It’s hard to have a conversation about auto insurance without at least one person complaining that their rates are too high. What most people don’t understand is that their rate is not some magical amount they are required to pay, but rather a precise calculation that takes into account personal and lifestyle attributes.
One of the biggest factors that determine insurance rates is the type and value of the vehicle being insured. Smaller, more conservative vehicles are much cheaper to insure when compared to convertibles and luxury SUVs. This is because sportier vehicles carry higher sticker prices and are more likely to be stolen.
Where the car is parked has a lot to do with insurance rates, as well. Insurance companies study the amount of vandalisms, thefts, and accidents in each neighborhood and adjust their premiums accordingly. In most cases, car owners who reside in more populated areas pay higher rates than those who live in rural areas.
A third factor that affects the cost of insurance is the amount of driving you do every day. Drivers with long commutes or who put a consistently high amount of miles on their car each year are more likely to be involved in an auto accident, so companies charge these drivers a higher rate. On the other hand, insurance companies discount the rates of drivers who only use their vehicle recreationally or on the weekends.
Personal information, such as your age, gender, driving record and marital status, has an effect on what premium you are charged. Younger drivers pay more than experienced ones, especially drivers under the age of 25, and statistically speaking, women are safer drivers than men, so they pay less for insurance. Married individuals are also less likely to be involved in a car accident, so their rates are lower than single drivers. Regardless of everything else, having an accident and citation-free driving record will keep rates low and affordable.
Fortunately, drivers who are unhappy with their current insurance costs can do something about it. First, you can begin by asking your provider what kinds of discounts are offered. There may be some new discounts that can be applied to reduce your rate, like going a certain amount of time without filing a claim, owning your home, etc. If not, then shop around to see if a comparable policy is cheaper elsewhere. Changing from one insurance company to another is usually easy and hassle-free.
When out shopping for a new car, review consumer reports for the vehicle’s reliability and find out where it ranks on the list of frequently stolen vehicles. Cars that are expected to maintain a good service record and utilize anti-theft features have a lower overall cost of ownership and are cheaper to insure.
Also, consider taking public transportation or carpooling with co-workers to get to and from work. This will keep miles off of your vehicle and take dollars off of your insurance premium.