2017’s Impact on Texas Car Insurance in 2018

The weather was a major story line in Texas and national news during 2017. As I mentioned on Tuesday’s post, north Texas was pounded by golf ball to baseball sized hail a couple of times last spring and early summer followed by Hurricane Harvey’s lashing and flooding rainfall of the Texas coast.

Early estimates indicated tens of thousands of vehicles in north Texas were pinged by hail and some people estimated the total number of vehicles suffering damage from Harvey’s flooding and winds was between 500,000 and 1,000,000 vehicles. Let’s examine what both events may do to Texas car insurance rates this year.

Damage to a vehicle from hail or flooding is covered if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive, or other than collision, coverage applies when a car is damage by fire, theft, falling objects, hitting an animal, as well as hail and flooding. If you have comprehensive or other than collision coverage, then you’re covered in events such as these. This is an inexpensive coverage to add if you don’t have it.

Given the number of vehicles damaged in these severe weather events, I believe rates may be impacted in one of two ways:

  • Rate Increases – I’ve begun to see sharp rate increases for my clients in north Texas who live in areas where the hail storms occurred. Rates are jumping 20% to 40% depending on the carrier. I expect this trend will continue for many, but not all carriers throughout 2018.
  • Comprehensive – Another way to raise rates is to adjust the cost carriers charge for a specific line of coverage such as comprehensive coverage. I haven’t noticed if the price of comprehensive coverage has jumped, but I would not be surprised if this occurs.

Ultimately, I expect most north Texas drivers to pay more for car insurance in 2018 than we did last year. I also expect drivers who live in Houston, the surrounding areas, and along the coast to pay more this year, although I haven’t seen rates jump as much. This should become more noticeable over the next several months. Wherever you live in Texas, be sure to review your car insurance renewal statement and compare it to other options. There’s no reason to pay more than you should.

Share your comments, questions, or what you experienced in last year’s weather with me on my Facebook, Google +, or LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks!

Ed Wise

Wise Insurance Group

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