When you go shopping for car insurance, you want the best coverage for the lowest price that you can find. However, there are a number of things that can affect those rates. Obviously, your driving record is a factor—how many accidents you’ve been in, how many times you’ve been pulled over, etc. But a number of other things get factored in as well, some of which you can control, and some of which you can’t. So what are the factors that drive your insurance rates up, or down? Here are some of the most important ones.
- Age. It’s fairly common knowledge that teen drivers have the highest risk of any age group. They’re less experienced and more impulsive, and thus pay a higher rate. Who pays the lowest, though? People in their mid-50s. As you get older and become a more experienced driver, your premiums decrease. But once drivers reach their 60s, their faculties are more likely to start declining, making them a higher risk again. Thus their premiums start to rise again as well.
- Location. If you live in an urban area with a lot of cars on the road, you’re likely to pay more than if you live in a less populated rural area. Additionally, insurance agents can check your neighborhood’s zip code to see what the rates of car theft and vandalism are, as well as how high the amount of claims in that area are in general, compared to the national average. These risk factors will then be considered when determining your insurance rate.
- Your Vehicle. What type of vehicle do you drive? A car that does well on independent safety tests—or which has extra safety features installed, proven to prevent accidents—can bring your premiums down. On the other hand, if you drive a luxury vehicle, such as a BMW, Mercedes, or Tesla, it’s likely to be more expensive. They often have specialty parts which cost more to repair and replace, so in the event of an accident, a settlement would be a lot higher. Your vehicle’s mileage is a factor as well, both total and annual mileage. The less you drive your car, the less your chance is of getting into an accident, and the lower your rates will be.
- Marital Status. Statistically, married people get into fewer accidents than single people. Perhaps it’s having an extra pair of eyes in the car to spot potential danger. In most states, insurance rates for a married couple can be up to 15% lower than for a single person. Additionally, insuring multiple cars on the same policy often nets an additional discount, making it cheaper than it would be to insure the same cars separately.
These are just a few of the factors that car insurance companies consider when determining your insurance rates. Different companies offer breaks for different things, so talk to your insurance provider to find out what they take into consideration and what you can do to lower your rates.
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