From groceries to gas, it seems like we’re paying more for everything these days. Now insurance rates are increasing as well. Why is this happening, and more importantly, what can we do about it? Here’s what you need to know.


What we’re seeing…

Car insurance rates rose 9% over the course of 2022, a trend that is expected to continue with another 7% rate growth in 2023 according to Insurify. Home insurance rates increased by an average of 12.1% in 2021, and another 3% in 2022 said Experts predict rate increases each year for the next few years due to the perfect storm of inflation, supply chain issues, weather changes, and other factors.


We’re experiencing historic inflation.

Inflation is at its highest level in decades. Inflation has had a significant impact on the cost of auto parts and labor, as well as medical expenses for bodily injuries. 

From March 2021 to March 2022, here’s how prices have increased:

      • Medical services – increased 2.9%
      • Auto repair costs – increased 4.9%
      • Car rental costs – increased 13.8%
      • Used vehicles – increased 35.3%

Similarly, the costs associated with a home claim also have been affected by inflation. This includes additional temporary living expenses, replacement of personal property and home furnishings, cost of construction labor, and costs of construction supplies.  

From March 2021 to March 2022, here’s how prices have increased:

      • Rent – increased 5.1%
      • Home furnishings – increased 10.1%
      • Construction labor and trade services – increased 21.3%
      • Construction materials and goods – increased 22.2%


Supply Chain Issues

There are supply chain issues created by the pandemic and by a labor shortage. When we can’t get parts or supplies to repair a vehicle or a home, the process becomes lengthier and results in repairs simply costing more.


Other Factors

The severity and frequency of vehicle accidents are on the rise. Traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, due to an increased trend in post-pandemic risky driving behaviors – speeding, driving distracted, not wearing seatbelts, and driving under the influence. This rise in accidents directly affects claims, which contributes to rising auto insurance costs.  

Similar conditions come into play for home insurance costs. The number of extreme climate events and weather disasters is also increasing. In 2022, there were 18 disasters with losses of more than $1 billion each, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. 


An inside look at how this affects your insurance rate

As material and labor costs rise, the cost to repair and replace damaged homes and vehicles increases. Factor in the ongoing supply chain issues and costs increase even more. The amount you pay for insurance is likely to go up when the cost to settle claims rises.

“But I’ve never been in an accident, so why would my rate go up?” 

Even if you have a spotless driving record or never filed a claim, it’s likely that your insurance costs could be impacted due to economic factors that are out of your control – regardless of the company that provides your coverage. Insurers across the country have been raising rates, some multiple times in the past 12 months. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways you may be able to reduce your costs. 


What You Can Do to Lower Your Premiums

Your insurance provider can recommend adjustments that still give you the quality coverage you need but with a lower premium. Start with a thorough policy review and make sure to look at these areas.

•  Review deductible options. Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your insurance premium. Since the deductible is the amount your insurance provider will subtract from an insurance payout, you’ll have to select a deductible that you’re comfortable paying out-of-pocket after a loss. Note that there can be diminishing returns if you set your deductible much higher than average, so as a consumer, you need to balance the premium savings against the amount you’d be required to pay after a loss.

•  Take advantage of discounts. You may qualify for insurance discounts for being part of a professional association, such as groups for teachers, nurses, or first responders. There are also discounts for being retired, good student discounts, setting up automated payments, and for paying in full upfront. You may also receive a discount for quoting online.

•  Buy home and auto insurance from the same company. When you bundle your home and auto insurance, you can often qualify for reduced rates, saving hundreds of dollars.

•  Remove Gap coverage if no longer needed. When you buy or lease a new vehicle, it starts depreciating once you drive it off the lot. Gap insurance ensures that you will get the full replacement value of your car if it is totaled or stolen. As a car begins to age, this gap goes down and the need for coverage is less.

•  Make your home disaster resistant. Talk to your insurance agent about how you can disaster-proof your home. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roof materials, or even clearing brush from around your home. Older homes can be retrofitted to make them better able to withstand earthquakes or other natural disasters. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.

•  Choose electronic documents rather than mail. This is an easy change that often comes with a discount and can add up in the long run.

•  Skip a payment. Some insurance companies allow you to skip payments around the holidays. At California Casualty, you have the option to skip payments during the summer or holiday months when budgets tend to be extra tight. Ask your agent for details.


California Casualty has been slower with rate increases than the bigger carriers. We will always strive to keep our prices as affordable as possible for our members. When we do make rate changes, it is to be able to maintain the financial fortitude to keep our promises to every policyholder during their time of need.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. 

California Casualty

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