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Factors that Affect Your Insurance Rate

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Car Insurance underwriters look for very specific things in a person’s driving history in order to determine the amount of premium that will have to be paid in order to make insuring them a worthwhile risk for the company. You may be able to get around some of these things if you are prepared for them in advance, others, such as your age, are simply immutable and you have to deal with (or take advantage of).

  • Prior accidents. If you’ve been in a car wreck in the past 5 to 7 years it may affect your car insurance rate depending on your insurer. The best way to get around this negatively affecting your rate is if the accident wasn’t your fault and you have the police report to prove it (keep your police reports).
  • Your age. Sorry, but it’s a fact of life that the younger you are (under 25), the higher your rates, and the same is true with being older (over 60). This is because historically, teen/young adult, and senior driers cause more accidents than other age groups and thus, are a greater risk to insure. One way to get around this if you are a senior driver is to check with specialty insurance companies like AARP, that can offer a lower rate to its clients by spreading the risk around a large pool of candidates.
  • Tickets. The pain doesn’t stop when you write that check to the courthouse for speeding or running that red light. Since most people don’t bother to report these things to the insurance company, don’t worry, the court usually does it for you. Tickets you get go on your driving record in the form of "points". Different tickets have different point values. Get enough points in a certain period of time and you may lose the right to drive. At any rate, points on your record will most assuredly cause your insurance premium to go up.
  • Where you live. Believe it or not, some parts of the city or state are statistically more dangerous to drive in, ergo, if you live there, you will pay higher premiums for the higher risk. It is possible to get around this in some circumstances, if you can garage the car elsewhere, like a friend’s house, for example, and take public transportation to it whenever you need to drive.
  • How you live. It's just another one of those things: Married people tend to drive more safely than unmarried people. The way around this one is fairly obvious – but may not be worth the slight decrease in your car insurance premium if that's all you're after. Learn more insurance shopping tips on the following page.
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