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An Insurance Research Council (IRC) study finds that the average auto-insurance expenditure in relation to median income has declined from the 1990s into the 2000s, but a consumer representative warns against confusing improvement with actual affordability.

The IRC study, “Auto Insurance Affordability,” says the ratio of average auto-insurance expenditure to median income fell by more than 9.5% from the ‘90s to the ‘00s. Analyzing only the lowest-income quintile, the study says the ratio declined by 9% over that time, “implying a strong improvement in affordability from decade to decade for those in the lowest-income quintile.”

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