Some factors responsible for higher auto insurance rates have nothing to do with your driving record. Learn what affects your car insurance rates most.
reprinted from the 7/20/09 article on Carsdirect.com
Have you had your auto insurance rates increase even though you have a clean driving record? This is an extremely frustrating phenomenon, but it is bound to happen when the economy functions the way it does.
You may not think about it, but if you change cars, especially if you replace an older car for a newer one, your rates will go up. Even though everything about you is the same, a new car costs more to repair and replace than an older vehicle. If you have a new car with a loan, then you are required to have complete comprehensive and collision coverage on the vehicle. If you had only liability coverage on an older car, then the increase between liability and complete insurance can be shocking.
Covering the Risk
High-powered statisticians called actuaries set insurance rates. Actuaries crunch lots of data about accidents, drivers, road conditions in states, tickets, types of cars, ages of drivers, crime and accident statistics for your city, and many other factors you may not even consider as having an impact on insurance rates. But the actuaries figure out how much each of these factors affects the cost of insuring a car.
If the costs for your age group, gender or area of the country go up, then your rates will go up. This applies even if you weren’t a contributor to the higher rates—if your driving record was completely clean, you never speed and you drive only a few miles a day. Still, your rates will go up if the cost of your overall demographic goes up. That’s how insurance actuaries cover the risks.
Part of the cost of auto insurance covers medical care for you and/or those you may injure in an accident. As the cost of health care increases and resources become scarcer, then the cost of auto insurance also goes up. The increased costs of health care have to be absorbed into the policies so that the health benefits can be paid.
Much of the cost of automobile insurance is linked to the costs of car repairs. If you have had occasion to get an estimate or a repair done on the body of your car especially, then you know that even a very simple body repair is extremely expensive. A simple, 3-inch scratch on the door of a car can cost more than $300 to repair, while additional accidents cost even more. These rising auto repair costs must be absorbed into the premiums, so this also causes a rise in rates.
Often those involved in a car accident sue the person who was at fault and sue the insurance company to get further benefits. Insurance companies tend to pay as little as possible, and will sometimes deny claims that seem obviously payable. It is in these cases that attorney’s fees begin to rise. This means the cost of doing business rises, and the cost to the insured rises in turn.
The cost of insurance goes up, even if you are a great driver and never have an accident. While it doesn’t seem fair, it is the way insurance companies keep prices average for everyone.
Related Questions and Answers
Does Auto Financing Increase the Cost of Car Insurance?
In many ways financing a vehicle can increase your cost of car insurance. Financed vehicles typically are required to carry a certain level of insurance, per your lenders recommendations. This ensures that should you wreck your vehicle, your lender, who technically owns the car, is assured that it will be repaired or covered if totaled. Vehicles without financing only need to carry liability coverage, which is cheaper and provides less coverage to you and your vehicle.
Why Do Auto Insurance Rates Rise as a Car Gets Older?
Generally, auto insurance rates are actually cheaper for older vehicles. Newer cars typically cost more to repair and replace then an older one. This is especially true if your new vehicle is financed, as you will be required to carry a certain level of collision coverage. Older vehicles without financing can be insured with only liability insurance, which is far cheaper. Though it offers less coverage to you and your vehicle.
Does My Car Insurance Rate Go Down if I’m Married?
For the most part, automotive insurance companies across the country do not lower the rates of their policy holders even if they have car insurance while married during the term of the current policy. You will need to wait until the current policy runs out and you sign a new one. Most auto insurance companies will lower rates when their drivers hit the age of 24, 25, or 26. Some will lower the rates when the driver has accumulated a certain amount of driving years. Other companies will lower the rates based on their young driver’s academic records, such as their grades.
Will My Quote on Auto Insurance Change if I Become Married or Divorced?
The quote on auto insurance will be different depending on your marital status. At nearly every age, being married is a sign of stability and the corresponding rates for auto insurance tend to be less if you are married than if you are not. This is especially true for young men who traditionally have higher insurance rates than women; if you are 22 and married you tend to be more mature and drive safer than a bachelor. These are broad generalizations but have some truth to them. It follows then that if you become divorced rates also tend to go up because now you have one driver instead of two on which to spread the driving frequency over the number of vehicles in the household.
Are there any Auto Car Insurance Companies that Aren’t Gender Biased?
There are not many auto car insurance companies in the United States today that are not gender bias. The reason for this is that there are no laws that govern gender bias in the auto insurance industry. Statistically, men have a higher risk of getting into an accident than women do, which is a major reason why men are charged more on their policy than women in today’s world. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not even mention auto insurance companies or insurance rates when it comes to discriminating against men or women. If you want this bias to stop, get your lawmakers to write a new law.
What is the Definition of a High Risk Driver for Car Insurance?
Auto insurance companies tend to charge high risk drivers a greater rate with their high risk driver car insurance policies for a couple of reasons. Those reasons include multiple tickets on the driver’s account, multiple accidents, delinquency on paying tickets, multiple insurance claims filed against the driver by others, and much more. When a driver is deemed as high risk by an auto insurance company, they will face higher rates than one not designated as high risk. A high risk driver is someone who is more prone to get into accidents than other drivers.
Will an Out of State Traffic Ticket Ever Go on Your Driving Record?
You’re on vacation and just got an out of state traffic ticket. You’re wondering if that ticket will follow you back to your home state. Succinctly, yes, it will. Your name and offense will go into a non-resident driving offender database, which is accessible by all fifty states and the District of Columbia Motor Vehicles Departments. It is usually recommended to try and take care of a ticket right away when you’re out of state. Some states will allow you to remove the ticket from your record by attending an online driver safety or traffic school course. However this may only be a benefit to you if you are at-risk for having your license revoked by the state you reside. Often the traffic school will only negate the impact of that ticket for your state but the insurance company will still know the incident happened, and rate for it upon renewal.
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