The factors that affect your car indemnity rates can seem like a complete mystery. Some of them are outside your command, like your long time. But others are within your clasp, like paying your bills on time, driving safely and shopping round for the cheapest rates — and they can save you hundreds of dollars a class. hera are 25 factors that can affect what you pay for car insurance. ( Some states ban the manipulation of one or more of these factors in policy pricing, so they may not all give where you live. )


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Your personal characteristics

1. Your age

Young, inexperienced drivers are more probably than older drivers to have accidents. As a result, policy companies broadly charge higher rates for drivers younger than 25. Premiums start to creep up again for drivers senesce 65 and older, according to NerdWallet ’ s most recent rate analysis.

2. Your gender

In most states, insurers can charge different rates for male and female drivers. This frequently means rates for men are higher when they ’ ra young, and rates for women are higher when they ’ ra older. A handful of states won ’ thyroxine leave insurers to differentiate by sex.

3. Your marital status

Most large car indemnity companies have lower rates for marital drivers than for those who are individual, separated, divorced or widowed, inquiry by the Consumer Federation of America shows.

4. Your education

Drivers with college degrees broadly pay less for car indemnity. Insurers say highly educated people tend to file fewer claims. however, using education levels in setting prices has come under fire in recent years, and some states are moving away from allowing this practice.

Where you live, what you do and your finances

5. Your address

localization is one of the primary coil factors affecting car indemnity rates. average premiums vary dramatically by department of state, because each state has different regulations. average rates in Michigan and Louisiana, for model, can be more than doubly the average rates in Ohio and Maine. Rates besides vary significantly by ZIP code and vicinity. rural drivers pay less than those in cities, where vandalism, larceny and crashes are more common, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

6. Your job

Drivers with certain occupations pay higher rates because they ’ re more likely than others to file indemnity claims, according to some insurers. But consumer advocates have challenged the use of occupation in setting cable car indemnity rates. Some states have banned it or are considering a ban.

7. Your credit history

Whether you pay your bills on prison term can be a huge factor affecting your cable car policy rates. In many states, insurance companies use credit-based indemnity scores, which are different from your regular indemnity score, to set prices. Your regular accredit seduce is typically a good indicator of your credit-based insurance score. On average, a 40-year-old driver with poor citation, as reported to the insurance company, pays about doubly vitamin a a lot for car policy as an equivalent driver with good recognition, a NerdWallet analysis found. Statistics show that people with poor recognition tend to file more claims, the Insurance Information Institute says. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan don ’ thymine leave insurers to use credit when determining car indemnity rates. Below are the median annual costs of full and minimum coverage for drivers with hapless credit .

Driver age Full coverage minimal coverage
25 $ 3,373 $ 1,164
40 $ 2,812 $ 984

8. Whether you own a home

Some companies give homeowners a price break on car insurance, even if they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate bargain homeowners coverage through the same insurance company. many offer discounts if you bundle multiple policies, such as homeowners and car insurance, with the like party .

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Where and how you drive

9. Your driving record

If you ’ ve had accidents, traffic tickets or violations like a DUI, you ’ ll credibly pay more for cable car insurance than a driver with a clean record. For exercise, a 40-year-old driver with a DUI on their record would pay closely doubly adenine a lot for minimal coverage as a similar driver with a clean record, NerdWallet ’ sulfur analysis found. In some cases you might need a company that specializes in insuring bad drivers.

10. How much you drive

Low-mileage drivers often get cheaper car insurance, because less time on the road means fewer opportunities for an accident. Low-mileage drivers may besides save by choosing pay-per-mile policy, which tracks how many miles they drive to set premiums.

11. Where you park your car

Keeping your car in a garage is less bad than parking it on the street, and your insurance rates may reflect this, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

12. Your years of driving experience

If you started driving at 23, you ’ ll credibly pay more for car indemnity at 25 than person your long time who ’ s been driving since 16. Your rates are likely to decline as you get more feel behind the wheel.

13. Auto insurance claims you’ve made

When your indemnity company pays an accident claim on your behalf, you may see higher rates at your next policy renewal. On average, drivers with a late at-fault accident pay over 50 % more for full moon coverage than those with a clean record, according to our analysis. Some insurers offer accident forgiveness, promising not to raise your premiums because of an at-fault crash, but adding that feature of speech to your policy may cost supernumerary.

14. Questions you’ve asked your insurance agent

merely asking your indemnity agent about a possible claim can affect your rates, tied if you decide not to file. such inquiries, particularly if you tell the agentive role about damage, could be recorded in a database that many insurers use when evaluating risk. That might count against you when you shop for new policy. If you ’ re simply wondering whether the haunt costs exceed your deductible, it ’ s better to check your coverage information on the declarations page of your car policy.

Your vehicle

15. The type of car you drive

Your rates are based in part on the claims your insurance company has seen from other people who drive the same model as the car you ’ re see. Sports cars frequently have high policy rates, for exercise, in region because insurers are more likely to pay out large claims from speeding drivers. policy companies besides consider factors like how much a vehicle will cost to repair, how popular it is with car thieves and how much it ’ s probable to damage another cable car in an accident, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

16. The trim level of your car

Vehicles with extra features like lane sensors, backing cameras and high-end audio can cost more to repair — and consequently more to insure — than basis models of the same vehicle. Moving to a higher trim level typically raises not precisely the price of the car but besides the policy agio.

