Uninsured Drivers Largely to Blame for Auto Premium Hikes
POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 12:03pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 9:53am
Auto insurance rates in Texas are among the highest in the nation.
A report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that the Lone Star state ranks 11th in the country.
News Center 23's Na'Tassia Finley shows us how Cameron County drivers play a role in this statistic.
You may be a responsible driver, but what about the person driving next to you? Chances are they're one of the reasons for a rate increase to your auto insurance premium.
"In the valley we do have a lot of uninsured motorists," says Ernie Hernandez, a Farmer’s Insurance agent.
Hernandez says four out of every ten drivers do not carry auto insurance coverage.
There are several variables that factor into why rates rise, but uninsured motorists and their accidents definitely play a big part. Those of us who religiously pay our premiums are having to, more or less, foot the bill for those who get behind the wheel and wreck, that don't have insurance.
"About 80 percent of the claims coming through my agency are based on uninsured motorist claims, either, a hit-and-run or they just got in an accident with someone who didn't have insurance," says Hernandez.
A study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that as the cost to fix these damaged vehicle increases, insurance companies are having to raise their rates in order to maintain profitability and pay out claims. So you, the driver, who pays your insurance, and has a great driving record, sometimes suffers.
The Farmer's Insurance agent notes a popular trend here in the valley.
"A lot of people get insurance for one month, go get their license plates and then just let their insurance lapse," says Hernandez.
Auto insurance rates here in Cameron County as it is, are some of the highest in the state. Our close proximity to Mexico and vehicles thefts, is to blame.
"I think I've had in my seven years here, of being an agent, I've had one car recovered," says Hernandez.
Hernandez adds one of the toughest parts of the job is telling a client with a near perfect driving record that their rate is going up by $20-bucks a month due to no fault of their own.