Many factors affect the insurance premium you will pay for auto insurance. Each is a statistically based risk for a specific population. The higher the risk associated with a person, the more he or she is likely to pay for coverage. We have elaborated on some of the risk factors below, but there are numerous others, including driver’s gender, miles driven per year, purpose for using the vehicle (commuting to work, using for work, leisure only), etc.
Car Insurance Premium
Factors you CANNOT easily change that affect your car insurance rates:
Statistically, drivers under the age of 25 are at greater risk of being in an accident than those over age 25. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 65 generally have the safest records.
Women are statistically safer drivers. They don’t usually speed and therefore the accidents they may cause isn’t as serious in most cases.
A married person will pay less than a single person with an identical driving record. Factors you CAN change that affect your car insurance rates
Where you live makes a difference. Folks living in areas with little or no traffic are likely to spend less on insurance than those living in congested cities or suburbs because areas with a lot of traffic tend to see more accidents. Some neighborhoods also have a higher rate of vehicle thefts, which can result in a higher premium.
Having an accident or moving violations on your record (speeding tickets, DWI, reckless driving, etc.) put you at a higher risk for accidents and will likely mean a higher premium. Some insurance companies will penalize you for your record for as many as five years from when the incident occurred. However, keep in mind, as your record improves, your premium will get lower.
Insurers often consider how frequently you use your vehicle. Someone who drives a great distance to work may pay more for insurance than someone who only drives on weekends, because more miles behind the wheel means more risk.
El cheapo car will cost less to insure than that status symbol SUV sitting on 24″ rims baby.
A driving record that is clean and free of accidents will hold fare better for you than lots of tickets and/or accidents.
Many insurance companies view having a poor, or even no credit history as suggestive of higher risk and thus, charge you a higher premium.
Insurers have statistically found a correlation between your occupation and risk. For instance, a newspaper delivery person is most likely a higher risk than the personal banker sitting at their desk all day.
Other factors that help determine premiums:
* Driving distance to work
* Miles driven each year
* Years of driving experience
* Business use of the vehicle
* Whether or not you currently have auto insurance
* Theft protection devices (often results in discounts)
* Multiple cars and drivers (another opportunity for discounts)
Credit Is Effective
When determining premiums, many auto insurance firms heavily rely on credit-based insurance scores. They argue that credit predicts the chance of you filing a claim.
In California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan, the use of credit-based insurance scores for vehicle insurance pricing is prohibited.
What can I do right now to make sure I have the lowest premium?
Shop around and compare quotes from different insurers. They base their premiums on their claims experiences, which naturally differ. One company may see your area as a higher risk than others may. Another may charge more because of your occupation. Shopping makes it easier because you can quickly see multiple companies and their rates for your particular situation.
Your insurance company can assist you in determining which limits, deductibles, and coverages are appropriate for you. They can also assist you in identifying any discounts for which you may be eligible.