Raleigh, N.C. — There have been fewer car wrecks across North Carolina in recent months, prompting insurance companies to decide on rebates for thousands of drivers.
Insurance companies base their rates on projected crash statistics. Although more drivers are traveling farther statewide, the number of wrecks has fallen below projections, said Ray Evans, general manager of the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which regulates what drivers pay for car insurance.
"This is good news and pretty unusual," Evans said. "These companies have made a profit, and their corporate decision is to give some of it back to the policyholders."
Many factors have combined to account for the decline in wrecks, he said, including more law enforcement, good roads, safer cars and the state's graduated license requirements for teen drivers.
North Carolina's auto insurance rates rank 47th nationally, and Raleigh is No. 5 on the list of cities with the least-expensive insurance rates, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
"We would encourage everyone to continue to be safe drivers so that this can continue," Evans said.
North Carolina drivers are also about to receive a cut in an auto liability surcharge.
Still, Evans said people shouldn't wait by the mailbox for a rebate check, noting that some insurance companies might just reduce rates.
Some drivers said they deserve a payback.
"A lot of people pay very high premiums and never have an accident. I'm fortunate. I've never had one, and I'll be 50 years old next month," driver Christine Watkins said.