There are many factors that can affect your car insurance premiums and, according to underwriters, each comes with a certain “risk.” Insurance underwriters help insurance companies evaluate their clients’ risk by giving each potential risk a numerical value. Once all factors have been given a value, the underwriter tallies up the numbers and offers the insurance company a level of risk on which to base its premiums. This helps insurance companies decide how much coverage a customer should receive and how much companies should charge to insure them. Usually, the greater the risk, the higher the insurance quote. Here are 12 of the top risk factors that underwriters examine when assessing how much you should pay for your car insurance.
- Gender: It has been reported that women are generally safer drivers than men meaning, on average, their insurance premiums will be lower.
- Age: Statistics show that drivers more than 25 years old are considered less of a risk than those under 25. Generally, those older than 25 will pay less for car insurance.
- Marital status: Married couples are also usually less of a risk than singles because underwriters assume (whether true or not) that if you’re married you are a more responsible driver.
- Miles driven (annually): The more miles you drive per year the more of a driving risk you pose, often causing your insurance premiums to rise.
- Where you live: Geography also plays a role in your insurance premium. Drivers in busy and congested cities are considered more of a risk than those driving primarily on country and suburban streets.
- Driving record: This is an obvious one, but it’s still important to note that your violations and accident history play a large role in the premiums you receive.
- Car type: Usually the more expensive your car, the more expensive your rates; however, sometimes insurers see the fact that you own a costly car to be a sign that you are more responsible than those driving around older models.
- Credit rating: A low credit scores often leads to higher premiums. On the flip side, a high credit score will usually afford you better, lower rates.
- Education: If you have a college degree then you are more likely to receive a more attractive insurance premium.
- Job: While not all jobs prove to be a driving risk, some careers are generally more risky than others. For example, an office job is often considered less risky than one that requires driving a tractor-trailer for a living.
- Vehicle use: Whether you’re commuting to work, sharing your car part-time, or driving for leisure, what you do with your car plays a role in how much of a risk you are to your insurance company.
- Safety devices: Many insurance companies will gladly lower your insurance premiums if you have anti-theft devices installed in your vehicle. The more safety devices you have in your car, the lower your premium will likely be.
While some of these risk factors are beyond your control, there are some that you can influence. From keeping your driving record clean to increasing your credit score, there are ways you can decrease your risk as well as your car insurance premiums. Before you request a new insurance quote, read some auto insurance reviews and find out more about the company you will choose to protect you and your family.