“Why is my insurance premium going up so much?”

This is probably the question we are asked the most in our agency.  There are a few factors you need to know to understand why this is happening.

There are THREE primary reasons why this is happening in 2022, but there is one in particular.

First! This is probably the least understood aspect of insurance:  Insurance is a “pool” of money that each policy holder puts into a trust, managed by the insurance company,  to make sure if one or several suffer a loss, that the money is there to fix, repair or replace what has been lost.  A common misconception is “I have not had a loss, so why is my insurance going up?” If you think about it, the money you pay annually to repair or replace your home, for example, is nothing close to being enough to enough to cover the loss of your home or car being destroyed; a total loss.

A simple example would be: Your home may have a replacement cost of $250,000, but your annual insurance premium may only be $1,000.  Meaning it would take 250 YEARS to pay enough in premiums to cover the home in a total loss in today’s dollars. This says nothing of the increase in cost to repair the home each year (inflation).  What you are doing is putting your money into a pool with many other people to make sure the money is there NOW to pay for that loss.  So when an insurance company takes in premium, and they must keep a certain amount in the bank at all times to “cover the bets”, and when there are numerous losses?  They have to increase price to get the reserve amounts back up. We have had wildfires, hail storms, a massive increase in the amount of car accidents, most of which involve the use of a smart phone distracting one or more drivers!

Second, and this is the biggest reason, is the increased cost to make repairs.  We have seen all over the new that computer chips and equivalent are in short supply, and with supply shortages come price increases…well, then the insurance company needs to increase their reserves to cover the increases in cost.

In insurance lingo this is the Total Insurable Value, or TIV.  Cars are more technical, more computer technology and therefore more expensive. And worst of all? Hybrids and electric vehicles are the MOST expensive to repair. Once those batteries ignite, they are super difficult to suppress, leading to further damage. And now, a shortage of materials to repair those same vehicles!

Third is one we all see daily: inflation.  Inflation is as high as it has been in over 40 years, and we are all feeling this pinch.  Insurance companies are not immune from this malady.

We would like to say your insurance premiums will decline soon enough, but the truth is we do not know when this will happen.  We are seeing every single company we utilize with increases already in place, or on the horizon.  One carrier is implementing a 60% increase in another state, and they are hinting this may happen here also.  While this is only one carrier, it is a name you would know very well.  And while we offer this company, we also have many others to make sure you are not paying more than you must….but unfortunately in 2022, we will all likely be paying a little more.  We DO know this is causing some pain in the pocket book, and we will continue to advocate for you, but I felt this email may help inform you about the status of the market today.

Thank you for the chance to earn and continue to earn your trust, and we are thankful that you have done so!  If you feel we are of service to you, then please send us your referrals and don’t forget that you will receive $25 Gift Card for anyone who becomes a new client!

Winter Weather and Driving!

Driving in Winter Weather

Whether it’s snow, sleet or ice, winter weather can cause extremely dangerous road conditions. In 2019, there were 440 fatal crashes, and an estimated 33,000 injury crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. Preparing yourself – and your vehicle – for winter weather is key

The Basics

Slow down. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. In fact, in 2019, there were an estimated 182,000 police- reported crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.

Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside the truck. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay far enough behind it and use caution if you pass the plow.

What to Do in an Emergency

If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, stay focused on yourself and your passengers, your car, and your surroundings.

  • Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself.
  • Let your car be seen. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light on.
  • Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow and run your car only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm. Don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space


    As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is in your owner’s manual and on a label located on the driver’s side door frame. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the your vehicle.

    Some other tips:

    • Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips.
    • It’s best to check the tires when they’re cold, meaning that they have not been driven on for at least three hours.
    • Check each tire’s age. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six years regardless of use.

    An inspection is not just about checking tire pressure and age. Remember to check:

    • for any damage or conditions that may need attention;
    • the tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps. The tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires; and
    • your spare tire.

    If you find tire damage, take your vehicle to a tire service professional.

    Consider installing snow tires, but before buying new tires, visit NHTSA’s Tires page to review tire safety ratings. The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQGS) lets you compare tire treadwear, traction performance, and temperature resistance.


    When the temperature drops, so does battery power. In cold weather, gasoline and diesel engines take more battery power to start, and electric and hybrid-electric vehicles’ driving range can be reduced. Have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, belts, and for any other needed repairs or replacements.

    Safety Technologies

    Familiarize yourself with the safety technologies on your vehicle and how they perform in wintry conditions. Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up. For more information on driver assistance technologies, visit NHTSA.gov/DriverAssistTech.

    Floor Mats

    Due to slushy winter conditions, you might consider switching out your usual floor mats for thicker material or rubbery ones. Improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle could interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation and use retention clips to secure the mats. Always use mats that are the correct size and fit for your vehicle.

The key is YOU are the person most in charge of your safety, and you can make a difference!


Commercial Building Spring Maintenance

Wintertime weather, like snow and ice, can be especially damaging to properties. Now that warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to inspect your buildings and do the needed maintenance you may have put off during the winter. The following advice can help reinvigorate your property, preparing it for the warmer months ahead.

  • Test and repair irrigation systems—Irrigation systems are critical for maintaining a healthy landscape, and you want to ensure yours works properly. In addition, your building’s foundation can suffer from heat-related damage. Prevent any heat damage by proactively watering the foundation around your building.
  • Check HVAC condensers—Check the freon level on your HVAC condenser to ensure the unit isn’t struggling to keep the air cool.
  • Inspect the roof—Check for roof damage. Look for loose shingles or even holes—anything that could cause water to leak inside the building.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts—These can easily become clogged with leaves or debris and lead to water damage.
  • Examine the exterior—Go outside and fix any foundation cracks and chipped paint on doors and windows. Clean the exterior of the building of any mold, mildew or moisture discolorations. Finally, make sure your landscaping is in good condition and that nothing harmful is growing on the building’s exterior.
  • Watch for pests—Look for ants, cockroaches and other destructive insects. Consider spraying to prevent any pests from entering the building.

Proper building maintenance is essential. By making your upkeep regular, you can avoid unforeseen repairs and associated expenses. For more commercial property guidance, contact AIA of Texas Insurance Agency.

One of the things I am most proud of over the course of my professional career is that for the last 10 years I have had the privilege to serve as a uniformed fire/EMS volunteer with our local fire department.  Having personally responded to the emergency calls in and around our area I can speak to the need to pre-plan with your family in the event of a possible fire at your home. I have seen the chaos a fire causes, for every member of the family.

We think you can avoid this by having a plan!  Such things as considering the layout of the home, the room placement and who is where ahead of time will be the best way to ensure everyone gets out safely all at once, and you have a way to gather outside the home as a family.

We have two young kids in our home, and we have trained them on the things they may need to do in the event that the home is on fire.  And a plan is not enough; you really need to practice and roll-play during this pre-planning phase.  Much the same way we had fire drills in school, we should have the same for the home.

If you do not have a plan, call us!  We can help create a simple, and fun to teach to your kids!

The best plan is to just be prepared!

I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

Continue reading →

I was recently asked this question by one of our AIA of Texas Insurance Agency clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.

Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At AIA of Texas Insurance Agency, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?


How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.