By DAVID SACKSTEIN, Associated Press WriterFor more than a decade, Fiesta auto insurance has been the premium leader in the United States.
In 2015, Fiesta insurance paid for $4.4 billion in car accidents, more than double the average of the five other insurers that the Associated Press examined.
In 2016, Fiesta had a record year of auto insurance coverage.
Fiesta’s success is a testament to its business model, said David G. Strom, Fiesta’s chief executive officer.
He said the company’s “long-standing business model is based on the assumption that you have to be insured, you have a business model that makes it easy to get insurance,” including auto insurance.
Strom said that despite Fiesta’s high premium, the company has been able to increase its profits in recent years because it sells insurance to many other companies.
It has been profitable in recent quarters, even as the company faced some competition from other insurers.
“Fiesta insurance is very profitable,” Strom said.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Inc., which sells the brand name of Chrysler, said it has not seen any of the company-specific rates that Fiesta has faced.
Its shares were down $1.50, or 1.1%, at $41.90 in after-hours trading.
Fiat Chrysler has about 6,000 dealerships nationwide.
The company does not release annual revenue numbers, and did not respond to requests for comment.
It’s unclear how much Fiesta paid in auto insurance premiums or what the average rate was for 2016.
But the company had an aggressive marketing campaign to promote its auto insurance program, which included a commercial that played on a theme of the car.
It showed a family of four driving through a desert on a rainy night, driving past a family in a truck, and stopping to offer a hand to a woman who had been injured.
The commercial was seen by more than 1.3 million people.
The commercial also showed a Fiesta car in a parking lot.
The car’s driver, wearing a hat, offered his help and offered to buy the family car.
“You’ve got to be able to make this happen,” the man said.
The commercials helped Fiesta become a household name in the auto insurance business, and the company began to sell insurance on its website and on other websites, including autoinsurance.com.
The company also launched a mobile app that allows customers to request auto insurance through the smartphone of their choice.
“We’re seeing the trend, and we’re seeing it in many states, that people are driving more miles than they ever have before,” said John Stroman, a senior analyst at market research firm IHS Automotive.
The marketing effort also helped Fiesta increase its number of auto accidents.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, Fiesta accident rates rose to 9.1 accidents per 100,000 people in 2016.
That was up from 9.0 accidents per 1,000 in 2015.
“This is a huge increase, because it means more people are insured,” Stroman said.
A surge in traffic accidents is a problem for the industry.
Insurance companies typically sell a certain amount of coverage for every mile driven, and as traffic grows, more people get involved.
“The demand for coverage is always going to increase,” Stram said.
Stroman said the surge in accidents was due in part to the increase in traffic, as well as to the rise in accidents involving young drivers.
IHS estimates that the increase could be as high as 50%.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that some states have seen an uptick in traffic deaths in the past few years, which could make driving safer.
Fiestas auto insurance rates have also risen as a result of the Affordable Care Act, which gave millions of people health insurance.
The law has lowered the age requirement for health insurance and made it easier for people to obtain auto insurance on their own.
In its most recent quarter, Fiesta paid $2.3 billion in auto policy premiums, up more than 30% from the same period a year ago.
Stroman expects Fiesta insurance rates to continue to increase, and he believes that consumers are willing to pay higher premiums in an effort to keep their coverage.
“It’s not as if there are not people who want to drive less,” he said.