Factors that Help Determine How Much you will pay for Auto Insurance

Before you start shopping for the best rate on auto insurance, you should be aware of the factors that may influence the overall cost of your policy. Previous accidents, traffic violations and coverage level are only part of the equation.

Good Credit Matters

Many insurance companies will examine your credit score as a partial determinant of your auto insurance rate. Statistics demonstrate that drivers with proper credit are also safer drivers. You should find out your credit score. If your score is below average (usually lower than a 650), look for companies that will not check your credit. If your credit score is 700 or higher, seek out an insurance company that includes creditworthiness in its rate criteria.

Good Grades Often Matter

While working as an insurance adjuster, I often examined automobiles that had an honour student bumper sticker on them. More often than not, the corresponding insurance policy did not include a “good student” discount. Usually, this is because people forget to ask about these types of cuts when they are shopping for insurance. It is especially true when people buy for coverage online (since many online quote forms do not ask about student performance). If you have a good student in the family, then make sure that you ask about performance-based discounts.

Previous Gaps in your Insurance Coverage Matter

Even if you have never been in an accident, you will pay more for car insurance if you have previously driven without having insurance. It is the case even if you live in one of the many states that do not require drivers to carry liability insurance. With this in mind, you should do everything possible to maintain your auto insurance at all times. With the number of high deductibles, liability only policies available, a minimum level of coverage is often more affordable than you think.

Other Factors that can have an Impact on your Insurance Rate

Where you live

Auto insurance is usually more expensive in urban areas than in other areas. There are exceptions, especially if you live in a rural area where there are lots of automobile/animal accidents (Think deer in Wisconsin). What you drive

Almost everyone knows that more expensive vehicles cost more to insure. However, replacement part costs are also a factor. Some foreign cars are more costly to protect as a result of this factor (though most major international brands have high part availability).

What else you insure

If you own a home, you will get a discount if you insure your vehicle with the same company that carries your homeowner’s insurance. What many people don’t know is that renter’s insurance often works the same way. You should have renters insurance anyway, so why not ask about discounts before you purchase an auto insurance policy.

How you protect your car

Car owners with secure garages usually get lower rates. Anti-theft systems will often result in a discount as well. It is especially the case if your anti-theft system is “active” (i.e. shuts the car down if a thief attempts to drive it away). Passive systems (the ones that make loud noises) will usually not result in lower rates.

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