How Are Your Car Insurance Rates Calculated?
The average American makes car insurance payments his/her entire adult life and most people are baffled by/ discontented with their car insurance rates. Since it is a consistent an unavoidable expense, it is best to understand what determines your insurance rates and use that knowledge to get the best coverage you can. There are many different factors that come into play when determining insurance rates.
Age: According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009, approximately 8 drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 die every single day due to an automobile crash and drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at least 4 times more likely to cause a car crash than drivers from any other age group. Since young drivers tend to be unsafe, their insurance rates tend to be very high, which is unfortunate since many of them can’t afford to pay so much, given the pressures of minimum wage jobs and /or their academics. They can however, ask their insurance company if they are eligible for any discounts; many companies offer discounts to students who complete a defensive driver’s course or excel academically. Once over the age of 25, most drivers are able to find more affordable car insurance quotes.
Driving record: Your driving record plays a huge part in determining your insurance rates. It is an indication of how likely you are to make claims and have claims made against you. Even something as minor as a few speeding tickets can send your car insurance rates through the roof. The defensive driver’s course mentioned above helps you keep your driving record clean, which in turn helps you find reasonable car insurance quotes and keeps your insurance rates low year after year.
State: The average cost of gas, rent, food, cigarettes, etc is different in every state. The same goes for insurance. Depending on the population, the climate, the average accidents per year, legislation and many other factors, each state has different car insurance rates. Also those who only want to purchase the bare minimum insurance required by law should keep in mind that every state has a different minimum requirement, so the amount they spend on insurance will depend on the state they live in. For example if you live in Texas, you are required to have liability coverage for bodily injury of at least the $30,000 for one person and $60,000 for all persons. In Texas your car insurance must also cover a minimum of $25000 in coverage for property damage. On the other hand, the minimum requirement for Arizona car insurance is significantly lower; Arizona requires you to purchase liability coverage of $15,000 for bodily injuries sustained by one person, $30,000 per accident for all the people injured and $10,000 in property damage coverage. An important thing to keep in mind is that the minimum coverage required by your state may not be sufficient in the event of an accident. You may end up spending an obscene amount on injuries, damages and medical fees if you don’t get adequate coverage. It is advisable to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, PIP (depending on which state you are in) and uninsured and underinsured motori’s coverage.
Demographics: Your insurance rates tend to reflect who you are. Your age, marital status, address, credit history, etc are all taken into consideration by your prospective company before they offer you a car insurance quote. We have gone over the significance of age, but why do the other details matter? A high frequency of natural disasters, crime, and vandalism within close range of your zip-code all suggest that there is a greater probability of you filing claims, hence it is in the best interest of your insurance provider to charge you higher car insurance rates than they would someone who lives in a sleepy retirement community. So keep car insurance rates in mind when you go house hunting. Your marital status, income levels and credit history provide an insight into your economic stability, giving your prospective company an idea about your ability to pay off deductibles and make premium payments in time, hence also affecting your insurance rates.
Your car: The car insurance quotes you receive depend on the make, model, safety features and condition of your car because some cars cost more to fix than others and the presence of safety features diminishes the risk of injuries. The safer your car, the more affordable your car insurance rates, so install safety features like air bags. In fact some insurance companies will even give you a discount for doing so.
Premiums and Deductibles: The higher your deductibles, the lower your premiums. However, make sure you can afford the deductible you opt for rather than raising it thoughtlessly just because it will lower your insurance rates.
Insurance Provider: Finally, insurance rates vary from provider to provider. The car insurance quotes you receive from one company may be higher than those offered by another. Similarly, one company may choose to raise you premiums after your first accident, while another company may have a policy to overlook the first accident. Do your research before making a decision. The obscure company offering the cheapest insurance rates may cost you a fortune in the long run. Do not settle for anything less than a reputed, reliable company that will come through for you when you need it to.
Bethany Collins works from home and is a mother of two naughty kids. She lives with her husband. Her only hobby is reading and her interest lies in topics related to personal finance, car insurance etc. She loves to write on topics like managing your budget, getting car insurance quotes, saving money and investments, etc.