If you drive, then at some point in time you had to shop for car insurance. Here at DPM Insurance Group, we help people every day find the best policy to suit their individual situation. In the course of that, we often get asked how a company determines the rate drivers pay. The honest answer is there are many things that affect insurance rates – some you can control, others you cannot.
Driving History : Your driving history impacts your insurance rate more than anything else. Fortunately, it’s also the factor over which you have the most control. The more infractions or claims you have – tickets, accidents and the like – the higher the rate. Speeding, which can significantly impact your rates, is the easiest thing to control.
If you already have some smudges on your driving history, all is not lost. Insurance companies don’t get to look back forever, and after several years of claims-free and ticket-free driving, past infractions disappear. Reducing bad driving habits now will save you money in the future. The sooner you get started, the sooner your rates will reflect your new driving reality.
Personal History: Yes, your personal history and demographics are a factor in determining insurance costs. Generally speaking, young, unmarried men tend to pay the highest rates. The reason is simple, data shows that statistically, these drivers are the biggest risk. While better insurance rates are not necessarily the best reason to propose, chances are getting married might reduce your insurance costs. So, once you do tie the knot, make sure to let your insurance company know of your new marriage status and benefit from being a responsible husband.
Type of Vehicle: The type of vehicle you drive is also a factor in setting your rate. Newer, more expensive cars cost more to replace and repair than older vehicles, so they cost more to insure.
Where You Live: Your insurance company is going to want to know where you park your vehicle at night. If you live in a residential subdivision and park in a garage, the odds of your car being stolen or damaged are small and the insurance company sees that situation as a relatively safe risk. But If you live in an area prone to theft and vandalism and park on the street, the risk to your vehicle goes way up. Your rates will reflect that reality.
Things You Can Control: One of the easiest things you can do to lower your insurance rates is to drive a car that’s safe, affordable, inexpensive to repair, and not on the list of most stolen vehicles. While that sounds complicated, it’s easier than you think to find a vehicle that meets all of the requirements. You can also avoid getting speeding tickets or other moving violations, which make you look like a bigger risk taker. Driver’s ed courses or defensive driving classes will all help lower your risk. Educating yourself on the right way to drive and then demonstrating you can do it will show the insurance company that you’re responsible. Responsible drivers have lower rates.
Things You Can’t Control: You can’t control things like your age or gender. Younger men tend to pay more for car insurance than any other demographic and if you fall into that category, there’s not much you can do except wait to get older. Another factor that might be beyond your control is where you live. Moving isn’t always an option and if you have to park in the wrong neighbourhood, you might pay more because of crime rates or even your neighbour’s driving habits. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear how your neighbourhood affects your rate.
At DPM Insurance Group, our licensed brokers and dedicated support staff are prepared to help you find the best insurance policy for you and your vehicle. Feel free to give us a phone call or click the link above for a no-obligation today.
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