Auto Insurance Concerns

Attorneys handling auto insurance problems will see situations where a person has their insurance raised after a claim.  This is sometimes done in violation of Texas laws.  The Washington Post published an article in February 2018, that deals with auto insurance rates.  It is titled, Auto Insurance Rates Have Skyrocketed – And In Ways That Are Wildly Unfair.  Here is what the article tells us.

Auto insurance rates have increased at more than twice the rate of inflation recently.  Nationally, the rates are $1,427.  Catastrophic weather caused some of the increase in 2017.  Ineffective state regulators also contribute by not holding auto insurance companies in check.

Consumer advocates say insurers have become adept at using Big Data to set rates for drivers using formulas that are complex and sometimes hidden from view.  In the crazy, mixed-up world of car insurance, credit ratings and college diplomas can have a bigger bearing on car insurance premiums than someone’s driving record.  The people most often hurt are low-income drivers who can least afford to buy state-mandated insurance, they say.

The Zebra, a website that allows people to shop for auto insurance, analyzed more than 50 million quotes to compile its annual report of state auto insurance rates.  The report says auto insurance rates have climbed more than 20 percent since 2011.  Among its findings are these:

  • The city with the most expensive car insurance rates is Detroit ($5,414); the least expensive car insurance is in Winston-Salem, N.C. ($774).  D.C. had an average rate of $1,464 compared with $1,240 in Maryland.  Virginia’s was $901, second-lowest in the nation.
  • A person with a poor credit score — between 300 and 579 — will pay substantially more for car insurance compared with someone whose score is above 800.  Substantial, as in more than $1,400 more.
  • Insurance companies have not appreciably lowered rates for people who participate in programs that provide virtually real-time data on their driving habits.  The report found that people whose rates were set after factoring in telematics programs — which monitor drivers through their smartphones or devices plugged into their vehicles — had average premiums of about $1,415 compared with $1,427 for people who didn’t.
  • Refusing to submit to a DUI or chemical test will jack up your insurance by nearly $1,100.
  • A teacher will pay more for car insurance than a firefighter — or a lawyer, who pays less than both.  People who are unemployed pay the most.
  • A PhD will pay about $44 less on car insurance than someone without a high school diploma.
  • Insurance rates drop about 6 percent when a single person gets married, for a savings of about $80 a year.
  • Homeowners pay less on car insurance than renters, especially when bundling auto coverage with home insurance.  A homeowner can save as much as 9.5 percent this way, compared with 5.4 percent for a renter.
  • The difference between rates for men and women is “insignificant,” or less than 1 percent, the report says.  Men paid a bit more in 2016; women are paying more now.
  • Neither safety features nor anti-theft features did much to lower rates.  It may be because those technologies — devices that warn if you drift from your lane, or parking assists — are expensive, thereby raising the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • A ticket for texting and driving could cause your premium to rise about 16 percent on average — a lot more than the percentage impact of less than 1 percent in 2011.

In Texas, it is illegal for an insurance company to raise rates based on not-at-fault claims.  An exception to this would be situations where a person has multiple claims,and is thus considered a high risk.

Often times a letter from an insurance lawyer attorney will get an improper rate corrected.

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