5 Things That Can Increase Your Car Insurance
When you think about what determines your car insurance premiums, you probably think first of your driving record, right?
Your driving record indeed is one of the main factors insurance companies consider when determining how much you'll pay for your car insurance -- but it doesn't end there. Several other factors can impact your auto insurance premiums, and not always for the better. Here are some things that can increase your car insurance.
Your Marital Status
It's an unfortunate fact of life: single people will most often pay higher insurance premiums than married people. Why? The main reason is, single people are more likely to get into accidents. Drivers who are married with children are less likely to be in an accident because they tend to drive more carefully -- they have a family to think about, after all. Statistically speaking, even when married drivers do get in an accident, it tends to be a smaller claim than single drivers. Married, middle-aged women who don't smoke are the lowest risk group there is.
It's probably no secret that younger people, particularly teenagers, pay a lot more than their adult counterparts when it comes to car insurance. No doubt many parents have experienced for themselves the massive sticker shock of putting their teenager on their car insurance policy -- according to Kristine Lee at The Zebra, teenagers pay a whopping 83% more for their car insurance than older drivers. And if those teenagers happen to get into an at-fault accident, those rates are going to go up a lot more. It could leave you searching for cheap car insurance companies in the hopes of a lower premium.
Thankfully, insurance rates drop sharply after the age of 20 or so, and they'll continue to stay lower until a driver reaches their senior years, at which point their rates will rise again. As people get older, they, unfortunately, enter a more high-risk demographic and will pay more for car insurance once they reach 80 or older.
Though you may not realize it, your occupation plays a major part in how much you'll end up paying for car insurance. Different occupations and education levels will command different premiums. For instance, people who work from home are considered low-risk, and won't pay as much for their insurance -- they might even qualify for a low-mileage discount on top of their low-risk factor. On the other hand, truckers, Lyft and Uber drivers, delivery drivers, and anyone who drives as part of their profession is going to be at higher-risk just by being on the road all day. On the other hand, jobs that require higher education (such as academic and scientific occupations) tend to have lower insurance premiums -- statistically speaking, more highly-educated individuals are less likely to engage in risky driving behavior or get into accidents.
Several occupations could earn you a discount -- many insurance companies offer discounts for military veterans, teachers, law enforcement officers, first responders, health care workers, and more.
Buying a Fast Car
Lots of us love the idea of buying a fast, sporty car, especially if our finances are good enough that we can afford it. But you should know that the faster, flashier models of the car also cost a lot more to insure. Luxury and high-performance vehicles have more expensive replacement parts, are more difficult to repair, tend to be magnets for thieves and vandals, and encourage riskier driving behavior (like driving fast or recklessly). If you want to keep your insurance premiums sane, opt for a more reliable car with lots of safety features.
Finally, some economic factors determine how much you'll pay in car insurance, most of them completely beyond your control. For one thing, the recent rise in inflation has made everything more expensive, not merely car insurance. Global disturbances such as the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more have wreaked havoc on supply chains, making it difficult to get replacement parts for vehicles and making those that are available more expensive to get. Things have reached a point where there's been a sharp increase in catalytic converter thefts, as these have become both expensive and hard to come by -- which not only means more payouts for insurance companies if someone's car is looted or vandalized but also for the higher cost of replacement.
So what can you do to help bring down your car insurance rates? There are a few basic steps you can take to try to lower your premiums:
● Increase your credit score.
● Maintain a clean driving record and take a defensive driving course.
● Consider increasing your deductible, bundling your insurance, and/or paying your premiums a year in advance.
● Ask your insurer what kind of discounts are available.
● Shop around and compare rates to find the best deal on cheap car insurance.