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Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates

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Image via Flickr by pony rojo

Finding suitable car insurance, such as a full-coverage policy that covers the personal injuries and property damage of the policyholder and others, is important. However, insurance can be expensive, and finding the best deal takes a little time and effort. Learning about the factors that affect car insurance rates can help you to choose a company and policy that works for you. To learn more about how various factors impact coverage rates and discover tips for taking them into account, check out this article.

What Are Car Insurance Rates?

Car insurance rates are the different price points at which insurers price their policies. If you’re a vehicle owner, these rates matter because getting auto insurance is an essential part of maintaining and using a vehicle. You can enjoy several benefits by getting your vehicle insured. For instance:

  • Insurance enables you to drive legally. In most U.S. states, you need auto insurance to drive legally. Policy types such as liability insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance are essential in some areas.
  • Insurance minimizes your legal risks. Having adequate insurance is essential to ward off litigation disputes. A reliable insurance provider will be committed to settling any claims promptly.
  • Insurance reduces your financial risk. In the event of an accident, you could be required to spend thousands of dollars on vehicle repairs or the personal injuries of another. With insurance, you can avoid suffering financially.
  • Insurance helps you to meet your responsibilities. If you’re involved in an at-fault accident, you’re responsible for the personal injuries and property damage you cause others. Getting insured can help you meet these responsibilities.
  • Insurance gives you confidence on the road. Knowing you’re covered by a robust insurance policy can give you the confidence you need to drive safely and effectively.

What Are the Main Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Several details about the driver and vehicle can influence how insurance companies price their auto coverages. The factors that affect car insurance rates include:

  • State laws: Most states have legal requirements that specify essential coverage. Adhering to them can help you and your community. For example, laws on liability insurance require drivers to have insurance that covers personal injury costs per person, personal injury costs per accident, and property damage.
  • Driver’s age: Most insurers charge more based on the age of the policyholder because drivers who are 16-19 years old are far more likely to have a fatal crash than drivers who are at least 20 years old. However, companies such as State Farm and Geico do offer reasonable rates to young drivers.
  • Vehicle type and features: The type of vehicle you own can either increase or decrease your policy cost. Insurers look at the vehicle brand and model when calculating policy costs. This is because some vehicles cost more to repair, making insuring them riskier. For example, vehicles such as the Honda Civic are comprised of costly components. Additionally, theft rates and comprehensive claims made for a specific vehicle type in the past will be considered by your insurance company.
  • Deductible: The deductible is the out-of-pocket cost that a policyholder must pay, and it will impact the policy price. Insurance companies will offer lower rates if the motorist pays a higher deductible.
  • Driving skills: Skilled drivers are likely to get lower car insurance rates than unskilled drivers, and the former will be eligible for clean-driving bonuses. For example, if one policyholder has a clean driving record and the other has received two speeding tickets and a DWI citation in the past year, the insurance company is likely to see the former as a less risky investment and offer a cheaper rate compared to the latter, who is likely to be charged extra.
  • Credit history: Insurers look at a driver’s credit history to calculate their credit-based insurance score when setting policy prices. This number denotes their insurance risk. However, this practice is banned in some states, such as California.
  • Coverage selections: The auto insurance types chosen by a motorist will impact their rates. Most states expect liability coverage. Comprehensive, uninsured, collision, PIP or MedPay, and roadside assistance are some of the optional coverages that a driver can include.
  • Location: Your location will influence how much you spend on car insurance. This is because certain risks, such as accident rates and vehicle damage caused by natural events, vary based on your geographic location.
  • Driver demographics: Insurers will look at driver characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, education, and homeownership when pricing insurance policies. For example, insurers in some states offer lower rates for married drivers.

Tips for Minimizing Your Car Insurance Rates

Knowing about the factors that affect car insurance rates can help you to keep your rates down in several ways. Use the following tips to do so:

  • Learn about mandatory insurance. Getting the information you need about the insurance you must have to drive can help you to plan your policy and minimize your insurance cost. For example, if your state needs only liability insurance, you can spend more time looking for the best provider for this insurance type.
  • Assess your demographics. Research how your insurance cost can vary due to factors such as your age, driving record, and marital status. Then, take these factors into account and look for policies that offer the best deals, such as policies that include clean-driving bonuses.
  • Improve factors you have control over. Invest in improving things that can reduce insurance rates, such as your driving skills or vehicle features. For example, you can take a defensive driving course or install an anti-theft device in your car. As a young driver, you can commit to maintaining a clean driving record to get a better rate. If you’re uncertain of your skills, take a few extra driving lessons with a friend or a professional instructor. In states such as Alabama, an anti-theft device installed in your vehicle can bring the rate down.
  • Find a reliable insurer. Research insurance companies in your area and compare features and quotes to find the right partner. Look for things such as fiscal strength, customer loyalty, and customer service.

Use your knowledge of the factors that affect car insurance rates to guide your research and find the best policy. Applying these tips whenever you’re in the market for a new policy can help you enjoy affordable coverage.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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