Experts say now could be a good time to shop around for auto insurance as rates are expected to rise this year.
Several factors are driving that increase, including an increase in dangerous driving the US has seen since the start of the pandemic, driving up the cost of claims.
Another factor is the shortage of cars and car parts, which makes repair or replacement of cars more expensive.
Inflation also plays a role.
“By the end of last year, we were basically back to the normal auto insurance rate, so I think with inflation this year, we’re probably going to see it go up around normal amounts, maybe a little bit more depending on how much inflation is. really drives business,” said Penny Gusner, insurance analyst at Forbes Advisor.
Gusner says an average annual increase is about 5%.
Gusner adds that drivers looking to buy a new car may want to consider gap insurance. If a vehicle is totaled or stolen after the car’s value has fallen, drivers may owe more than the car’s value. Gap insurance covers that difference.
Gusner says drivers can also expect more companies to offer usage-based auto insurance this year.
“I think people are more used to being controlled and doing things virtually,” she said. “It’s becoming more popular and it can really help, as insurance companies put more emphasis on your actual driving than on other things, like credit or gender, which are factors they’re trying to get rid of right now.”
With usage-based insurance, companies let customers connect a device to their car or use an app that allows them to track a person’s driving. Gusner says most companies will give drivers a 5-10% discount for signing up. Many companies claim that drivers receive a total discount of 20 to 40%, but that does not mean that drivers will save that much, she says.
Gusner says usage-based insurance is probably best for good drivers, those who don’t drive much, and those who don’t work nights, because companies take into account the time of day when making their analysis.