Car Insurance: Factors That Determine Premiums
The amount you pay for your auto insurance depends on several factors, including your age, gender marital status, where you are and what you are driving. You can’t change your age or gender, it wouldn’t be cost-effective to move off to another state to save a few bucks. The easiest ways to start saving is to choose a more economical vehicle that costs less to insure and to be a safer driver.
First, your vehicle is a big determining factor in how much you pay.Having a hot rod or a big Hummer may be a great status symbol, but it is a hefty price to pay for such luxury. When insurance companies make premiums they base part of what you pay on the price of the vehicle, and part on how expensive it is to be repaired. Vehicles which are the targets of theft also can factor in to the cost of your premium. How much each is factored in can depend on your insurer as well, so this is not a concrete formula on your car insurance premium.
Next, there are things you just can’t control. Even though these factors are the ones you can control the least, they have the greatest control on your insurance rates. For example, single males under the age of 25 pay the highest rates. I know this personally because I am 26, and the decrease was a great relief! The rates are so high for that demographic because statistically they are in the most wrecks. Since I became married to my wife in 2010, I got to enjoy another decrease as well, as married men are cheaper to insure than single. (I wonder why, no more girls to impress…) Don’t look so smug so quickly, ladies, as some states have adopted rates not based on age or gender, and this has caused the rates for the fairer sex to increase. At least this is a legitimate complaint you can raise about men and how we are making it harder on your lives.
These are not the only factors that determine your rates. Unfortunately your driving record is a contributing factor as well, and thus drivers with spotless records pay the least, and your future destruction derby driver will cause you to pay the most. Maybe he’ll invent a great product one day or get a great career to pay you back for all those wrecked vehicles he accumulated learning to drive.
Where you live can also affect your insurance premiums. More densely-populated metropolitan areas have far more accidents than rural environments, so you pay more for being in a busier city. Makes that more rural, country area sound better and better, doesn’t it.
Remember, don’t go crazy choosing coverage. Everyone is quick to tell you how crazy and dangerous it is to be uninsured, but on the other side of the coin, it is just as crazy to have too much coverage as well. Even though the minimum requirement for state insurance is not nearly enough in most cases, there are ways to keep from getting the top-notch coverage while still keeping your possessions safe in the event of an accident.
A good rule of thumb to have is, “If you have more, get more insurance.” Just like how you struggled with choosing your car, its insurance is just has hard to decide on. Polls taken from surveys say that you could be paying up to $1000 more annually for the same coverage another company could give you. It never hurts to ask, and shopping around with some of the independent companies may save you more than the big names, and give you the same coverage.
There are ways to lower your premiums. First, drive safely, by avoiding collisions and tickets from traffic violations, most companies will offer compensation by giving certain “safe driving” discounts.
Maintaining good credit is becoming a growing trend to consider a person’s credit score when making premiums and setting payment rates. The higher your score the better.
Try dropping unnecessary extras. Things like costs for towing or replacement rental car expenses during repair work may sound like small things, but if your warranty covers these with roadside assistance, you’re paying twice for something you may only need once.
Increasing your deductible. This may sound counterproductive, but increasing your deductible lowers your rates! Of course you’re paying more for when a collision occurs, but the savings on every premium payment allows you room to put back a little bit each time in a savings account for those times you have to foot the bill when a wreck does occur.
There’s always checking your other options. The old rule is, “Look but don’t touch.” So what’s the harm in shopping around? Your situation may change so why not change policies …