Tens of thousands of homeowners across Massachusetts are now living under the very real threat that their home insurance premiums could skyrocket as a result of the record-setting winter seen throughout the Bay State. As snow piled up more than 100 inches in just a few months, many likely had to make home insurance claims, increasing the state’s overall risk. Now, it seems as though this is going to be the case for auto insurance as well, given that such severe weather led to so many accidents and other problems. If that’s the case, it might be vital for agents working in Massachusetts to let their clients know why this is happening, and what they may be able to do about it.
So far, the state’s regulatory body has approved rate hikes of as much as 9.9 percent, and more or less every insurer in the state has asked for at least some increase, according to a report from the consumer financial advice site Nerdwallet. All of these are, in fact, a direct reaction to the difficult winter, which saw huge increases in accidents as a result of the harsh weather. Only a few have actually cut their rates, with decreases between 1.5 percent and 3.2 percent.
“This year carriers are hurting,” Aimee Goddard, vice president of an insurer operating in the state, told the site. “It was the worst winter in history and there were a lot of accidents due to the ice, snow and skidding.”
What should people keep in mind?
However, even if an insurance provider for a given driver does seem intent on raising rates, that doesn’t mean every driver they insure will pay more, the report said. The numbers above, which are submitted to the state’s insurance regulator, are merely an average of all their policies. Some people might see their rates go down or hold steady, even as the average person with coverage through the provider sees a sharp increase. While winter storms several months ago will weigh heavily on insurers overall, this doesn’t mean that every individual will see their rates rise, because in most cases there are so many other factors involved – such as their driving records – that this one concern probably won’t impact them too much.
What can agents do?
The more consumers are taught about their auto insurance coverage, the more satisfied they tend to be with those plans even when prices rise. In fact, some studies have shown that consumers actually value positive relationships with their insurers or agents even over the ability to save a little bit of money. And it’s for this reason that agents might want to do a little more outreach these days, particularly if rates are going to climb en masse, to ensure that their clients are as happy as possible. If so, satisfaction ratings and retention rates alike could remain high even as other problems present themselves.