Bad driving and weather blamed for rising rates, Insurance Council of Texas says

Insurance Council of Texas says rates are on the rise

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Insurance Council of Texas said multiple factors have contributed to a steady climb in the price of home and car insurance in the years since the pandemic.

Rich Johnson, the council’s community director of communications and public affairs, said insurance companies have slowly been raising rates since 2021.

He said there was a 20% increase going into 2021, and an additional jump of 10-15% going into 2023. Johnson said that change in price is in an effort for companies to recoup losses seen during the pandemic.

“Those COVID years where there was pressure to keep rates down are kind of catching up to us now. So for the most part, most insurers are going to be raising premiums,” Johnson said.

Johnson said since the COVID-19 lockdowns, drivers have returned to the road with bad habits like speeding and distracted driving which has caused more accidents and insurance claims.

He said those repairs are made even more expensive for insurance companies because of how much technology is in modern-era vehicles.

“10 years ago when you rear-ended, say an F-150, the best-selling car in Texas, it was a steel bumper. You hit that, it dents, it was fine,” Johnson said. “But now it’s plastics, the whole bumper needs to be replaced, there’s probably five or six sensors there sometimes and a backup camera.”

Austin resident Riley Anderson said he signed up for his insurance policy when he purchased his car in 2021. During our interview, Anderson checked his insurance payments which have been on auto-draft. He was surprised by what he found.

“It was $180 for me and my fiancé and I haven’t looked at it until this interview. Now it’s up $50 per month than it was when I signed up two years ago,” Anderson said.

As for homes, Johnson said the rising costs of building materials have made the rate to insure those homes increase as well. Also, extreme weather in the state has also caused more damage to homes in recent years, triggering more insurance claims.

Johnson said there can be multiple types of discounts drivers may qualify for and recommends owners to shop around multiple providers, and consult the Texas Department of Insurance website for advice.

“It’s a competitive market, it’s a competitive business. So go out there and shop,” Johnson said.

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