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The unexpected impact of climate change in Texas: skyrocketing car insurance rates

Written by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/katie-dee/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Katie Dee</span></a>
Written by Katie Dee
Written by Katie Dee
Edited by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/alyssa-dicrasto/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Alyssa DiCrasto</span></a>
Edited by Alyssa DiCrasto
Edited by Alyssa DiCrasto
Published on 2024-02-27

Read time: 3 min

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From record breaking heat waves to massive ice storms, Texas has been the location of 44% of all billion-dollar climate and weather-related disasters that took place in the United States between 1980 and 2022. As the rate of climate change continues to climb, instances of severe weather and natural disasters in the state will only increase. One unexpected consequence of this will be an increase in auto insurance rates.

Texas car insurance rates

According to Rate Retriever’s quarterly report, the average yearly premium for car insurance in Texas is $1,886, just under 4% more expensive than the national average. However, this amount varies depending on your zip code.

Currently, the cheapest zip code for car insurance in Texas is 76543 in Killeen with an average premium of $1,498 per year. Conversely, the most expensive zip code is 75224 in Dallas with an estimated annual premium of $2,399.

To determine your insurance rate, providers consider several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, your age, your driving record, and your location. This information helps insurance companies determine how likely it is that you will file a claim, and climate change has caused heightened levels of risk in the Lone Star State.

Climate change and car insurance

The winter of 2023 brought Texas its largest ice storm on record. In the most affected areas, the storm brought upwards of 0.75 inches of ice and caused several blackouts across the state due to down powerlines. Additionally, millions of trees were damaged as their branches broke off and littered the road. Needless to say, this severely impacted driving conditions across the state.

On the other end of the spectrum, the summer of 2023 was the hottest in Texas’ recorded history, leading to over 300 heat related deaths in the state. Dangerously high temperatures like this can lead to slower cognition and, as a result, bad driving habits. All of this leads to an increased likelihood of being involved in an accident.

Car insurance companies will raise rates to better protect themselves against the increased frequency of claims that will inevitably come as a result of these weather extremes. However, all hope is not lost for Texas drivers. You are still in control of several factors impacting your car insurance rates, and there are numerous methods at your disposal to be sure you are getting the cheapest price possible.

Saving money on Texas car insurance

One of the most useful tips to be sure you never overpay for car insurance is to comparison shop. Your rates will look different from every insurance company due to specific guidelines each one sets forth. Researching what your premium will look like at several different insurance companies in your area will ensure that you are truly getting the lowest rate. Take our 30-second quiz to see rate estimates for providers near you.

Another method for saving money on Texas car insurance is to take a defensive driving course. Numerous car insurance companies such as Progressive and Nationwide offer discounts to drivers who take these online courses. Completing one of these courses serves as proof that you are up to date on safe driving practices and, therefore, less likely to file a claim.

Improving your credit score is another avenue to try and lower your car insurance rates. Research has shown that drivers with a low credit score are more likely to file a car insurance claim, and providers in most states take this into account when determining your premium. Consistently making on time payments on your credit card will help to raise your score and lower your car insurance premium.

Lastly, raising your deductible can help to cut down on your monthly payments. However, this might not be the smartest choice for every driver. Raising your deductible can help to save you money in the short term, but it also means you will be accepting more financial responsibility if you ever need to file an insurance claim. Consider this risk carefully before changing your deductible to be sure that you won’t regret the choice down the line.

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