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Low gas prices lead to higher insurance rates

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 19:03:48-05

When you walk into East Coast Collision in Boynton Beach, it's hard to hear yourself think.

"You know it always fluctuates, but this winter has been much much busier than others," says owner Dan Defelice.

After being here for 20 years, Defelice says he's seeing more cars on the road and in his shop than ever before.

"The more cars on the roads, there's going to be more accidents."

More accidents means higher insurance rates for you, says the Insurance Information Institute.

It's a trend you may notice in your next insurance bill.

"The cost of claims, the number of claims goes up," says Lynne McChristian with the institute. "So when the number goes up, insurance goes up to reflect those rising numbers."

The institute points to low gas prices as one of the main reasons why more people are on the road - driving farther and more often.

"People think 'hey, lets take a road trip,' or they think driving is a better alternative than taking a flight," McChristian says.

Dan also points to the influx of people from northern states as another main reason so many cars are on the road.

"More people are making this their residence," he says. "They're not going back and forth in the winter months as they were before."

Some aren't so sure about the Insurance Institute's connection between gas prices and accidents.

"It's hard to say there's so many people on the roads here in South Florida all the time," says resident Spencer Ledgard.

One thing he does know - he should probably brace for the impact on his insurance bill.

The Insurance Institute says when gas prices are high, the opposite is true; fewer people hit the roads, there are fewer accidents and insurance rates are lower.

A spokesperson with AAA says hey don't have enough data to give an official stance on the Insurance Institute's claims.