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In March 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Motor Vehicle Insurance shows the average cost of auto insurance was up 47% compared to 2021. No one likes paying for insurance, but understanding what’s happening across the insurance industry and exploring ways to save, where possible, can help ease strained budgets and nerves.  

Accidents happen. When they do, Farm Bureau Insurance® is there to help pick up the pieces and get policyholders back to the financial position they were in before the accident. Paying claims is the biggest expense any insurance company faces, but in recent years, claims costs have outpaced the premiums collected at an unprecedented rate, leaving companies paying out more than what they take in. While inflation is largely to blame, there are other factors at play, too.    

Today’s cars have more advanced electronics and sensors that are much more expensive to repair. A minor fender bender that cost several hundred dollars in the past can easily cost thousands, today. Repair bills are even higher for electric vehicles. Also, general repair costs are up across the board as labor shortages and supply chain disruptions continue to be an issue. The average vehicle repair cost has increased 15% over the last two years. The cost of a windshield replacement is up 11% compared to a year ago. And more people are driving bigger vehicles that are more expensive to repair and replace. Today, trucks and SUVS make up a larger percentage of vehicles involved in crashes compared to just five years ago. 

On top of that, our roads are more dangerous. A traffic collision occurs every 3.6 minutes in our state. Between 2019 and 2022, South Carolina saw a double-digit percentage increase in fatal crashes. Total fatalities in the state were down in 2023 but were still higher than pre-pandemic levels. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety cites distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding as the three primary culprits for highway crashes. 

With all these factors driving up costs, there’s no question everyone is looking for ways to save wherever they can. Here are a few things you can do that may help.

  • Get the New Paperless Policy Discount! Ask for policy documents to be sent electronically and you’ll be eligible for the Paperless Policy Discount. This new discount became available last year. To date, just 15% of Farm Bureau Insurance policyholders have enrolled. If you’re not taking advantage of this discount or have questions, be sure to ask your agent about the Paperless Policy Discount! 
    You’ll also be eligible for another paperless discount if you enroll in “Paperless Billing.” Get text and email reminders whenever a new invoice posts to your account and reduce mail clutter. To sign up, login to “My Account” and select “Payments,” then “Billing Preferences,” and click “Update Preferences” to change your invoice delivery method.  As more people select paperless options, it reduces paper and mailing expenses for the company, and those savings will ultimately impact future rates. Plus, you’ll be helping the environment.  
  • Enroll in Automatic Payments and Get the EFT Discount. Set up automatic payments tied to a checking or savings account to receive the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Discount. You’ll never miss a payment or worry about a payment arriving on time. 
  • Young Drivers? Ask about Student Discounts. If you have drivers under 25 years old who are in school, they may qualify for the Good Student Discount and the Driver’s Training Discount. Ask your agent for details to see if your student qualifies to make sure you’re maximizing available discounts across your policies. 
  • Find Other Ways to Save with an Account Review. Your Farm Bureau Insurance agent can help you review all available discounts, so you don’t miss any savings. They can also review your current coverage and any options that could reduce your premium. For example, raising your deductible comes with a premium credit. Choose from a number of deductible options ranging from $50 up to $10,000.

Here to Help

If you have questions about your policy or available coverage options, give your local Farm Bureau Insurance agent a call. Find an agent near you or reach a customer service representative at 1-800-799-7500.