Metro-East News

Allstate raising auto rates in Illinois by average 3 percent

Allstate plans to raise its car insurance rates by an average of about 3 percent in Illinois effective June 4.

The Northbrook-based insurer disclosed its plans in a filing Tuesday with the state’s insurance department.

“Some auto customers in Illinois will see a rate increase effective June 4, 2015, which on average will be between 1 percent and 4 percent,” Allstate spokeswoman Meghan O’Kelly said. “This equates to an average of approximately $2 per month.”

The reason: to keep up with inflation and rising costs, she said.

Allstate customers are encouraged to talk with their local agent about discounts they may be eligible for or actions they can take to help offset the increase, she said.

Allstate, the nation’s biggest publicly traded home and auto insurer, also released its first-quarter financial results after the market closed Tuesday.

Companywide, the Allstate brand had a 2.3 percent increase in average auto premiums, to $484, in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The policy term for Allstate is typically six months, it said.

Net income available to shareholders was $648 million, up 10 percent. The company said it was helped by low catastrophe losses.

Earnings per share were $1.53. Operating income per common share was $1.46.

The average earnings estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was $1.39 per share, according to The Associated Press.

Still, investors who dug deeper into the numbers were troubled. Allstate stock closed down more than 3.5 percent Wednesday on a day when the overall market was down about 1 percent.

Allstate said its auto losses were up in the first quarter, partly because of accidents that were greater in number and more severe. In an earnings call Wednesday morning, it told analysts that people were driving more.

Catastrophe losses were $294 million, down from $445 million.