Newnan & Coweta: What influences your insurance rates?

This is probably one of my least favorite topics, yet it can certainly be a life saver when you need it: Car Insurance. Now before we start lambasting the car insurance industry, let’s just all agree that it is something you are required by law to have and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Now that’s out of our system, let’s talk about what influences your insurance rates and how you can get the lowest insurance premium that is afforded to you. Let’s say that you’ve got a good driving record and all of the factors that could cause rates to raise are in your favor. What are the factors that insurance companies look at before they quote you a rate? Some of it you can change and some of it you can’t change.

You can’t change:

  • Your age
    Unless you know something we don’t, aging is unavoidable. It’s just a fact that the oldest and the youngest drivers are far more likely to have accidents.
  • Gender
    Again, you can’t argue with fact here. Guys, the numbers aren’t in your favor here as women statistically make safer drivers.
  • Marital Status
    OK, you CAN change this, but let’s be realistic here, how many people do you know who marry simply to lower their insurance rates? Yeah. Me neither.

You can change:

  • Geography
    Where you live does matter. For example, if you live in rural America, aside from the rare moose collision, you are far less likely to have a wreck or have your car stolen than those living in a city. Actually, sometimes even just moving across the street can change your rate.
  • Driving violations
    AHHHH…The permanent record! Speeding tickets, running red lights, failure to yield, etc. all count toward your auto insurance rate.
  • Your vehicle
    If you must have that cherry red Vette, or the Porsche GT3, get out your checkbook. Your insurance premiums will definitely be higher.
  • Accident claims
    Of course you can’t change the past in regards to accidents, but you can keep your slate clean and free of any more accidents. This will hold you in better standing than lots of fender benders.
  • Credit rating
    Have a poor, or no credit history? You are considered a higher risk. Get that credit under control.
  • Occupation
    Believe it or not, insurers have found correlation between your occupation and risk. It makes sense that if you deliver  pizzas, you could be a higher risk of having an accident.

Even when you think you have everything in your favor there are still a few other things that can affect your insurance rates such as:

  • Miles driven per year
  • Distance to work
  • Occupation
  • Years of driving experience
  • Business use of the vehicle
  • Whether or not you currently have auto insurance
  • Theft protection devices (often results in discounts)
  • Multiple cars and drivers (another opportunity for discounts)

Now that you are thoroughly overwhelmed, your best bet is to take your time and comparison shop. It will certainly pay off in the long run.

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