Ever wonder why you pay one price for auto insurance, your spouse pays another and your old college roommate pays yet another amount? Several factors impact the amount of your car insurance premium — from the type of coverage you have to your driving record to where you park your vehicle.
Insurers might consider these seven variables:
1. Your Policy and Deductible
A higher deductible means a lower monthly payment, while selecting a lower deductible carries a higher monthly payment. Of course, the more coverage you purchase, the higher the premium.
2. Your Vehicle
Insurance companies factor into the cost of coverage how safe a vehicle is to drive as well as how well it protects occupants and the amount of damage it can potentially inflict on another vehicle in an accident. A model with a higher chance of causing damage in a crash would cost more for liability insurance. Also, the cost of the vehicle is a major factor, and the likelihood of theft, cost of repairs and engine size also come into play.
3. How Much You Drive Your Vehicle
Because the more miles you drive in a year means the chances are higher for a crash, more driving means a higher premium. Joining a carpool, riding your bike or taking public transportation to work can reduce your annual mileage and lower your premiums.
4. Where You Live
Higher rates of vandalism, theft and crashes cause urban drivers to pay more for insurance than those in small towns or rural areas. Where you park your car — on the street or in a secure garage — anti-theft features and weather trends also may impact your premium.
5. Your Driving Record
Drivers who cause more accidents pay more than those who have gone without accidents for several years. New drivers without an insurance track record also generally pay more.
6. Your Credit History
Insurers use credit history to help determine the cost of car insurance, so maintaining good credit can have a positive impact on the cost of your car insurance.
7. Your Age, Sex and Marital Status
Crash rates are higher for drivers under age 25, especially for single males, so prices at insurance companies reflect those differences. Women tend to get into fewer accidents have fewer driver-under-the influence accidents and have less serious accidents than men, so they typically pay less for car insurance.
While some factors might be out of drivers’ hands, consumers might be able to save on insurance by checking into discounts, says Pam Hansen Alfred, a State Farm agent in Great Falls.
“One of the ways to make sure you’re getting the best value premium is to take advantage of all the discounts that a company offers,” she says. “For example, we have a discount called Drive Safe & Save. You put a beacon in your car and it monitors your acceleration, breaking, turning, miles you’re driving and the times of day you’re driving. The average discount for that is 13 percent.”
The longer a driver is a customer at a company, the more likely they are to qualify for discounts, says Hansen Alfred, a Great Falls native who has been a State Farm agent since 1986.
Among other discounts are the Steer Clear driver training program for young drivers; programs for students who maintain good grades; and breaks for active military service members or those who insure multiple vehicles or lines such as auto with home insurance.
Pam Hansen Alfred’s office at 2817 10th Avenue South in Great Falls provides auto, home, business, property, life and health insurance. Find out more about discount options by visiting pamhansenalfred.com or calling the local office at 406-453-6010 or 800-823-3620.
Great Falls, MT
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