You’ve got a brand new ride, and you’re just itching to get out on the road and whip around town in style. No problem, you deserve it. You hooked yourself up with some decent car insurance, so you’re covered just in case you have an accident. Hey, things happen. Now, let’s hope that if you do suffer some bad luck, you and anyone else involved walks away with no more than a scratch. After that, you can put everything in the rear view mirror until you get hit with that pesky little repair bill. Then, you’ll feel like you’ve been run over by a Mack truck.
You probably know that your insurance rates will increase if you're involved in a collision. Also, if you skid your way into a speeding ticket, your rates will hike up. But you may be surprised to know about a number of other factors that will make your rates increase. So, how do you put the brakes on?
Unfortunately, you may be blindsided by a few unexpected reasons for a rate increase. Your agent may not tell you when you first sign up, but it doesn’t mean that you’re out of gas when it comes to your monthly insurance payments. You may have some control, but first you need to know what you may be dealing with.
Here is a list of factors that could affect your car insurance.
1. Your age
Celebrating milestones like a 50th birthday could be the start of a new chapter in your life, but some insurers will raise your rates. At 50, some carriers consider drivers riskier, because they tend to get into more accidents, so rates may increase. The same consideration applies to young and inexperienced teenage drivers. They can be immature and reckless, so their rates are normally highest.
2. Credit history
Insurance carriers don’t always let you know that they check credit ratings, but if they do and your credit rating is low, you may be seen as high-risk, so your rates may be higher.
3. Your mileage
If you’re spending more time on the road, you may be subject to a rate increase. You raise the odds of having an accident with the more miles that you drive. If you start driving less, your rates could decrease. Ask your insurance carrier.
4. Your friend damages your car in an accident
Allowing someone else to drive your car could be pretty risky, especially if he or she is involved in an accident. If the friend pays for the repairs, you’re home free. If not, you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company, which may result in increased rates. You’ll also be on the hook if the other driver sues for medical expenses and car repairs.
5. Your marital status
Married people tend to statistically have less accidents, so if you’re single, watch out—your rates may be higher, regardless of your driving record.
Related reading: Say What? 10 Things You May Not Know about Auto Insurance
6. Your location
If you live in a metro area that's highly populated and congested, you're more likely to get into an accident than you are in a rural area, where there are usually less accidents.>
7. Number of claims you’ve made
If you’ve made at least three claims in three years, you could be seen as high risk, so your rates could increase. The amount of each claim also affects rates.
8. Previous insurance coverage
If you’ve had a lapse in coverage at any point with your current insurer or a different insurer, your rates will likely go up. Keeping consistent coverage will give you a better standing with the insurance company, which will likely result in better rates.
9. Type of vehicle
If you drive a vehicle that is statistically involved in more accidents, you could be looking at higher rates.
Getting insurance may seem like a slippery road, but if you proceed with caution, you should be able to find the carrier that works best for you. Sure, you may want to stay in your lane and avoid any potential roadblocks, but if you ask the right questions, you could get better rates.