Auto insurance rates spike 26%: How to save despite the squeeze

Are rising insurance rates putting the squeeze on your budget? Bankrate reports they're up 26% since last year.

"It has, between the car and house, insurance has been a big issue," said one driver we talked to named Diane.

FOX 26 Houston is now on the FOX LOCAL app available through Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku and Google Android TV!

"We might have to go back to horse and buggy, to the olden days, because that was cheap," suggested another driver named Paula.  

The average cost of auto insurance is now about $2500 a year for full coverage, $741 for minimum.  

So what's driving it up?

David Sampson of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association says it's due to inflation and the higher cost of parts and repairs.

"Auto labor repair costs have increased 20% over the last five years. Auto parts costs have increased 40% over the last five years," explained David Sampson of APCIA.


Not to mention, he says, more distracted driving, up 23% since 2020, and more reckless driving.

"Even as DUI's have decreased and social awareness has increased on that, socially unacceptable prescription drugs, recreational marijuana, all of those factors have led to significant increases in auto accident frequency and severity," said Sampson.

Drivers of smart cars need to be aware their rates could be impacted by the way they drive.  

A recent New York Times report found that automakers are sharing consumer driving behavior with insurance companies, such as whether a driver speeds.

"What people have to understand about today's cars is that they're kind of like rolling computers. They're gathering a lot of data. They have a lot of intelligence inside of them. They're connected. They're often connected to the cell network or, you know, at home, they might be connected to Wi-Fi, then collecting data. And then the question is, did you sign off and say that the data you collect could be uploaded and sold to a third party?" said Lance Ulanoff of TechRadar.

MORE SMART SENSE: How to negotiate a lower rent: Tips for saving

It is not illegal for a carmaker to sell your data if you opted in when you bought it.  But you can go back to that automaker and opt out.

Other ways to cut your insurance premiums are:

  • Improve your credit score
  • Shop around for lower rates
  • Bundle with home or renter's insurance
  • Ask for mileage-based plans if you don't drive that much
  • Lowering deductibles or consider trading in your vehicle for a lower-cost model