Car insurance is a very affordable way to protect yourself against the financial devastation of a potential lawsuit or the loss of your vehicle. In 2014, the average U.S. driver paid about $866 for liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, but that number does not tell the whole story. The truth is many people paid much more than that, and many paid less. Where do you fall on the spectrum? Better yet, what variables in your life are contributing to the price you pay for coverage? Continue reading to learn some of what goes into your car insurance premiums and what you can do to get a more competitive rate.
Young drivers tend to pay much more for coverage because they are at higher risk of an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a driver age 16-19 is nearly three times more likely to be in a crash than a more experienced driver age 20 or older. Fortunately, those higher premiums start to taper off as the birthdays roll by. However, some students may qualify for rate discounts sooner if they can show proof of good grades in school.
On the other hand, drivers in their 50s and 60s may begin to enjoy much lower rates than they did in their earlier adult years. These drivers are considered to be among the most experienced on the road and are also more likely to be retired. That means they tend to drive less and are also less likely to be involved in an accident.
They say that your past can come back to haunt you, and that is true for car insurance. Insurers have access to your driving record, and a consumer report called the CLUE report. Together, these two reports offer information about driving and vehicle-related incidents in the past, from speeding tickets and DUIs to car accidents and insurance claims. Even your denied claims may appear on your CLUE report. If you have too many citations or claims in previous years, you may be penalized with a higher rate or be denied coverage altogether.
Certain vehicles pose a bigger risk for insurers than others. For example, if you drive a Honda Accord or a Civic, some insurers might charge more since those were the most stolen models of vehicles in 2015. Likewise, you might pay more if you drive a luxury vehicle that would cost a lot to repair or replace after an accident. Insurers will want to know the make, model, and year of your vehicle, as well as information about any safety features it is equipped with.
Your personal details matter when it comes to car insurance. Carriers can count nearly anything against your rates, including things you cannot change, such as your gender, marital status, where you live, and how far away your job is. It might seem unfair, but studies have shown a strong link between these types of factors and your likelihood of filing a claim. Young, unmarried males, for example, are considered higher risk than older, married females. Similarly, people who clock more miles on the road, whether for work or during a daily commute, are at higher risk of being in an accident than those who drive for leisure only.
Shop Around for Rates
While you may be able to do little to change your risk profile, you can ensure you are getting a competitive rate for the coverage you need. Always shop with an independent agent here at Wheaton Insurance, where we can compare quotes from multiple insurers on your behalf. Call us today for more information. We look forward to serving you soon.