Behind The Premiums: Understanding Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

detail photograph

Car insurance premiums can often feel like an unavoidable burden on drivers, but it’s important to be aware of the various variables that affect how much you’ll pay for coverage. Knowing these influences can help you to make more informed decisions and ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Your Driving History

Insurance companies typically check your driving history when determining your rates. If you’ve been involved in any traffic citations or accidents, these may raise your premiums. Generally, drivers with a clean record for several years will enjoy the lowest rates.

Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, credit scores can affect your car insurance rates. Many insurance companies consider individuals with a high credit score to be lower risk customers, resulting in lower rates. An estimated 95% of insurance companies make use of credit-based insurance scores.

Your Car’s Make and Model

The make and model of your car also have an effect on your insurance rates. If you choose a larger, more powerful vehicle, you can expect to pay higher premiums due to the increased risk of accidents. Some cars can also be more expensive to repair than others.

Your Location

Where you live and drive will affect your car insurance rates. Living in an area with a high rate of car theft or vandalism will make premiums more expensive. Additionally, if you commute long distances, you can expect your rates to be higher than those of drivers who cover shorter distances.

Your Age and Gender

Your gender and age can also play a role in determining your car insurance premiums. Statistically, younger drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than those over 30, causing premiums to increase for those demographic categories. Research suggests that women are often better drivers than men, and so may pay slightly lower premiums.

Shop Around

Ultimately, it’s impossible to know which company is offering the best deal without shopping around. Comparison websites can help to narrow down your options, allowing you to make an informed decision regarding car insurance.