Does recreational marijuana affect auto insurance rates in Missouri?

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s comments on the recreational marijuana ballot issue are making headlines across the state. He said, “I think it’s a disaster.

This issue is in the news, one of our viewers wrote, “I am concerned that if recreational marijuana passes in November, our auto insurance rates will go up. What is the experience in other states? Did the rate increase?

Voters will decide the issue in November. The proposal would make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to purchase, possess, consume, deliver, manufacture and sell marijuana for personal use. It would allow most people with non-violent marijuana offenses to get out of jail, probation, or parole and clear their criminal records.

For auto insurance rates, we contacted the insurance commissioners of Colorado, Washington state, and California to ask about their experiences with auto insurance rates after passing recreational marijuana. Vincent Plymel with the State of Colorado, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Department of Insurance responded. “Rates are determined based on losses and expenses,” Plymel explained. “And when they’re at risk, companies don’t drill down into the detailed reasons for losses in their filings with us.”

We have also contacted several insurance companies and insurance industry groups.

The Insurance Information Institute sent us several articles including this one. III blog says, “Legalization of recreational marijuana use was associated with a 6.5 percent increase in injury crash rates and a 2.3 percent increase in fatalities. With legalization and retail sales, the study found a 5.8 percent increase in total impact injury crash rates and a 4.1 percent increase in fatal crash rates. But these results were inconsistent across states. “

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agreed in an interview.

“We have studied since 2014. And the results are consistent. We see about a five or 6% increase in accident rates in states where recreational use is legalized. So we began studying the first states to legalize recreational use. We looked at the most recent study. We looked in California, Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. And we’ve seen an increase in insurance claims from both injury accidents and accidents,” commented Ross Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The organization has not studied the impact on insurance rates. Rader says that’s complicated by the fact that states regulate insurance rates. But, in general, insurance rates increase as accidents increase. He said that if you consume marijuana while driving and get into an accident, the fare will also increase just like the fares for driving under the influence of alcohol will increase.

I also reached out to a group that supported the proposal in November. They are called Legal Missouri. They pointed me to Getjerry’s article. That company is a car insurance comparison service. The article states that car insurance premiums are about the same in states where marijuana is illegal compared to states where it is legal.

So, as for our question, “Did rates go up?” I’m not seeing clear evidence that you can count on rates going up to, say, $5 a month. I am learning that if you use marijuana and drive you can hurt others. And, if you crash and survive, you’ll pay the price in higher premiums. So, until more evidence comes out. We are leaving it in the middle and not saying yes or no.

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