As the Federal Insurance Office considers definitions of automobile insurance affordability for low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons, a recent insurance industry report has asserted that this affordability has improved over time. An earlier (2013) report by the same organization reached the same conclusion, but was not credible because it failed to use data on actual LMI auto insurance expenditures. Recognizing this failing, the new report utilizes Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that are reported for household income quintiles.
The CES data, however, do not show that auto insurance has become more affordable for LMI households. What they suggest, on the other hand, is that, in this century using expense to income ratios, auto insurance affordability has not changed for moderate-income households (second income quintile) and has worsened for low-income households (first income quintile).