Texas Auto Insurance Rates Hike
Auto insurance premiums have increased throughout the United States since 2009 due to the increase in repairing damaged vehicles. In 2010,Texas ranked 11th highest with an average annual premium of $1022, then improved standings to 24th highest at $1462.65 annually according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. During this same time period, 2009-2011, the national annual average premium was $901 in 2009 and approximately $1428 in 2011.
Factors That Affect Auto Insurance Rates
According to Insure.com, Texas, currently ranking 24th, is right in the middle of Louisana drivers paying the most for car insurance and Maine drivers paying the least amount. The average costs annually is determined by the payouts insurance companies make to policyholders, not necessarily according to the number of accidents. Louisiana rates are higher because most legal cases are settled out of court, usually for a higher dollar amount than if settled by a jury trial. In Maine, highways are not as crowded due to the low commuter mileage of the insured policyholders. Nationwide, cost of replacement parts by collision centers is the leading factor in repair costs while the cost of labor has remained stable. As the low commuter miles in Maine has kept their rates lower, commuter miles in Texas are high, especially in the larger cities of Houston, Dallas and Austin, therefore insurance costs more.
Driving while impaired or texting plus population density and excessive speed are contributing factors to the increase in insurance costs. Texans are known for their preference of four-wheel drive vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs. These vehicles are expensive to maintain and expensive to repair. They also cause more damage to property and other vehicles as well as bodily harm to pedestrians, other drivers and passengers.
If you intend to drive a vehicle in Texas competition is healthy in the vehicle insurance industry. In 2011, over 200 companies offered auto insurance in one of the most competitive markets in America. Insurance companies now work cooperatively with auto body shops to facilitate collision claims quickly and efficiently.
Often times the cost of auto insurance is driven by statistics resulting in youthfulness penalized for poor driving skills, but insured motorists in Texas have some control when it comes to vehicle insurance. Adverse statistics of insured motorists adversely affect the cost of insurance while good habits are recognized with discounts.
The highest rates are charged single women younger than 21 years of age and men less than 25 years of age. Most insurance companies recognize the driving experience of mature drivers over 50 years of age with safe driver discounts. Other factors which may adversely affect insurance rates are:
- Primary use of vehicle: Insurance for pleasure driving is less than insurance for vehicles used for business or driven to and from work.
- Vehicle type: Sports and luxury vehicles cost more to repair resulting in higher premiums.
- Primary address: Vehicles driven in urban areas are more likely to be involved in an accident or be stolen than vehicles in rural areas.
- Insurance lapse: Insurance companies charge extra fees to motorists when uninsured for more than 30 days before the consumer arranged for coverage.
- Credit history: Consumer credit scores determine what to charge and often determines whether to accept an application for insurance or not. Better credit scores reflect less risk to insurance companies, so premiums cost less.
How Texas Drivers Can Lower Premiums
Auto insurance consumers in Texas can decrease their premiums by maintaining a good driving record. Drivers can reduce insurance premiums by participating in defensive driving or skid classes. Parents can claim discounts for their young drivers that complete driver education courses, maintain good grades, and are not driving while attending school away from home. Overall cost of vehicle and homeowner insurance is often discounted when kept current with the same underwriter, especially with renewals and with multiple vehicles on the same policy. Vehicles with anti-theft devices and anti-lock brakes are recognized with discounts, too.