May Collision Corner

May 7, 2024 | Dateline

Crash Champions announced its expansion to the Great Falls, Montana, market, with the
acquisition of three local repair centers: Mitchells’ Crash Repair, Flawless Auto Body and 3 Way
Auto Body. All three transitioned operations to Crash Champions effective April 22.

New data from Enterprise showed the average length of rental (LOR) for collision-related
rentals in Q1 2024 declined by just over one day year-over-year, to 17.6 days. The results
followed the typical trend of LOR decreasing in the first quarter of the year, and it also
continued the steady decreases seen from post-COVID highs. Washington had the largest
decrease of 2.3 days, closely followed by Montana at 2.1 days, and Alaska at 2.0 days.

Drivers across the U.S. are struggling with the growing cost of car insurance, which rose 2.6
percent in March from February and 22.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest
data on inflation shared by the Labor Department. In the same month, consumer prices climbed
0.4 percent compared to February, with inflation rising by a stronger-than-expected 3.5
percent. Shannon Martin, a licensed insurance agent and Bankrate analyst, told Newsweek that
skyrocketing car insurance premiums might have something to do with rising inflation. The cost
of car insurance has surged by more than 50 percent since the beginning of 2021, before
inflation started the vertiginous climb that led to the peaks reached in summer 2022. In the last
year alone, according to a recent study by Bankrate, it shot up by 26 percent, with U.S. car
owners now paying a national average annual premium of $2,543 for full coverage. That’s the
equivalent of 3.4 percent of their income.