When I lived on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, it seemed that every morning I’d see another car with the window smashed, the interior ransacked and the stereo gone. After I relocated to sunny San Diego, CA to enjoy a slower-paced, beachy lifestyle, I expected certain costs of living to go down. Surprisingly, my auto insurance premiums went up. Turns out that San Diego has a high theft rate, and due to our proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, recovery of stolen cars can be challenging. Hence the higher auto insurance rates for everyone.
Zip code is one factor in determining auto insurance rates. But many other variables come into play, too. Here are some of the most common culprits and what you can do to overcome them.
Table of Contents
- 1 10. You aren’t bundling your policies
- 2 9. You’ve cancelled more than a few times
- 3 8. You have full coverage when you should have liability only
- 4 7. Your insurer thinks you drive more than you actually do
- 5 6. You have no legacy
- 6 5. Someone on your policy is considered a youthful operator
- 7 4. You’ve made claims that resulted in large payouts
- 8 3. Your address has a track record of loss-related incidents
- 9 2. Your vehicle safety discount has been removed
- 10 1. You have a bad driving record
10. You aren’t bundling your policies
Some insurance companies will give you a multi-line discount if you have homeowner’s, life or other car policies with the same carrier. The more you have, the cheaper the total price tag can be.
9. You’ve cancelled more than a few times
Non-payment of your bills or failure to provide the insurer with requested information can result in cancellation. And, in addition to fines from your local Motor Vehicles, your premium may rise, as you’re seen as unreliable and a future risk.
8. You have full coverage when you should have liability only
As a rule of thumb, newer cars should have full coverage that covers both you and the other party if in an accident. “Liability only” makes sure the other party is covered but pays nothing toward your own repairs. Your repairs will always be covered by the other driver’s insurance when it’s determined that the other driver is at fault. In the case of a one-car accident though (you hit a pole, for example), you’re on your own.
7. Your insurer thinks you drive more than you actually do
When you first insure a car, your mileage is used to calculate how much you drive annually. People who commute long distances each year are in a different rate class than drivers who use their car infrequently.
6. You have no legacy
This means you have no history with the insurer. Some insurers allow parents to pass on their policy history to children, allowing the younger generation to take advantage of significant discounts.
5. Someone on your policy is considered a youthful operator
Depending on the type of car and its safety rating, the cost of letting your teen drive a car in your household may be what it takes to finally force them to get that summer job.
4. You’ve made claims that resulted in large payouts
With some insurers, a large payout for an accident or theft, whether it’s your fault or not, can lead to an increased premium.
Companies divide cities up into certain zones and use accident, vandalism, and theft rates to put a price on your premium. Living a block from a busy intersection where crashes are frequent or in a neighborhood that had a rash of break-ins can affect your price greatly. What you pay every six months in rural Illinois may be what you pay monthly in urban New Jersey.
2. Your vehicle safety discount has been removed
This has nothing to do with the actual driver, but rather the cost to repair your specific make and model vehicle across the board. If the company finds that there are more claims being made related to your type of vehicle and/or the cost to repair your type of vehicle rises, your premium will go up. This helps to explain the mystery of why some cars are more expensive to insure in red or black than in white.
1. You have a bad driving record
Dette er grunden til et forsikringsselskab har brug for din adresse og kørekort nummer-, så de kan vurdere din potentielle risiko. Men nogle udbydere, når først at give dig et tilbud, du ikke søge på din historie, før du logge på med dem. Dette betyder at hvis du har et par ulykker og billetter derude, og de ikke blev opdaget i starten, vil din præmie stige, når det er tid til at forny.
Ahmad Faishal is now a full-time writer and former Analyst of BPD DIY Bank. He’s Risk Management Certified. Specializing in writing about financial literacy, Faishal acknowledges the need for a world filled with education and understanding of various financial areas including topics related to managing personal finance, money and investing and considers investoguru as the best place for his knowledge and experience to come together.