At Affordable Insurance in Aurora, we know that when drivers understand the factors that affect car insurance rates, they are in a much better position to get a good deal. So, how do car insurance companies determine the cost of your insurance? Basically, the insurance company wants to calculate the overall risk of insuring a driver and charge them enough to make sure that on average, they don’t lose money. Insurance experts use an algorithm that takes into account a huge range of different factors in order to come up with a rate personalized to each driver.
Factors that affect car insurance rates can include your personal and professional details, characteristics of your vehicle and your driving habits. Some of these factors can be controlled and even changed to potentially get a better rate, but others are just predetermined boxes that need to be ticked. Take a look at the following factors that affect your insurance rate:
- Where You Live
If you live in a high-risk location where collisions, auto theft, and uninsured drivers are frequent, your insurance rate will be more expensive. Taking into account that your are is where you will be using the car most of the time, insurance companies will rate your local area in terms of risk when calculating your car insurance premium. Urban areas with high unemployment are usually the most expensive locations.
- Age and Gender
Yes, age and gender are factors that affect car insurance rates. Teenage drivers are charged high rates due to their lack of experience on the road and high rates of accidents. Statistics also show that young men are more likely to be involved in an accident than young women, and this is reflected in the rates. As drivers get older, the price of insurance usually drops steadily, until around 70 years old when the risk of accidents due to impaired vision and slower reaction times bring the cost back up again.
Auto insurance companies can use information on your profession to predict the likelihood that you will get into an accident. Delivery drivers, journalists, and tradespeople spend more time on the road, often driving different routes every day and to unfamiliar locations. This activity increases the likelihood that they will experience a traffic accident. Paramedics, police, and insurance professionals are usually rated as more cautious drivers, so are given better rates.
- Marital Status
Single people tend to have more accidents than people that are married, and this is especially true for men. A lower insurance rate usually comes as an unexpected wedding gift to newly married couples.
- Credit Score
Unfortunately, low credit scores are one of the factors that affect car insurance rates and can have a negative influence on your premium. Keeping a good credit score shows insurance companies that you are an organized, cautious and reliable person, which they think will also be reflected in your driving.
- Vehicle Model and Size
Larger vehicles such as minivans and SUVs generally suffer less damage in collisions so are cheaper to insure. Smaller cars are more vulnerable to damage and seen as higher risk. Sports cars, luxury cars, and unusual or modified cars are often much more expensive to repair than standard models, so the auto insurance cost on these will be much higher than average.
- Vehicle Safety Rating
If you’re shopping for a car, remember that a vehicle’s safety rating is one of the factors that affect car insurance rates. A vehicle with a good rating will have features such as airbags, traction control, and automatic seatbelts. These vehicles are less likely to result in injured passengers in the event of an accident and so the cost of insuring them is lower compared to cars with an inferior safety rating.
- Vehicle Age
Newer automobiles are more expensive to insure than older ones of the same model. As the car ages, it loses its value. If an old car undergoes serious damage, the cost of repairs may be higher than the overall worth of the vehicle and the owner is more likely to choose to replace it rather than repair it. Due to this, insurance companies often don´t end up having to pay for repairs on older cars, so they can set the cost of insuring older cars lower.
- Driving Habits
Drivers who use their cars for work purposes or long commutes will spend more time on the road and thus have a higher rate of insurance. Those who use their vehicle less frequently can benefit from lower rates. If the car is stored in a secure garage, the insurance company may further reduce the rate, as there is less probability of theft or vandalism.
- Driving History
A driver´s record is one of the most significant factors that affect car insurance rates. A clean record goes a long way in helping to keep insurance rates down. If the insurance company sees evidence of previous accidents resulting in claims, this is a major red flag. Speeding tickets, collisions resulting in injuries and DUIs will deem you a high-risk driver with a probability of repeating the offenses. To counteract the risk of insuring such a driver, they will set the cost at a much higher than average.
These are the basic factors used by insurance companies to decide the cost of your premium. Obviously, some factors such as your age, profession, and hometown are fairly difficult to alter on a whim. Other factors are easier to control, including your credit score, driving record and choice of vehicle. Choosing a newer, larger car with a high safety rating can lower your insurance cost significantly. Avoiding traffic misdemeanors and DUIs will go even further to reduce your yearly insurance premium.
If you want to learn more about the factors that affect car insurance rates, and how to get the best deal, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Affordable Insurance in Aurora. We specialize in creating customized insurance plans for drivers on a tight budget. Explore your options with us and see if you qualify for any discounts we offer. Whether you are purchasing auto insurance for the very first time or considering switching from an existing plan, we can help you get the best deal for 2018.