Back at the start of the pandemic, I was among the first reporters to notice that car insurance rates were remaining high despite the fact that most people had stopped driving.

This caused consternation for many drivers, including West Los Angeles resident Chris Norlin, who told me it made no sense that insurers weren’t adjusting rates to reflect the changed circumstances.

“Surely with all the sheltering at home and reduced driving, insurance companies will be paying out far fewer claims over the next couple of months,” he correctly observed.

California’s insurance commissioner responded to my reporting by telling insurers they needed to straighten up and fly right.

Now, apparently, they can go back to their pre-pandemic ways. The Los Angeles Times reports that car insurance bills are going up again this year.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara approved hefty rate hikes in recent months after insurers grumbled about losses and lower profits.

And consumer advocates say we can expect premiums to keep increasing as insurers seek to recover cash denied to them by Mean Mr. Covid.

Californians are paying an average of $2,291 in car insurance premiums this year, up $101 from 2022, according to Bankrate.

The Times reports that Geico, Mercury and Allstate have each received the go-ahead for 6.9% rate increases. Some smaller insurers got the nod for larger hikes.

As was the case during the pandemic, the onus is on policyholders to contact insurers if they’re still driving less — if you’re still working via remote, say.

Your insurer will want to see a pic of your odometer to prove what you say. If it indeed shows you’re mostly stationary, it’s possible you can swing a continuation of your lower pandemic rate.

If, on the other hand, you’re back behind the wheel most days, well, brace yourself.

You’re a riskier bet for insurers once again. And they’ll charge accordingly.