Auto insurance rates can be a tricky thing and if you are like many, you don't really understand how car insurance companies determine your premiums. The truth is there are a great many variables that go in to calculating your rates. Each company has slightly different methods of computing risk and accompanying costs. To help you with your shopping, it is good to understand, in general, how insurance companies decide how much to charge you.
Auto Insurance Rates: Items Out of Your Control
We begin with the bad news first. There are a few things, when it comes to auto insurance rates, which are out of your control. Some of these can work in your favor and some will work against you. Your age and sex will affect your car insurance rates. Younger drivers will pay more than older drivers. Males will pay more than females, especially if you are younger. Where you live, this means city and state will be figured into your rates; their may also be differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. Cost of living, traffic conditions and crime rates are important factors associated with where you live and how that affects rates. It is also common for occupation to be considered, as some insurance companies view those employed in some industries less risky or deserving of a discount (teachers, military personnel).
Auto Insurance Rates: Items within Your Control
The good news is that there are many things within your control and that you can manipulate to control or reduce your auto insurance rates. Your driving record and credit history are very important when determining rates and you have control over them. If they are not up to the standards that qualify you for lower rates, you can improve them both over time. The vehicle or vehicles you insure will also be significant, so before you make your vehicle purchase, it is wise to see how much prospective vehicles cost to insure.
A few other items to consider that can affect your auto insurance rates include how much you drive, the type of driving you do, as well as the security and safety features of your vehicle.
Take Advantage of Discounts for Lower Auto Insurance Rates
Discounts can significantly reduce your car insurance payments and each discount that you qualify for piggybacks on the others to further increase your savings. While some of these discounts may be small, such as one or two percent, others are more significant and they all can add up to big savings. Some common discounts may stem from organizational discounts, students getting good grades, purchasing multiple policies from the same company and bundling your car insurance with your homeowners insurance.
Comparing Auto Insurance Rates Can Save You Hundreds
You may be aware that not all car insurance companies are equal when it comes to rates, but you may not realize how significant the differences can be. The way a company determines an individual's risk along with the rate structure of that company results in differences of hundreds of dollars per year in premiums. When comparing car insurance rates, be sure to get quotes from at least 5 reputable companies. This will greatly increase your chances of finding the lowest possible auto insurance rates.