Over the past several years and beyond, many Americans have been seeing their various costs for all types of insurance rise slowly but surely, and it seems that this year is shaping up to be no different. Through the end of the third quarter, the average American’s premiums for both their auto and home insurance coverage were up slightly. For this reason, it may be wise for insurance agents to do a little bit more when it comes to helping people understand why their rates are on the rise, and what they might be able to do about it.
Through the end of the third quarter, home insurance premiums increased 3.5 percent on an annual basis, while those for auto coverage ticked up 2.1 percent, according to the latest data from RateWatch. These changes were seen more or less uniformly from several of the biggest insurance providers in the country, though obviously there was some variation from one company to the next.
Where were these changes felt most?
During this 12-month period, three states in particular saw auto insurance rates increase at levels well above the national average, and one of them is a place where this has been an issue for a long time, the report said. Michigan, where rates were already at some of the highest levels in the country, saw average premiums increase 5.2 percent, ahead of Georgia (4.7 percent) and Rhode Island (4.2 percent). Meanwhile, there were even larger upticks for home insurance coverage in Kansas (8.5 percent), Texas (7.8 percent), and Montana (7.7 percent).
However, two states actually saw their average home insurance costs decrease for the year, the report said. Hawaii led the way with a 1.3 percent drop in premiums, while Florida came in at a 0.5 percent decline.
The more that insurance agents can do to assuage their clients’ potential concerns about steadily rising rates for whatever type of coverage they have, the better off both sides of the relationship are likely to be. Consumers tend to value strong customer service even over saving a little bit of money when it comes to their policies, so any efforts in this area can go a long way. That, in turn, may lead not only to higher retention rates, but also more recommendations from clients to their friends and family going forward.