When insurance companies calculate the rates they are going to charge their customers there are a number of factors that come into play. Many of them you are probably already aware of but some may surprise you. You may want to check with your carrier regarding the following factors to see where their company stands.
One of the first things an insurance agent asks is if you have had any citations or accidents in the past three years. That is because your driving record is probably the biggest factor as to how much or how little you will be paying for your car insurance.
Your driving history will show the number of accidents you have been involved in, the number of claims you have submitted, no matter how big or small, and if you have any traffic violations. When you have an accident you could be paying for it for the next three years through increased premiums. There are some insurance carriers that have a forgiveness policy and will not raise your premiums if it is your first accident and you have had a clean record in the past.
The riskiest group of drivers is young males between the ages of 16 and 23. This group is going to pay more for their car insurance. They have a four times higher fatality rate than any other drivers on the road. Your rates will come down when you get married. And the next riskiest group of drivers are in the older age group – 75 years and older.
You may want to check to see if your car made the list. Not the top ten coolest cars, the top 10 cars thieves like to steal. If your car is on the list, expect to pay more. And if you are shopping for a new car, make sure the one you have your heart set on isn’t on the list either. Many of the cars are older and they steal them for parts, some are just easy to steal. But there are newer cars on the list, so be forewarned.
Believe it or not, your credit score is a big factor in how much your insurance company is going to charge you for your car insurance. Not too long ago the insurance industry started to use your credit score to determine your rates, so if your credit score is good, you’re safe. But this is an area that you can improve and see the results in a reduction in your premiums. If you are having financial problems, check your credit score and see if there are any errors on it. If there aren’t then set up a plan to pay your bills on time and your score could improve in as little as six months time.
Probably the worst thing you can do is let your insurance coverage lapse. If you are changing insurance companies make sure that you notify your existing company to let them know so that they do not cancel your policy. A lapse in coverage will follow you for years in increased premiums. And you may even have trouble finding an insurance company who will accept you.
Driving less will help bring your rates down so if there is a carpool available at work, take advantage of it, you could save some money here. Someone who is on the road commuting to work two hours a day is going to pay more to insure their car than someone who works from home and uses their vehicle mostly for leisure. That’s why some companies give discounts to retirees.