Many factors that affect your car insurance rates, such as your location and driving record, are well known. But there are some influences that you may not think of when shopping for car insurance.
Previous Car Insurance Policies
Believe it or not, your car insurance premiums can be affected by your previous car insurance policy. This is true for many reasons. For example, having higher previous car insurance limits can save you money when you switch insurers, as they see you as more responsible than someone who chooses too low amounts of coverage.
On the other hand, choosing lower limits previously can cost you money in the future. Say you only have basic state required liability limits on your car insurance policy. You get into a wreck and the damages turn into a lawsuit that cost more than what your policy covered.
If you have a history of choosing lower limits, you may pay higher insurance premiums in the future.
Also keep in mind that insurance providers often share information. If you have a lapse in coverage, fail to pay your car insurance premiums, or have other issues with your car insurance payments, you may pay more for a new car insurance policy. This is especially true if your policy is cancelled by a previous insurer.
Keeping Information from Your Insurer
Along the same theme, keeping information from potential insurers can cost you money. Insurance providers always want to know about previous wrecks and claims. If you lie about previous claims or your driving record, you could risk having your policy cancelled and face higher premiums in the future.
Lying to your insurance provider is considered “soft fraud.” Your DMV and insurance provider share information, so accidents that you do not report directly will likely find your insurance provider, nonetheless.
Why and How Far You Drive
Your miles and the reason you use your vehicle can affect the cost of your car insurance premiums. How far you drive is one of the more well-known aspects, especially for insurance providers who offer low mileage discounts. But why you drive can change your premiums, as well.
Do you only use your vehicle to commute to and from work? Or do you often take long trips? Is your vehicle occasionally used for work purposes aside from commuting? If you use your car for more than commuting, you could see higher premiums.
Your Marriage Status
While it may seem like personal matter, whether or not you are married, widowed or divorced can often influence the cost of your car insurance. Generally, couples can pay less for car insurance than single individuals. If you get married, your rates can drop, but getting divorced or your spouse passing away can cause your rates to go up. This type of influence is not allowed in Hawaii, Massachusetts or Montana, but may be considered in other U.S. states.
In most states, drivers with a higher education save more on average than drivers with a lower education. For example, say you and your friend are the same age, gender and have the same coverage limits. But you have a bachelor’s degree while your friend has a high school diploma. In all likelihood, you will pay less than your friend on the same exact car insurance. You can choose not to inform your insurer about your education level, but this can result in higher premiums, anyway.
Violations from Years Ago
Say you have a car insurance policy and get a DUI. Your license is suspended, and your car insurance premiums skyrocket by 80%. You decide to move to another car insurance provider in an attempt to save money.
Unfortunately, that DUI is still on your record and will follow you to your new insurer, even if it has been years since your DUI. Most car insurance providers look back around five years on your driving record. But violations such as DUIs can remain on your record for up to ten years. So even if you switch insurers, you could still face high premiums based on your previous violations. Once that violation drops off your record, such as at the end of ten years after a DUI, you should see a significant drop in your car insurance rates.
In some cases, your gender can affect the cost of your car insurance. On average, men pay more for car insurance than women, as they are statistically more likely to participate in reckless driving habits and get into wrecks. The difference in premiums between male and female are most obvious for younger drivers, as a 16-year-old boy will pay a significant amount more for car insurance than a 16-year-old girl for the same car insurance policy and coverage.