TEXAS, USA — It's a trend happening across the country -- auto insurance premiums are increasing and it's not just the rise we typically see policy to policy. Some people are reporting nearly a 30 percent increase.
2022 saw auto insurance rates higher than previous years, but this year Texas drivers could see another 8 to 10 percent increase, according to industry analysts.
"I wouldn't say that it's unprecedented, but it is larger than normal," said Rich Johnson, the communications director for the Insurance Council of Texas.
The Insurance Council of Texas has been monitoring the increasing auto insurance rates since 2018. Johnson said the hikes stem from many contributing factors including the ongoing inflation issue.
"Over the last couple of years, we've seen a real dramatic spike in a lot that has gone along with inflation," he said. "So, the cost of everything has gone up, the cost of gas, the cost of rental cars, the cost of used cars over the last 18 months or two years really spike with the cost of used cars going up and so all of that is playing a role in what we're seeing right now."
6 News asked Central Texans on Facebook if they've experienced the countrywide hike.
Lulu Shelton posted a comment saying her auto insurance rate with Geico went up nearly 100 dollars in a 6 month span.
Claire Thompson saw an increase too. She commented on the Facebook post saying her provider told her that her rate increase is because parts prices are up, as well as the cost of repairs.
Johnson said that is one contributing factor and so is inflation overall.
"The technology and the safety features that we all want in our cars have impacted insurance rates because the value and the cost to repair those vehicles," he explained.
Johnson also added that the increase in catalytic converter thefts isn't helping either. That is why him and his team are closely watching a proposed bill in the Texas legislature that would make the theft a stricter crime. He says it would protect consumers more when it comes to insurance premiums.
Johnson tells 6 News he thinks the amount of people moving to Texas could be playing a roll on the hike, too -- based on how premiums are determined.
"When you're paying your premiums that is all based on what's going on in your area, so there may be increased accidents in your area and so your area is more of a risk and so the insurance companies are trying to predict that risk for the future," he said.
If you're dealing with an unexpected rate hike, Johnson said the best thing you can do is not settle and look elsewhere.
"If you are getting your renewals and you're seeing that rate increase, get out there and shop around," he added. "We have a strong insurance market here in Texas, and there's going to be a company that's right for you."
Some other tips from Johnson to lower your interest rates include:
- Look into raising your deductible if you can afford it.
- Take a defensive driving course as some insurance companies will give you a discount for doing so.
- If you have students on your policy and they make good grades, let your provider know because some insurance companies have "good student discounts."
- Make sure your insurance company is aware of all the safety features that might be on your car.
- Bundle your policies if you have multiple.
- Visit this website to shop around for the best rates.