Car insurance rates are skyrocketing, but why?

HOUSTON – Some drivers may or may not have noticed, car insurance rates are going up, but why is that?

It seems to be a combination of pre-pandemic price points and traffic levels together making a comeback.

This year, car insurance rates nationwide went up almost 17% during the month of May, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

To get the best rate, you need to shop for it.

“Your insurer doesn’t have a rate or a rate for your county or zip code, they have hundreds of rates,” says Stephanie Goodman of the Texas Department of Insurance.

Wide, empty roads and bad driving habits were the perfect ingredients for reckless driving during the pandemic. In Harris County alone, almost 18,000 speeding tickets were issued last year.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the number of deadly crashes in the U.S. increased by 7% last year, distracted driving and speeding among the reasons to blame.

Here’s what you can do

  • Think about your own personal situation: Experts say you can always ask for a discount just like we saw people do during the pandemic when insurance companies gave back almost $14 billion in premiums.
    • “So maybe you’re still working from home, or you have a hybrid, you don’t go to the office as much as you did before, a usage-based policy may work better for you,” Goodman said.
  • Drivers have to keep a close eye on these rates as we approach fall when students go back to school, people head back to work, and folks who use to ride mass transit will now begin driving themselves to work. As driving situations change, premium rates should too. You don’t have to be stuck to the same premium when your needs are different than they were before.
  • For more information on how to calculate an estimated auto insurance rate, click here.

About the Author:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.