Many drivers are surprised when they realize that there are other factors that can influence their car insurance rates aside from their driving record and credit score. While these two factors have a large affect on your car insurance premiums, there are other lesser-known influences that may be driving your car insurance rates.
Though this usually is not a big influence, your gender can affect the cost of your car insurance. This is especially true for young teenage drivers. A male drive may pay as much as $400 more a year than a female driver of the same age for the same coverage. Men tend to pay higher car insurance premiums than women because they, on average, are statistically more likely to participate in reckless driving and be involved in high-speed accidents. Gender may not have as much of an affect on your cat insurance rates as your age, but it can still be a determining factor.
Not only do insurers look at your driving past—they also look at your insurance past. If you have previous gaps in your coverage, cancelled policies or were dropped by an insurer, an insurance provider may see you as higher risk to insure. Keep this in mind before you cancel your coverage or simply stop payments. Go through the proper precautions to pay your premiums on time and notify your insurance agent if you ever want to change or cancel your policy.
This includes if you were required to have insurance by a court, such as if you were ordered an SR22 requirement. If you have a lapse in coverage during an SR22 requirement, you could have your policy cancelled, and it can be much harder to find affordable car insurance afterwards.
How Far You Drive
The mileage you regularly drive can affect how much you pay in insurance. Drivers who take long road trips or frequently travel in their vehicle may pay more for auto insurance than someone who only uses their vehicle to commute to and from work. This is because the more time you spend on the road, the more danger you face of an accident. Traveling also brings unfamiliar roads and traffic signals, which can cause confusion and, in turn, wrecks. Insurance providers often offer discounts for low-mileage clients, but you can still save money even if you travel a lot. Be sure to speak with your insurance agent about the purpose of your vehicle. If you frequently use your vehicle for work purposes, you may qualify for commercial auto insurance.
How you own a vehicle can affect the cost of your premiums. Insurance for an older vehicle runs a different rate than a leased or financed vehicle. In part, insurance premiums can change because older vehicles that are paid off may need lower limits than financed or leased vehicles. When you lease or finance a vehicle, you are generally required to insure it with full coverage. Older vehicles that are paid off, however, do not have this requirement, so you can choose less coverage. Lower coverage means lower premiums, but still make sure that you have enough coverage to protect your finances in case of an accident.
Believe it or not, being married can affect the cost of your car insurance, too. Married couples tend to pay less in car insurance than single individuals. If a driver is recently divorced or widowed, they may see a spike in their car insurance rates. One reason for this is that drivers with families are seen as more likely to drive carefully, whereas drivers who are recently divorced or widowed may be inclined to participate in unsafe driving habits.
Who is Allowed to Drive the Car
Even if you don’t name another insured on your vehicle, other drivers who live with you can affect the cost of your car insurance. If you frequently let a friend borrow your car to go to work, you could see a rise in your car insurance rates.
In some cases, insurers will dictate drivers as “excluded drivers.” If you live with someone who is considered a high-risk driver, an insurer may give you a car insurance policy with the stipulation that the high-risk driver is not allowed to operate the vehicle. If they are given permission to drive the insured vehicle, they will not be covered for any accidents they cause.
Adding someone to your policy, such as a spouse or a teenage driver, can raise your rates significantly because the insurer now calculates your premiums based on the other person’s information, as well, such as driving record, age, credit score, etc.
As always, make sure to ask your insurance provider about discounts you may qualify for. Different insurers offer different types and rates of discounts. Ask about good driver discounts, good student discounts and more to save money on auto insurance.