Safe, defensive driving and a clean driving record can help you secure low car insurance rates, but there are many factors that influence premiums, including some that may be outside of your control. Understanding the factors that affect the cost of car insurance can help you qualify for the best possible rates. Here are six things that affect how much you’ll pay for coverage.
The higher the coverage limits you choose, the higher your premium, but deductibles also matter. You can choose the deductible for your comprehensive and collision coverage. Choosing a higher deductible increases your financial responsibility if you need to make a claim, but it also lowers your premium. Just make sure you can afford the deductible in case you ever need to file a claim.
2. Where You Live
Your zip code will be used to determine your car insurance premium. If you live in an urban, densely populated area, you’ll be at a higher risk of making a claim due to an accident or theft. Car insurance companies don’t just consider your risk of an accident. Your zip code is also used to calculate the rates of car theft, vandalism, and damage in your area.
3. The Vehicle You Drive
The cars people drive play an important role in the cost of auto insurance. San Diego insurance companies consider a vehicle’s overall safety rating, theft rate, accident rate, and cost of repairs.
4. Claims History
It isn’t just what and how you drive that matters. Insurance companies also check how many claims you’ve made in the past with former insurers. If you have a history of at-fault claims, you may face a surcharge. You’ll also be viewed as riskier if you’ve had three claims in the last three years.
5. Your Driving Record
How safely you drive plays a major role in how much you pay for car insurance. Drivers who maintain a clean driving record qualify for lower premiums and safe driver discounts. If you have an accident or moving violations on your record, you may be viewed as a higher risk. Even a minor violation like a speeding ticket could increase your rate by up to 40 percent.
6. Gender and Marital Status
There’s not much you can do about your gender and whether or not you’re married, but these things can be factored into your premium. Men are more likely to be involved in a crash, especially younger men, and they also tend to drive more miles than women and engage in riskier behavior like speeding and failing to wear a seatbelt. Research has also found that married people are less active and drive safer than single people, which means fewer accidents and lower car insurance rates.
California is one of the few states that doesn’t allow insurance companies to rate based on age, but they can still rate you based on your years of driving experience. If you have less experience, which is usually the case with younger drivers, you’ll pay more. Unexperienced drivers typically pay more for car insurance than those with decades of experience because they have a higher risk of being involved in an accident.
For affordable auto insurance, get in touch with Altra Insurance Services. We also offer reliable motorcycle, homeowners, and commercial insurance. San Diego residents can call (800) 719-9972 today to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents and receive a free quote.