Will Texans’ car insurance premiums increase after ice storm?

Madeleine Cook/mcook@star-telegram.com

Texas car insurance premiums will not increase because of this week’s storm, says the Insurance Council of Texas, but they are trending upwards for 2023 due to other factors.

“Rates and premiums aren’t increasing based on a singular event,” said Insurance Council of Texas spokesperson Rich Johnson. “It’s really kind of the totality of what’s going on in the area. Insurance companies look at a particular area, and start pricing for the various risks that are in that area.”

In 2022, there was an average of 20% increase in Texas insurance rates, according to the council. Another 8 to 10% increase is expected in 2023.

Johnson attributes the increase to inflation, automobile repair and replacement costs, supply chain issues, increased labor costs and increased rental car costs.

“A bumper used to be a steel bumper that you bolted on the back of a truck,” Johnson says. “And now there’s five sensors and cameras and the tail light might be $1,000 instead of $50 bucks.”

In the meantime, Johnson recommends car owners work with their insurance professional to make sure that they have a policy that not only meets your budget, but also protects you in case the worst happens. If you don’t need to make a claim, now is a good time to check your insurance and make sure you have the right coverage.

“Right now, we’re seeing quite a few uninsured or underinsured motorists getting into accidents. People tend to want to obviously save money however and they’ll drop to just the state minimums on liability, but they won’t have that collision insurance,” Johnson said. “That underinsured or uninsured motorist, in case somebody hits them, doesn’t have insurance or not enough insurance. So it’s really risky to go out there with not enough insurance to cover your medical bills or somebody else’s medical bills or damage that’s done to your vehicle.”