Car insurance rates are a complex mix of factors that come together to provide you with a single price point. As a vehicle owner, there are factors you simply do not have much control over when it comes to pricing. Your insurer sets these rates based on the risk factors that apply to you, but these specific elements typically impact a large group of people.
There are car insurance rate factors you can control. However, consider a few of the most common elements that are less flexible.
Where You Live Matters
Location makes a big difference in terms of risk. Insurers typically begin here when it comes to assessing risk. Your community, even the street you live on, can be a key factor in determining your insurance costs. You’re not likely to want to move to get a lower auto insurance rate.
Specifically, your insurer is considering factors such as how many thefts and instances of vandalism occur in any given area. They are also considering how many vehicle accidents happen in the area. They compare this information to other towns and communities to determine if your community is a bit safer or a bit riskier.
What You Drive Matters
The vehicle you drive is also a factor. In every situation, the insurance you have needs to match your vehicle specifically – the value of it, the risks to it, and the way you operate it. Your insurer assesses a wide range of these factors to determine how much risk is present.
For example, a vehicle that’s worth more – or has harder to find parts for repairs – is going to require a higher premium than an older car. If your vehicle is newer, it is typically going to be more valuable than an older vehicle. Larger vehicles can cause more damage in an accident, increasing costs as well.
Factors About You Matter, Too
There are some things about yourself that cannot change either. For example, your age, gender, and marital status are not things you can easily change to get a lower insurance rate. Yet, these factors play a role as well. Younger drivers and older drivers are at a higher risk of being in an accident than the typical 40-year-old. On the other hand, married people are less likely to be in a car accident.
Other Factors to Keep In Mind
Other things impact your car insurance rates that are less flexible as well. For example, your profession can play a role in whether or not you are at high risk of being involved in an accident. Those on the road all of the time, are more likely to be involved in a car accident.
How far you drive is less flexible, too. Though you may be able to cut back to get a lower insurance rate, that’s not likely to happen. If you travel further for school or work, for example, you are on the road more, increasing the risk of being in an accident.
Another factor that is only somewhat controllable is your claims history. It’s never wise to have numerous claims for accidents, but once they are on your record, it’s not possible to simply erase them. You may be able to control this by avoiding claims in the first place when possible, but once you have a number of them, your insurer sees you as more likely to need to file a claim again.
While these are key factors that impact you no matter what your needs are, remember that you remain in control. Invest in a safe vehicle and live in a safe community to reduce your risks across the board. When making decisions about your life, do so from the perspective of safety and wellbeing to help minimize not only costs related to auto insurance but also your overall family’s safety.