Toronto, Ontario – Insurance shopping marketplace has reported that automobile insurance premiums are up 5.5 per cent on the lowest premiums quoted for insurance in the first quarter of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.

The company said the increase can be attributed to rate increases on the part of insurers, as well as consumers shopping for insurance on newer vehicles when compared to last year, which may be a reflection of the strong Canadian economy.

“For the third consecutive quarter, the Kanetix quarterly rate study has shown an increase, suggesting that even with the slight shift in consumer behaviour, these increases are becoming a trend and are not simply an anomaly,” said Gregory Ellis, co-founder of Kanetix. “The industry is in transition; it’s moving from a soft to a harder market, where increases in premiums will not be uncommon. It’s during these times when auto insurance consumers should watch their renewal notices closely and, secondly, know that if they see an increase, they have options, because premiums across insurance companies are not the same. In fact, it is safe to say that no two are alike.”

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