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When your auto insurance renews this year, you might be surprised to find a higher rate, but you’re far from alone. Insurance hikes are happening across the country, and the reason is multifaceted.

In Alabama, 2016 has been an extra-deadly year on the roads, and it could be affecting your insurance. So far this year, at least 75 more people were killed in a vehicular incident than in the same months last year, Alabama State Troopers said.

One independent insurance agent said a variety of factors go into what you pay. The biggest reason is, thanks to an increasingly litigious society, there’s more lawsuits and out-of-court settlements filed over crashes. New technology in cars means some damages cost a lot more than they did in older vehicles. Not to mention distracted driving or texting while driving is more often being blamed for traffic wrecks.

Local Farmers insurance agent Martin Houston said it’s a good idea to look around before you lock in a rate.

“Check around,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt anything to shop, but do not assume insurance is insurance is insurance. (Don’t assume) the rates you’re paying are the highest or the lowest, and don’t just jump ship. Always make sure you have a policy in place before you switch.”

The amount you pay for insurance depends on several factors, such as how much you’d like your deductible, how much vehicular and medical coverage you request, if you’ve been in any wrecks or gotten any traffic citations, your age and marital status, among others.

Alabama law requires all drivers to at least have liability insurance, which covers the other party’s vehicle but not your own, in case of a wreck.

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