There’s more to auto insurance rates than your behavior on the road. We all know that insurance rates are affected by accidents, DUIs, speeding tickets, and other traffic don’ts. However, factors like the age, gender, marital status, credit score, and geographical location of the driver will also have an effect on premiums. These considerations are known as driver demographics.
1. Age. Younger drivers tend to have higher premiums than older drivers, as older drivers tend to be more careful, not to mention more experienced. So older drivers have fewer accidents than younger drivers, on average.
2. Gender. On average, males pay higher premiums for car insurance than females do. However, age also plays a role. Statistics show that young female drivers have fewer injury-causing accidents than young male drivers. Older female drivers tend to have more minor accidents than older male drivers.
3. Marital Status. Statistically, people who are married have fewer auto accidents than people who are single. For instance, a man with a clean driving record can slash his premium rates as much as fifty percent just by tying the knot.
4. Geographical Location. Location-based factors affecting car insurance premiums include crime rates, population density, and climate conditions. For instance, Washington DC has one of the highest average annual premium rates for car insurance, due to a relatively high traffic-related mortality rate of 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Hawaii, on the other hand, has some of the nation’s lowest premiums on car insurance, with a traffic fatality rate of only 1.9 deaths per 100,000 people.Undesirable locations in which to purchase car insurance include areas where the cost of repairs is relatively high, where unemployment rates are high, and where there exists a high percentage of uninsured drivers. Two of the most expensive cities in which to buy car insurance are Detroit and Philadelphia. Both of these cities have the unfortunate combination of high traffic density and a high percentage of uninsured drivers on the road, not to mention high crime rates.
5. Credit History. These days, car insurance carriers often consider your credit score when determining premium rates. Obviously, a high credit score will lower your rates, and vice versa.
6. Employment History. Auto insurance carriers also consider your profession and work habits when determining premium rates. For example, delivery drivers may pay higher premiums than office workers, because delivery drivers spend a lot more time on the road than office workers do. Some professionals are offered lower rates because they are considered more careful than the average driver. Among these types of workers are police officers and insurance underwriters.
7. Vehicle Type. The kind of car you drive can significantly affect your insurance premiums. A driver looking for the best possible deal on auto insurance should purchase a used vehicle that doesn’t cost too much to repair, and choose a model with a high safety rating.
Other premium-reducing techniques include added safety features to prevent injuries if an accident should occur. These include air bags, automatic seat belts, and traction control. Also important to an insurance underwriter are DMV-approved anti-theft devices, and owning types of cars less likely to get stolen. On that note, you can also lower your premiums by keeping your car in a garage instead of in a public parking space.
Additionally, larger cars with high safety ratings are cheaper to insure than smaller cars, as larger cars offer stronger protection on impact.
The good news is that most non-fatal accidents (other than DUIs) will no longer affect your car insurance premium rates after about five years.