State auto and homeowner's insurance average rates rose at the third-fastest clip in the nation over two eight-year periods, and now exceed the national average, reports show.
Worse yet, consumers can expect this year's storms to trigger even more rate increases over the next few years, said
"The scary part of this is that in
A hailstorm early
The economic impact of the two Springs-area hailstorms likely will be felt for months, as body shops, roofing contractors and glass vendors are backed up with repairs. Vehicle sales surge after major hailstorms, as drivers replace cars and trucks that their insurers declared destroyed. One 50-acre parcel near the
Homeowner insurance rates have risen faster than auto rates, and exceeded the national average by nearly 18 percent, says a study released in March on homeowner rates from 2007-2015 by
Average rates in
The biggest increases in
That big rise resulted from natural disasters — not only hail, but also high winds, wildfires and floods, said
Vehicle owners haven't been spared the pain of rapidly increasing insurance rates either. Average auto premiums in
The Zebra said weather played a big role in rising auto insurance rates, including a
"Population centers are expanding, making some areas that were once rural into suburban neighborhoods. So hail is now falling on homes in areas that were farms or ranches 10 to 15 years ago" Gaimmanco said. "The average home size also has increased from about 1,500 to 1,700 square feet 30 years ago to more than 2,500 square feet in 2015. Adding to that, you also have more cars per family unit to insure."
Plymell, the state insurance division spokesman, also blamed higher auto and homeowner insurance rates on population growth — with more people living in
Walker, of the insurance trade group, said cars and homes are more expensive to repair or replace, especially cars equipped with sensors and electronic gear. A damaged bumper on a newer car costs more to replace because that bumper has a camera to show the driver what's behind.
Policyholders can keep their rates from increasing as much by raising their deductible levels, the dollar amount at which insurance coverage kicks in, Walker said. Another way to reduce premiums is to consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage and keeping only liability coverage for older vehicles that are worth only a few thousand dollars.