Austin is growing fast. In 2016 the city registered the ninth largest metro-area growth in the United States, as an average of 159 people moved to the city each day.
The city’s economy is one of the strongest in the US, but with more people working here, the downside is an expected increase in the cost of living. By 2020 average rents are forecast to rise by 11 percent from their 2017 prices.
When it comes to auto insurance, rates across Texas are higher than the national average. Thankfully drivers in Austin pay less for auto insurance than in other Texas cities like Houston. But more people equals more drivers and this can, in turn, mean higher auto insurance rates.
So, why is car insurance so expensive? It’s to do with a combination of factors that affect auto premiums, and some of them to do with where you live.
With auto insurance rates rising across America is there anything you can do to save money on car insurance in Austin?
Car insurance in Austin vs other cities
Analysis by the website Value Penguin suggests that drivers in Austin pay more than the state average – but not by much.
Auto rates in Austin are 7 percent higher than the Texas average. But San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas are all higher still. All of these also have higher populations, are more densely populated, and have a higher proportions of residents who drive to work every day.
Unsurprisingly this means more traffic. But drivers in Austin actually rank in the top 20 in North America for time spent in traffic.
Natural disasters in Austin
A recent study showed that severe rainfall in Austin is expected to happen more frequently than previously believed. This will cause the floodplain to expand.
The Austin area is also known as “Flash Flood Alley” due to historic storms in the past that caused millions in property damage. Because of this, car insurance can be more expensive due to insurance companies paying out comprehensive claims.
Saving money on car insurance
Rates are rising across America for a variety of reasons. Not everything is determined by where you live.
So if you’re left asking why your car insurance rates went up, here are some steps you can take.
1. Shop around
Getting rates from multiple insurers is the key to saving money on car insurance. Shopping around lets you see what different companies will offer you. You also get a better sense of the kind of coverage you need.
Of course, shopping around isn’t fun – we’re talking about buying auto insurance after all.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it yourself. Look for services that can provide you with quotes from different providers based on your insurance needs.
The Cover mobile app will get you an auto insurance quote in minutes. Download the app, answer a few short questions, and Cover will scan over 30 different providers to get you the best rate. Not only are we an insurance brokerage, but we’re now managing our own auto insurance program here in Texas.
2. Increase your deductible
There’s a direct relationship between higher premiums and a lower deductible. This makes it a straightforward route to lower auto insurance costs.
Remember that if you do get in an accident, the money you might have saved from lower premiums would quickly be offset by the higher deductible.
3. Reduce types of coverage
Figure out what types of car insurance you need. Once your car reaches a certain age or gets enough miles on the clock, the depreciation means having full coverage isn’t worth it.
If you have an older car (itself another way to potentially save money), then consider the trade-off between liability vs. full coverage as a way of potentially reducing costs.
4. Watch your credit score
Your credit score can have a big impact on your driving costs. While credit scores might not seem like a great predictor of your driving habits, but insurance companies still use it.
This is a practice we view as unfair and are pushing to change. But for the time being, improving and maintaining a good credit score will help keep your premiums down.
5. Cut down on driving
Your driving habits do play a part. The less you drive, the less time you spend on the road to be in an accident. This means you are less of a risk, and therefore, could pay lower premiums.
When you are in your car, If you need any extra incentive to drive safely remember that tickets and insurance claims can also push up your premiums.
6. Bundle insurance
If you need other types of insurance, such as renters or homeowners, getting it through the same carrier will get you a multi-policy discount. A home and auto insurance bundle is the most common.
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