Are you wondering what factors affect how much you pay each month for car insurance? Many factors go into determining your car insurance premiums, including where you live, the make and model of the car you drive and whether or not you are married. While you may not be able to control these factors right now, they are good to keep in mind if you plan on making any lifestyle changes. To learn about the factors that affect your insurance rates, continue reading.
1. Where You Live
Where you live has an effect on your car insurance rates. This is because insurance companies look at factors such as crime rates, car accident instances, car theft rates and instances of vandalism to determine how likely you are to experience one of these incidents and file a claim.
While there may not be much you can do about where you live today, it is something to consider if you are planning to move into a new neighborhood or city. For example, Chicago experienced 1,897 car thefts in 2018, according to the Chicago Police Department. If you are planning to move, you may want to consider areas outside the city that experience fewer car thefts each year in order to try and lower your monthly insurance premiums.
2. The Make and Model of Your Vehicle
If you drive a new car, luxury or sports car, your rates will be higher than a driver who drives an older vehicle. This is because newer cars cost more to repair and replace than older, used vehicles. The size of your vehicle also matters. Individuals who drive larger vehicles, like vans, wagons and full-size sedans generally pay less than individuals who drive economy and compact cars because the risk of experiencing a total loss and severe injuries in the event of an accident is much higher in a smaller vehicle.
While most drivers can’t afford to replace their vehicles today, these factors are something to keep in mind for the future. If you plan on getting a new vehicle in the future, consider purchasing a vehicle that is larger and a few years old. If a brand new vehicle would serve you better in the future, consider the safety features for the new car. Cars with certain safety features, like auto-braking and rear-view cameras, may be able to earn you a discount on your car insurance premiums.
3. Your Gender, Age and Marital Status
Your gender, age and marital status can affect your car insurance rates. For example, drivers under the age of 25 typically pay more for car insurance than drivers over the age of 25. This is because the statistics say that drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to get into a car accident than older drivers. Single men also tend to get into more car accidents than married men, married women and single women.
While you wouldn’t want to get married simply to lower your car insurance rates, there are certain things you may be able to do to lower your monthly premiums. If you are a younger driver, consider taking a defensive driving course. If you are in high school or college, you may be eligible for a good student discount.
4. Your Occupation
Certain occupations are considered to have a higher instance of car crashes and incidents than other occupants. For example, doctors, lawyers, business owners, and salespeople are considered to be more at risk for experiencing a car accident than individuals who work as teachers, scientists or pilots. This is because those occupations are known for long hours, extended travel times and high stress, which can be contributing factors in car accidents.
While there is little you can do about your chosen occupation, it’s important to keep these factors in mind and mitigate them whenever possible in order to lower your personal risk of getting into an accident. For example, if you know you are too tired or distracted to drive, it may be better to call someone to get a ride home after a long shift.