Is Your Car Insurance High? See The Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
There are a pretty insane amount of factors that may be contributing to your car insurance rate. You may be asking yourself, why does my gender, credit score, address, or car model affect my insurance rate?
In reality, insurance rates are determined by statistics: if one of these factors makes you statistically more likely to have an accident, your rates will increase. Here is a list of factors that may affect your car insurance rate and what you may be able to do about them.
Gender and Age
Statistically, men below a certain age (25) are more likely to get into car accidents than women below that same age. Therefore, the younger you are, the higher your insurance rate, and if you’re a young man, you’ll get another added payment tacked on.
Above that age, however, the differences between rates are not statistically significant, so really the only thing you can do in this situation is to wait it out and don’t have any accidents in the meantime. Once you reach age 25, your car insurance rate will begin to decrease, and men and women will pay roughly the same (provided the other factors on this list are the same). However, they will begin to increase again after you turn 65.
Each state government has different car insurance minimums and standards that you are required to purchase by law. Depending on your state’s laws, you may have higher car insurance rates than in other states because you will be required to purchase more insurance to make sure that, legally, you are fully covered.
This is another obscure and kind of funny factor that actually can affect your car insurance rate. Statistically, married people are less likely to get into an accident than single people. Particularly if you’re a male under the age of 25, getting married can significantly reduce your payments.
Of course, other factors – such as driving history, car make, and model, and years as a licensed driver – will also come into play, but your rates can actually take a decent dip just by getting married. Above the age of 25, however, there are still differences, but they are more minimal.
If you have a perfect driving history with no tickets, accidents, DUIs, or other filed car insurance claims, you will have some of the lowest rates in this section. Driving history is one of the primary determining factors for insurance rates. You will see a steep incline after getting into an accident, particularly if that accident caused an injury or if you were found at fault.
However, one poor choice isn’t enough to ruin you forever; most insurance rates will steadily decrease every year without an accident, and after a few years, it will be as if you never had one at all.
The majority of all car accidents happen within 10 miles of your home. Therefore, where you live matters. If you live in a heavily congested area or an area that experiences frequent accidents, your car insurance rates may be higher than those who live in rural or less dense areas.
Additionally, if you live in a place with higher rates of theft and carjackings, this may also increase your rates.
Car Make and Model
If you have a costly car model or a newer car, your insurance rates will increase. This is because your car is more likely to be stolen or broken into, and if you get into an accident, the cost to repair it will likely not be cheap. Additionally, if you have a car that is statistically a “safer” car to drive, or you install anti-theft equipment, your premiums will decrease.
Weirdly enough, your credit score can also have an impact on the amount you pay in insurance premiums each year. This is because there is statistical evidence linking drivers with lower credit scores to more accidents. There is no hard-and-fast rule to determine how much it will impact your rates, as it differs between companies and locations, but typically, the lower your credit score, the higher your premiums.
It can make a huge difference or very little, depending on where you are and who you are with. The exception is if you live in Hawaii, California, or Massachusetts, which have state laws forbidding insurance agencies from taking your credit score in to account.
Years Spent Driving
Your insurance rates – provided you have a clean record – will typically be at their highest when you first get your license and will steadily decrease the more time you spend behind the wheel. Practice makes perfect, right? And insurance companies take this into account.
The more driving practice you have, the more likely you will avoid accidents while out on the road. This is evident in the fact that young male drivers over the age of 25 who are just getting their license typically have higher premiums than those who have had their licenses since 17.
To conclude, there are many factors insurance companies take into account when presenting you with your car insurance rates. This list is not even fully exhaustive. Many of these things are not items you can easily change unless you’re willing to move to a safer, less congested location and swap out your convertible for a 2001 SUV.
However, through careful consideration, time, and effort, you can lower your rates over time. As you age, work hard to be a safe and careful driver and just a responsible person overall. They will take notice.