HomeCar InsuranceCOLUMN: Simple tips to help minimize rising car insurance rates | Columnists

COLUMN: Simple tips to help minimize rising car insurance rates | Columnists

Do you get a pit in your stomach every time you open your car insurance renewal notice? You’re not alone. Auto insurance premiums have risen by over 22% over the past year, according to the Consumer Price Index figures released this spring. The surge in car insurance rates over the past year is a culmination of various factors, ranging from the cost of vehicle repairs to the increase in vehicle theft incidents.

Escalating vehicle repair costs is one of the main reasons for the increase. Newer vehicles come equipped with a multitude of advanced technologies and require parts and professionals which are significantly more expensive. Car repair costs are up nearly 12% according to the CPI.

Rising medical costs also contribute to the spike in car insurance premiums. Hospital and hospital related services showed an increase of 3.5%. As healthcare costs increase, insurers must likewise adjust their rates to meet their financial obligations.

Near record levels of vehicle theft are also a reason for rising insurance costs. Last year, over 1 million vehicle theft incidents were reported. Texas  had the second highest number of vehicle thefts with over 115,000 incidents reported.

“There is little we can do control the rising costs of vehicle repairs or medical costs,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Central East Texas said. “But there may be some actions you can take which could help you lower your insurance premiums.”

Make sure you have a clean driving record.

Insurance companies typically reward safe drivers with lower insurance premiums. A record which is free of accidents, traffic violations, and insurance claims may put you in a “low-risk” category and may earn you a lower rate.

Ask about discounts.

Your insurance company may offer discounts if your vehicle has an anti-theft device such as an alarm or tracking system or if they have other safety features like an immobilizer system or other theft-prevention equipment.

Bundle several policies.

If you maintain other types of insurance, you may be able to save money by having one company manage all of them.

Shop around.

Not all companies have the same pricing models, so it is worth it to compare quotes from several insurance providers to find the most competitive rate for your situation.

Remember that insurance rates can vary significantly depending on factors such as your location, the type of vehicle you drive, and other personal circumstances. Review and update your policy on a regular basis, use BBB’s Get A Quote tool to shop for quotes, and go to bbb.org to find insurance companies you can trust.

More resources

For more tips to help you manage expenses for your vehicle, check out our Consumer Headquarters. Visit BBB’s auto HQ for more auto resources and tips.

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.

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