Insurance Comparison Shopping for 2017
Do you currently have a car insurance policy? What about homeowners insurance? Or are you an apartment dweller, and currently holding a renter’s insurance policy? No matter which one of these products you have, it’s important to comparison shop on a regular basis for new quotes. Circumstances that could alter your premium change all the time, and sometimes they aren’t even yours. Natural disasters, company restructuring, agencies going out of business or merging with other entities, and even the demographics of your zip code could result in you getting a better rate with a different insurance provider.
To give you an idea of how the industry is changing, we’ve gathered average rates for the three most popular types of insurance – auto, homeowners, and renters insurance – in various parts of the country. If you haven’t switched insurance companies in a while, or even bothered to check if there’s a better price out there for you, then this is an article you need to read. It’ll give you an idea of whether you’re still getting a good deal on your insurance – or whether you need to look for greener pastures.
Car Insurance: 2017
Even as recently as within the last three to five years, the auto insurance industry has been dealing with some major changes. Between the increase in ride-sharing services, the recent explosion of automated vehicle technology, and the fact that there are more older cars on the road today than there are new vehicles, it’s harder for insurance companies to guess who is and isn’t an expensive risk. This could spook companies into charging everyone across the board more in order to maintain their profits.
The chart above clearly shows how rates are fluctuating in both the most expensive and the least expensive states. We’ve compared them side-by-side to give you a better visual of exactly how extreme these fluctuations are. And the bad news is that these extremes may not balance themselves out anytime soon. If you’re living in a state where it’s relatively inexpensive to maintain auto insurance, then consider yourself lucky. But don’t get too comfortable; as it becomes harder and harder for insurance companies to determine what to charge which drivers and where, the affordability of your monthly premium may change.
Another way that your car insurance rate will change over time has to do with your age. As you grow older and gain more experience behind the wheel, you’re that much less likely to get into an accident. But as we said, the roads are changing. If you are middle-aged and have a good driving record, you’re still considered one of the safest drivers on the road today and will likely get the most affordable rate from your insurer.
However, you may notice some gradual price hikes over the next few years. This is because the two highest risk groups of drivers – teenagers, and the elderly – are going to make the roads more dangerous in the years to come. The baby boomer generation, the most populous generation in America’s history, is just now transitioning into retirement age. This means that there’s a greater number of elderly drivers on the road than ever before, raising the risk of an accident.
Then there’s teenage drivers. Granted, in the last decade, states have passed stricter GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing) laws, which helps keep the youngest and the riskiest of teenagers from getting behind the wheel. But this doesn’t change the fact that teenagers these days aren’t getting the comprehensive driving education that young people received in years past. Driver’s education courses are being systematically eliminated from the public school system all across the country. This means teenagers must rely upon their parents to teach them how to drive, or pay for private lessons. in many states, driving schools lack certification and regulation – which means there’s no guarantee whatsoever that teenagers are learning what they need to learn in order to drive safely. So it seems like rates for young drivers aren’t going down anytime soon.
Homeowners Insurance: 2017
If the environment for safe driving is only getting worse, it’s not looking too great for homeowners, either. Sea levels are on the rise – and so is home ownership in coastal areas. All the while, it doesn’t look like natural disasters, whether inland or out at sea, are becoming less severe or infrequent any time soon. This means that many homeowners across the country should be bracing themselves for the unpleasant reality that they’ll be filing more claims in the future, and more frequently, too. And they’ll likely become increasingly expensive.
Notice a pattern in the chart above? The most expensive states to maintain a homeowners insurance policy in are located in the south, as well as along coastal areas. The most affordable, on the other hand, are mainly inland and located in northern, stable climates. The fear of risk is most clearly reflected in the price difference between Idaho and Florida. It’s nearly 400% more expensive to maintain an HO-3 policy in the Sunshine State than the Gem state. And it’s not difficult to see why.
Renter’s Insurance: 2017
Over the last decade or so, renters insurance has taken a bigger and bigger slice of the property insurance pie. Between astronomical housing costs, the increasing convenience of living in densely populated urban areas, and the simple fact that renting your living space is more cost-effective than owning your own home these days, it’s no surprise that more and more companies are offering renter’s insurance. Since people who rent are usually ensuring less property, both in quantity and dollar amount, monthly premiums for renters insurance are lower in 2017 than they’ve ever been.
No matter where you live in the country – weather East Coast or West Coast, weather in the North or the South – renter’s insurance costs are relatively uniform. This is because renter’s insurance only covers the property that you keep in your living space, and it only pays out claims in the event of a few very specific disasters. This means that, no matter what happens to your belongings, you are a relatively low financial risk to your renter’s insurance company. This gives them the flexibility to offer you an extremely affordable rate.
There are exceptions, however. Very expensive property – such as jewelry or electronics – will require additional coverage, which will increase your monthly premium. And there are certain disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, which aren’t commonly covered on most renter’s insurance policies. If you happen to live in an area where specific disasters are more common, be sure to discuss this with your renters insurance agent so that you can craft a policy that is tailored to your special needs.
The past few years have been volatile for the insurance industry. Between an uptick in natural disasters and an increase in potentially unsafe driving conditions, protecting your personal property is more important than ever. If you’re ready to get a low quote on a new policy for your car, home, or apartment this year, use our quote generator tool to shop around for the best rate near you.