NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The nation's largest auto insurer lost money for the first time. And it is pointing the finger directly at drivers. State Farm claim it lost $7 billion last year, mostly due to accidents involving distracted drivers. The bottom line all boils down to this: stay off your cell phones because you're causing more accidents and also driving up the price of car insurance.
Car insurance companies say texting while driving is a contributing factor to the increase in accidents. Allstate says motor vehicle deaths increased 8 percent from 2014 to 2015, the largest year-over-year increase in 50 years. State Farm says it had to pay out so many insurance claims that its underwriting loss went from $4 billion in 2015 to $7 billion in 2016.
Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute says more motorists are using smart phones and looking at the Internet while driving.
Insurance companies paying for more accidents drives up the cost of your coverage.
Lower gas prices are also having an impact. Experts say people are driving more often. They're also buying more expensive high-tech cars, which cost more to fix after an accident.