I sometimes feel that purchasing auto insurance is like spinning the roulette wheel in Vegas. You enter all the information requested by the insurance agency, click a button, and a number magically appears. Only the result doesn’t have as much to do with where you place your chip as how you’ve driven cars in the past.
Traffic Citations & Accidents
The most common causes of high auto insurance rates are traffic citations and accidents. If you are given a ticket for speeding or if you cause a serious accident on the highway, your auto insurance company will determine that you have a higher risk of making a claim in the future. Consequently, they will charge you more to maintain your insurance.
Age & Gender
Young male drivers pay much more for auto insurance than older female drivers. It’s a numbers game, just like the aforementioned roulette wheel, and the insurance industry has learned to hedge its bets against male drivers under the age of 25. This isn’t something you can change, but you can ensure you don’t incur traffic citations or cause auto accidents to avoid compounding the problem.
Year, Make & Model of Car
What you drive can also cause high auto insurance rates. According to CarInsurance.com, you will spend more on car insurance if you purchase a high-end truck or SUV than if you stuck with a mid-range sedan or hatchback. Cars with more powerful engines, greater upgrades and safety flaws will also cost more to insure.
Occupation Type & Location
Other causes of high auto insurance rates include the type of work you do and how long a commute you observe every morning. If you use your vehicle for work-as a traveling salesperson, for instance-the car insurance company knows you spend more time behind the wheel, and are therefore more likely to file a claim. It is also true that if your commute is longer, your auto insurance rates will be higher.
Residence & Storage
It’s better to store your car in a garage (or at least a carport) than in the driveway or on the street. Cities with lower populations and fewer instances of car wrecks make auto insurance rates cheaper, as well. You might get a lower rate if you live in a gated community or a neighborhood with private security. It all depends on your circumstances.
Avoiding High Auto Insurance Rates
With everything else being equal, you will be able to avoid high auto insurance rates if you drive safely and use a low-key vehicle. Just as you should split your bets rather than relying on straight-up chips, you should do your best to give the car insurance company a few reasons to lower your premiums.
You can’t control your age and gender, and you shouldn’t change your city of residence or occupation for the sole purpose of lowering your premiums. So take advantage of discounts to lower your auto insurance rates and drive as safely as you can.