Your auto insurance bill waits for you in the mailbox. You rip it open, and discover . . . that your rates have increased. It’s frustrating, but unfortunately rate increases are part of the game when it comes to auto insurance. Here are the top five reasons why your auto insurance rates may increase.
Accidents and Traffic Violations
one of the most infamous ways to receive an increase to your insurance rates is to be involved in a car accident. They cost insurance company’s money when they cover damages and injuries, so they’ll naturally look to you to as a source for recouping those costs. And when your insurance company has an accident or a ticket as evidence that you don’t drive safely, they’ll consider you a higher risk and expect you to pay more for their coverage.
Adding another Driver to the Policy
putting another driver on an existing auto insurance policy often increases insurance premiums, especially if the other driver has a less-than-stellar driving record. Adding a teenage driver can result in huge price increases. Because less experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents—and cost the insurance companies more money as a result—they cost more to insure.
Driving a Different Car
Even if your driving record is spotless, just changing cars can increase your insurance premiums. Newer cars are worth more than older cars, so to insure them typically costs more. And lenders generally require full coverage on vehicles that they’re financing. Since the lending institution technically owns the car until you’ve paid for it, they want to protect their investment. On the other hand, older cars that have been completely paid for require much less insurance.
Unfortunately, just switching to a different make and model can still increase your premiums. According to autoinsurancequote.com, if the make and model of your vehicle has a high rate of theft, it will cost more to insure it. Some makes and models have higher accident rates, and again the insurance companies will consider them greater risks and will charge more to insure them—even if your personal driving record is clean.
Moving to a New Area
you may have the same cars, the same drivers, and the same driving record, but if you move to an area with a higher incidence of traffic accidents, you’ll be paying more for your insurance. This change could be as simple as moving from a rural area to a populated one or from a smaller city to a larger one. Regardless of the exact mechanics of calculating your rates, you can expect changes when you move to a new location.
Other Rising Costs
According to carsdirect.com, insurance rates are tied to other industries. And when other costs increase, insurance rates do as well. Insurance companies most often pay money out for car repairs, medical costs, and legal fees. When these prices go up, insurance companies increase their premiums as well.
An interesting twist to all this is that many of these factors can also make your insurance rates go down. If you switch from an expensive car to an older model, you’ll pay less for insurance. If you move to an area where accident rates are lower, your insurance costs will go down then, too. Exactly how insurance rates are set can be a complicated matter, but with a little knowledge you can use this to your advantage.
Author Sandy Landsford is an accountant and blogs for carinsurance.org.uk, a site where you can compare car insurance rates.