TRENTON - (AP) - Losses from previous storms are helping to drive up New Jersey's auto insurance rates, which are already the highest in the nation.
The Record newspaper reports the state approved increases for 26 insurance companies this year, including top insurers Allstate, New Jersey Manufacturers and State Farm.
The insurers say they are covering costs associated with Tropical Storm Irene and a Halloween nor'easter from two years ago. They also are facing higher medical costs and other financial factors.
Consumer Federation of America insurance director J. Robert Hunter tells the newspaper he doesn't expect more than a 1 percent increase for New Jersey motorists from Sandy.
The association says the average auto insurance policy in New Jersey costs $1,157.30.