17. The safety features of your car

Vehicles with a strong safety record and estimable safety equipment frequently qualify for discounts, the Insurance Information Institute says. On the other handwriting, some condom features can lead to higher premiums, because high-tech safety equipment can be expensive to repair or replace after an accident.

18. Whether you own, finance or lease

Insuring a leased or financed car may cost more than coverage for one you own instantaneously, simply because the lender may insist you buy more coverage types than you would have chosen. To protect their interests, lenders typically require collision and comprehensive coverage. They may besides ask you to maintain a abject deductible or to get gap insurance to pay the difference between the car ’ s value and the sum you owe on the lease or lend .

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easily compare personalized rates to see how much switch car insurance could save you.

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Your car insurance choices

19. The insurance company you choose

You can make a huge remainder in your cable car indemnity rates by picking the cheapest insurance company available in your area. We found average rates were more than twice a high for the priciest company compared with the cheapest insurance company in each state for a 40-year-old good driver buying full coverage. And the cheapest company in one state can be the most expensive in another. That ’ sulfur why it ’ randomness imperative to shop around and compare car indemnity quotes to locate the best rates for you.

20. Your previous insurance

If you ’ re switching from a nonstandard insurance company, one that chiefly covers bad drivers, you may pay more than a driver switching from a mainstream insurance company. Some large insurers charge higher rates to drivers who were previously covered by a nonstandard insurance company, Consumer Federation of America research find. If you ’ rhenium upgrading from minimum required coverage to a policy with higher liability limits, you may pay more for the lapp coverage than other customers, according to another study by the CFA.

21. Your insurance lapses

Failing to pay your car indemnity bill or canceling your policy because you ’ re between vehicles can cost you. Coverage gaps can make you seem like a higher risk in the eyes of policy companies, and they ’ ll frequently raise your rates in response — or tied deny you coverage all in all. To avoid this, consider pausing or reducing your coverage if your stream premium is unaffordable.

22. The coverage you choose

It ’ s no storm that the more coverage you get, the more it will cost. We found that broad coverage car indemnity costs more than doubly deoxyadenosine monophosphate much, on average, as having the minimum required indebtedness coverage only. A full-coverage policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage, which will pay to fix or replace your car if you collide with other vehicles, animals or objects or if it ’ sulfur stolen. Add-ons like new cable car substitute coverage can boost the price, but the benefits may be worth it to you.

23. The deductible you choose

Your deductible on collision and comprehensive policy is the amount the mailman subtracts from a claim. For exercise, if car repairs cost $ 3,000 and your deductible is $ 500, the insurance company will pay $ 2,500. Your policy premiums will be lower if you choose a higher deductible, like $ 1,000, but the payout will be lower if you have an accident. Deductibles don ’ thymine apply to liability claims.

24. Your loyalty to your insurance company

You might expect your cable car policy company to reward your years of loyalty with discounts, and some do. But some insurers try to predict which customers are the least probable to switch insurers and squeeze more profit from them through pace increases. many states have banned this rehearse, called price optimization. It ’ s a good theme to compare car policy rates to make certain your loyalty international relations and security network ’ thymine costing you.

25. The discounts you ask for

Don ’ thyroxine assume your indemnity company automatically applies all the discounts for which you ’ re eligible. For exercise, your insurance company won ’ t know your adolescent is getting good grades unless you provide proof and ask for a adept student discount. indemnity companies have tons of discounts, and you may save money by reviewing them with your agent on a regular basis.

How to lower your rates

Shopping around is all-important to find the lowest car indemnity rates for you. many factors affect an insurance quote, and each caller calculates the factors ’ relative importance differently. So the cheapest insurance company for your neighbor likely won ’ t be the cheapest for you. Unless you compare prices, you won ’ metric ton know which caller will offer person in your situation the best pace. NerdWallet ’ south cable car policy comparison cock can help. More tips :

  • Drive cautiously. Your rates will be lower if you keep your commemorate clear of accidents, speeding tickets and other violations .
  • Pay bills on time. In most states, having a good recognition history can save you hundreds of dollars a year on car indemnity compared to a driver with poor credit .
  • Choose your vehicle thoughtfully. When you buy a car, the spine price and monthly payments aren ’ t the merely costs to think about. Some models can be much less expensive to insure than others, sol check rates before you buy .
  • Consider a higher deductible. If you can afford to pay a moment more out of your pocket after a title, opting for a higher deductible will reduce your insurance rates. then, if you don ’ t make a claim, you ’ re certain to come out ahead .
  • Ask for discounts. You might save money because of organizations you belong to, equipment on your car, setting up automatic payments or dozens of early factors .

Frequently asked questions

What factors influence your auto insurance rates?

Although dozens of factors go into your final indemnity premium, these are among the most important :

  • Your driving history .
  • Your historic period .
  • Where you live .
  • Your credit history ( in most states ) .
  • The car you drive .
  • The coverage and deductibles you choose .

Why is my car insurance so high?

Auto policy premiums are determined by factors you can control — such as where you live, the type of car you drive and how much coverage you buy — and those you can ’ thyroxine, such as your historic period. Poor credit can significantly raise your rates in many states, as can accidents or DUI violations.

What factors can reduce insurance premiums?

Shopping approximately for car insurance quotes every year is the best way to make certain you ’ rhenium paying vitamin a short as possible. Raising your deductible, bundling multiple policies with the lapp insurance company, asking about discounts and ( in some states ) improving your credit are other effective ways to reduce your car indemnity rates .

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