HOUSTON – Whether you’re paying for gas, groceries or insurance, our wallets are feeling the burn. Is there a way you can cut costs on premiums without lowering your auto insurance coverage? Yes, according to a Houston-based insurance agent and broker.
Right now, some 20% of Texas drivers are uninsured. Texans with insurance pay almost $900 million a year to protect themselves from these people, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
The state launched TexasSure, an online database designed to reduce the number of uninsured drivers, ultimately cutting costs for drivers with insurance.
Jessica Fuentes is a broker with Brazos Insurance Agency.
“In our local area here in Houston, lots of people drive without insurance,” Fuentes said.
Fuentes said this is a contributing factor to why more than half of all drivers have seen an increase on their auto insurance premiums. William Davis, a State Farm Insurance agent, agrees.
“I would say between 65 and 70% of our customers,” explained Davis.
Davis said people have seen a premium increase because of inflation and pandemic and post-pandemic habits.
“People were not driving so between rebates we gave them as well as lowering premiums across every state. But now as we aim to match the price with risk, people are getting out on the road again, be it for work or travel for vacation, and premiums had to gradually increase as a function of that,” according to Davis. “The consumer price index, which is the general gauge of inflation, has been coming down for the past four months, and if that continues to come down, perhaps the price to procure workers, as well as parts, might come off.”
Here’s the way you can cut your costs without cutting your coverage.
“First thing is, keep a clear record. Secondly, speak to your agents. We have a multitude of discounts that we can offer you that can help mute some of that price increase,” explained Davis.
Depending on the insurance company, will depend on the discounts; but many offer reductions for young drivers, those who participate in driving courses and defensive driving courses, good grades for students and bundling more than one policy, like homeowners, renters, life or business through the same insurance company.
“One of our biggest discounts is the drive safe and save program. It monitors your driving, driving habits. The biggest input is miles traveled on a six-month basis, but we also look at your accelerating and braking, cornering, etc. You initially get a 10% discount on that one, but it can go up to 50% when you re-rate every six months,” explained Davis.
The bottom line is the more responsible of a driver you are, the more you can save with this program and others. But could that program increase your rate? Davis said it could, but the asymmetry is favorable to you. The information aggerated from this device is not being shared with other insurance companies.