More tech on vehicles could make you pay more for car insurance

Experts say car insurance rates are increasing due to more technology on vehicles. (KXAN photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Auto insurance rates in Central Texas continue to climb. Insurance agents say there are two reasons behind the increase: more technology on vehicles and growing communities.

“Back when you would have a little tap in the bumper, you would replace the bumper and the average claim was $1,500,” said Insurance Agency of San Marcos Owner Connie Fite. “Now if you get hit in the backside and you have backup sensors and you have cameras and everything, your average claim is $3,000 to $6,000.”

Fite says it doesn’t matter if you have a vehicle with all the new technology or not, insurance companies base their rates by overall losses throughout the state and nation.

On top of new technology, the city of San Marcos is also seeing some increase in rates due to the city’s growth. “We’re not that small town anymore; we are a metropolitan area,” said Fite

She says the increase also has to do with the type of drivers moving into the city.

“There are thousands of students here at the college,” said Fite. “These are basically young drivers, which are not the best anyway. So, you put that into the population and it will drive those rates up.”

Fite says car insurance rates for San Marcos are now equivalent to rates in bigger cities like San Antonio and Austin.

“Will the rates ever level out? No, in the number of years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen rates roll backwards,” said Fite.

For those living in San Marcos, they say they’re really starting to feel the impact on their wallet. “It’s really difficult for those of us that are working for a living. It’s just one more additional expense that we have to incur,” said San Marcos resident Lisa Marie Coppoletta.

But there are some things insurance professionals say you can do to help bring down the rate.

“For the most part, keeping your record clean and driving safely and your credit score is about the best that you can offer,” said Fite. “Other than that, the trend is probably going to continue.”

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