If you’re looking for lower car insurance, you’re not alone.
A recent study from Insure.com found the average car insurance premium jumped almost 7% in 2019 compared to last year. It’s a trend that keeps happening year after year.
There are several factors that go into determining your rate, and you might be surprised to find out some of them actually can lower your car insurance.
Car insurance companies are increasing premiums for a number of reasons. Even drivers who have a clean driving record - no accidents or tickets - are paying more for car insurance.
One reason for the high cost is rising repair costs. Many cars today are loaded with technology to improve driver safety, but it comes at a cost. A rise in distracted driving is another reason for expensive car insurance. Studies show that we’re on our phones more than ever, and it’s a growing trend behind car crashes.
There are several factors that influence car rates, but here are five that can have the most impact on decreasing your annual premium.
1. Getting older
Most of us don’t like to think about getting older. Another year, another cake, more candles. Although turning 21 was fun, I don’t know if I can say the same about 30. My hips hurt a little more every year. I’m totally OK with going out to dinner and being home and in bed by 10pm. The struggle is real.
But, while aging is something we have no control over, age plays a huge role in determining your car insurance premium. While young adults typically get slammed with the highest car insurance rates, 30-somethings will find they’re now paying less for car insurance. The older you are translates into having more driving experience making you less of a risk to insurance companies. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that drivers ages 30 to 69 are much less likely to crash.
2. Saying ‘I do’
It’s true, getting hitched can save you anywhere from 5-15% on your car insurance. After I got married, my husband and I put our cars under one policy and saved a few bucks thanks to a multi-vehicle discount. Data also show that married people tend to drive more responsibly and get into fewer accidents.
Be sure to notify your insurance company after your nuptials.
3. Buying a home
Buying a home is daunting, and the cost of homeownership is significant. But paying your mortgage on time every month can boost your credit score. A good credit score is another factor that insurers consider to determine your premiums. What’s more, many insurance companies offer a pretty sweet discount if you bundle your homeowners insurance with your car insurance.
In addition to getting a discount on your insurance, bundling with one provider just makes paying the monthly bills more efficient. Two bills, one provider.
4. SUV life
Coupe? SUV? If you’re in the market for a new car, know that the type of car you choose will definitely impact your insurance rate. I was surprised to find out that insurance for my Toyota SUV was actually lower than if I had bought a sedan. Insurance companies look at data from drivers with your model vehicle to see if there are more accidents or claims reported. Insurance companies also consider theft rates and safety ratings of the model vehicle to insure.
5. Start carpooling
The number of miles you drive each year will have an affect on your car insurance. If you recently started carpooling or using public transportation to get to work or school, let your insurance company know right away. The less you are on the road means you are at less risk for getting into an accident.
In New York, the average premium came in at $1,789, which is a 24% increase from 2018 to 2019. Even Virginia, which is historically one of the cheapest states for auto insurance, saw a 5% increase in their premiums compared to last year; Virginia’s average premium is $1,063.
Michigan is named the most expensive state for car insurance. The incredibly high premiums are due to a combination of things. For one, Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning drivers are able to recover financial losses from their own insurance company regardless of who is at fault. On top of that, the Great Lakes State has a one-of-a-kind feature that provides unlimited lifetime medical coverage to anyone seriously injured in an auto accident.
Louisiana premiums averaged $2,298 making them the second most expensive state for insurance, followed by Florida at $2,219.
Other reasons for your car insurance going up include an increasing number of accidents due to distracted driving, worsening traffic, and higher car repair costs and medical costs. Insurance companies are having to make larger payouts on claims, and the increased cost is being passed on to the customer.
There are several factors that can affect your car insurance rates. Some factors we can’t always control, such as location or our age. If you are financing or leasing your car, you’re required to have certain coverage limits.
But being aware of all the factors helps to ensure you have the best car insurance. If you think you’re eligible for a new discount or can bundle different policies, notify your insurance company right away. Get quotes from different insurance companies and compare the premiums and discounts offered. Every insurer uses a different formula to determine their rates.
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