AUSTIN, Texas — With the rising cost of goods and services affecting consumers across the board, insurance premiums are no exception. Recent data indicates an increase in auto insurance costs, but there are strategies to help keep those premiums lower.
Austin resident Ronnie Huynh has observed a concerning pattern with his auto insurance bill – a consistent rise every six months, despite having a clean driving record, low mileage, and both drivers in his household working from home. He questions why he’s paying more for driving less and joins others in seeking answers.
Katie Gold, Head of Agency at The Zebra, an Austin-based insurance price comparison website, highlights the current trend. While typical annual increases range from two to five per cent, consumers are now experiencing jumps of 17 to 20 per cent. Gold attributes much of this increase to inflation, driven by rising technology and medical costs, which insurers pass on to policyholders.
The escalating expense of new cars and advanced vehicle technology contributes to the overall cost. Even minor accidents become costlier due to the increased expense of replacing technologically sophisticated parts. Factors like severe weather events in Central Texas, resulting in numerous insurance claims, also impact costs, affecting all regional policyholders.
To mitigate the impact of rising premiums, there are several steps consumers can take:
- Bundle multiple policies, such as home and auto, for potential discounts.
- Opt for a higher deductible to secure a lower premium.
- Pay the annual premium upfront for a discount.
- Maintain continuous coverage without lapses.
- Ensure timely payment of other bills.
- Explore safe driving rewards programs like telematics to earn discounts.
Gold emphasizes the potential savings through telematics programs, where drivers can be monitored for safe driving habits. While paying more for the same or reduced coverage is unwelcome, Gold encourages consumers to shop around, ensuring that their insurance policy and cost align with their needs.