Washington – Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Rates


There are so many elements that go into determining car insurance rates in general. The type of vehicle you drive, your driving history and number of claims you have submitted in the past and the safety features that are included on your car all have a bearing on how much or how little you will have to pay for your insurance.

But there are additional factors for Washington drivers to pay attention to regarding their rates. Some you may not even have thought about when you last insured your vehicle. And sometimes we don’t even know about these factors until they come up, like when you have an accident and realize what is really covered and what is not.

What if Your Car is Totaled?

If your car insurance wants to total your vehicle after an accident, find out how they determine the value of your car in order to replace it. The three methods that are used by insurance companies are the traditional Blue Book, vendor quotes and market research. If you live in a more rural area, it may cost you more to get a replacement if the insurance company can’t find a comparable car in your area.

Too Many Insurance Claims

While this may seem obvious, find out exactly how your insurer views claims. Some insurance companies will raise your rates up to 40 percent if you have an accident, but some companies don’t increase your rates if it is your first accident.

Follow the Appropriate Cancellations Procedures

Showing a lapse of insurance coverage gives many insurers a reason to charge more for your coverage. If you are changing insurance policies you must notify your existing company that you need to stop your current coverage. You will need to provide this information in writing to alleviate an automatic cancellation from the company.

Teen Age Drivers

Unless you are considered a high-risk driver, the teenager in your household will be covered on your policy even before they get their actual drivers license. Washington teenagers who are 15 years of age or older must follow these steps in order to get their drivers license: get a permit from the DMV, take and pass the written and visual test, get your learner’s permit, practice driving for at least six months with a licensed grownup, take and pass the drivers test, get the intermediate license and when they turn 18 years old, apply for full driving privileges.

Installment Payments

You can pay your insurance all at once for the six-month premium or break it down into monthly or even quarterly payments. The more installments you need to make your payments, the more it will cost through the addition of administrative fees.

Other factors may also affect your rate, like lending your car to someone and they have an accident. And what kind of car you drive is rated on a scale to determine your rates. Do whatever you can to alleviate any extra factors that will cause you to pay increased insurance rates on your car.