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NH Car Insurance in 2024: What to Expect in the New Year

As 2023 comes to a close and 2024 approaches, many New Hampshire drivers may be wondering how auto insurance rates and regulations could change in the new year. We’d share what we know so far about trends in the NH car insurance market and predict some of the shifts that may take effect over the next twelve months.

Rate Changes and Market Factors

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Auto insurance premiums in New Hampshire are not set by the state and instead depend on competitive market forces. While the Insurance Department does regulate some insurer practices, companies ultimately determine their own rates. Several key factors will influence how rates fluctuate in 2024:

  • Claim costs from 2023: Insurers set upcoming year’s rates based partly on expenses from claims filed the prior year. If severe weather causes more accidents and repairs in 2023, that may put upward pressure on rates. Conversely, fewer claims could allow for decreases.
  • Economic conditions: As inflation impacts overall costs of living and doing business, insurers may need to modestly increase premiums to maintain profits. A recession could counteract this by reducing miles driven and accidents.
  • Competition: With dozens of carriers competing for business in NH, a highly competitive market keeps rate increases relatively low compared to other states. Companies fighting for new customers may offer especially aggressive discounts.
  • Driver behavior: Usage-based “pay-how-you-drive” policies are growing in popularity. Those with safe driving habits could see lower rates. Risky drivers may pay more if insurers gain access to improved driving data sources in 2024.

Based on these factors, most industry analysts project rates in NH to increase by 2-4% on average in 2024. However, individuals could see higher or lower adjustments depending on their unique profile and shopping strategies. Insurers tend to roll out changes gradually throughout the year as well.

Policy Changes and Reform Efforts

While premium rates are unregulated, the NH Insurance Department does maintain some authority over insurance contracts and company practices. Several regulatory adjustments may take effect in 2024:

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Telematics Data Usage

The growing adoption of smartphone-linked devices that monitor driving behavior has raised privacy concerns. Expect the Department to provide more guidance around insurers’ collection and sharing of telematics data to balance benefits with consumer protections.

Expanded Coverage Mandates

Lobby groups may push for requiring insurers to cover accident forgiveness programs or enhance medical payment limits. Such benefit mandates could increase minimum coverage costs for all drivers if passed.

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Residual Market Reforms

New Hampshire’s assigned risk plan, commonly known as the “residual market,” provides high-risk drivers access to coverage but at higher costs. Watch for possible reforms to make the program more equitable and less prone to fraud.

Usage-Based Discounts

As pay-per-mile and usage-based policies take off, the Department will likely implement rules clarifying how data from these programs factors into drivers’ overall rates and eligibility for discounts. Transparency will be key.

Given these regulatory expansions under consideration, insurers may need to modestly raise overall rates in 2024 just to account for increased compliance costs and obligations. But most drivers should still see competitive options in NH’s deregulated market.

Shopping and Discounts Strategies

To get the best auto insurance value in 2024, proactive shopping and discount qualification will be more important than ever:

Compare Multiple Quotes

Rates can vary significantly between carriers based on their risk assumptions, so get quotes from several insurers both online and through local agents. New companies also enter the NH market regularly.

Ask about Bundling Discounts

Bundling homeowners’ or renters’ coverage with your auto policy can net savings of 5-15% typically. Some providers also offer discounts for insuring multiple vehicles.

Maintain a Clean Driving Record

Insurers may further penalize accidents and violations in their rating models, so drive safely. Several years of incident-free driving can lead to lower preferred rates.

Improve Your Credit Score

Insurers are allowed to use credit-based insurance scores in NH. Maintaining a credit score above 670 could help you avoid risk surcharges on premiums.

Request All Available Discounts

In addition to safe driving and bundling, inquire about discounts for anti-theft devices, active safety features, good student status, military service, and more. Ask what you may be missing out on.

By proactively managing your insurance profile and shopping aggressively each year, you put yourself in the best position to avoid unnecessary rate hikes in 2024 and beyond. Small actions can still save hundreds in annual auto insurance costs.

Coverage Changes to Consider

Whenever shopping for a new or renewed policy, carefully evaluate your current insurance needs versus the mandated minimum liability coverage. Several optional upgrades could offer important additional protection:

Higher Liability Limits

While NH requires only $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in physical wounds coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage, consider raising limits to $100,000/$300,000 for better asset protection in serious accidents.

Collision and Comprehensive

These optional coverages reimburse for vehicle repairs from accidents or loss regardless of fault. Useful even with an older vehicle to avoid large repair costs. Tire and wheel coverage may also be worth adding.

Rental Car Reimbursement

Especially valuable if you rely on your vehicle daily. This option pays rental costs while your car is in the shop during the claims process following an insured accident or loss event.

Gap Insurance

Protects the difference between your car’s actual cash value and what you owe if it’s totaled while your loan is outstanding. Important for newer vehicles that depreciate rapidly.

Ridesharing Coverage

If you drive for Uber, Lyft, or similar apps, make sure your personal policy approves this type of usage. Rideshare endorsements fill liability gaps and cover you when logged in to the platforms.

Thoroughly reviewing coverage amounts and add-on options each year ensures your protection evolves with your needs and assets. A knowledgeable agent can help analyze if upgrades make financial sense.

Getting Ready for 2024

With a new year approaching, take time now to prepare yourself so you hit the ground running with optimized auto insurance when shopping season ramps up:

  • Gather current policy documentation and review coverages and limits
  • Compile records of safe driving and any discounts already applied
  • Check your credit report and score for inaccuracies that could impact rates
  • Assess your vehicle’s current value and what you owe to identify coverage gaps
  • Note any qualifying life changes like marriages, kids, homeownership, etc.
  • Shop around to several top insurers for quotes by the end of 2023
  • Stay aware of any regulatory developments that could impact the marketplace

By being proactive and taking advantage of end-of-year discounts on a new six-month term, you position yourself for savings. Most insurers offer rollover credits for continuous coverage as well. With some planning ahead of time, you’ll optimize your insurance spending as rates are adjusted in the new year.

FAQs About NH Car Insurance in 2024

Now that we’ve covered the major predictions and best practices for auto insurance in New Hampshire next year let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions:

What is the average estimated rate change for 2024?

Most experts forecast rates in NH to rise 2-4% on average during 2024 based on anticipated cost factors and ongoing regulation. However, individuals could see adjustments outside that range depending on their unique profile and shopping strategies each year.

Is it possible to lower my rates from this year to next?

Yes, being proactive allows opportunities to offset wider market increases. Things like bundling policies, maintaining good credit, acquiring new discounts, and switching insurers based on competitive quotes can potentially reduce your premiums year-over-year despite any upward pressure on rates.

What types of policy upgrades should I consider?

Three important add-on options to evaluate are higher liability limits, collision/comprehensive coverage, and rental reimbursement. Also, look at gap insurance if you have a loan on a newer vehicle. Rideshare endorsements may apply if you drive for Lyft/Uber as well. Review needs annually.

How can I take advantage of yearend discounts?

Insurers typically offer credits for locking in a new six-month policy term before the start of the new year. Bundling in homeowners coverage also provides ongoing savings. Committing to continuous coverage with the same company provides rollover discounts as well.

Are there any big regulatory changes anticipated?

Some issues the NH Insurance Department may address include providing more clarification around usage-based rating programs, possible expansion of minimum coverage mandates, reforms to the residual/high-risk market, and data privacy protections related to telematics devices.

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