerating in California for the first time since the mid 1990´s.

Auto insurers raised their California rates by a combined 778 million dollars through the first nine months of this year. They cite the rising cost of accident claims.

Information filed with state regulators indicates even more price increases loom down the road. The Insurance Information Network of California, an industry trade group, estimates Californians will pay an average of five to eight percent more for auto insurance during the next year.

Consumer activist Harvey Rosenfield contends the carriers are making excuses so they can raise their rates to offset losses suffered during the past year´s stock market slump.