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What Determines Auto Insurance Rates?

What Determines Auto Insurance Rates?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 32,166 fatal crashes and 6,264,000 non-fatal crashes in 2015. Of the non-fatal crashes, 1,715,000 of them involved injuries. Given those statistics, the costs of repairing or replacing today’s automobiles, and the rising costs of medical care, we can understand why all drivers are required to insure their vehicles.

As an insured driver, you’re probably aware of the fact that not everybody pays the same auto insurance premiums. You may pay $50 more a month for the same coverage than your next-door neighbor. The 18-year-old boy across your street may pay $150.00 more a month than you, even though you have better coverage.

Your rates may have increased when you moved across town, but do you know why? Do you know which factors determine your auto insurance rates? A lot of drivers are unclear about what drives the costs of auto insurance.

It’s More Than Speeding Tickets

You’re probably aware of the fact that a speeding ticket or a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs will trigger your auto insurance premiums to spike, but that’s not all – there are a number of factors that determine auto insurance rates.

These factors can impact how much you pay for auto insurance:

  • Your age: It’s common knowledge that young and experienced drivers are at the highest risk of a crash. Because of this, mature drivers cost less to insure than young drivers.
  • Your gender: Men get more speeding tickets than women; they are also arrested for drunk driving more than women. The same goes with teenage boys – they have more car crashes and moving violations than teenage girls. So, males typically cost more than females to insure.
  • Your driving record: The more points on your driving record for moving violations, including DUI, the more these points are going to increase the costs of insurance.
  • Where you live: Since there are more thefts and vandalisms in urban areas as opposed to rural areas and small towns, residents who live in big cities will pay higher premiums. So, if you moved to Columbia from a small town, such as Cheraw, Newberry, or Hartsville, you could expect your insurance to increase.
  • How much you drive: The more miles you put on your car every year, the higher the risk of a crash. So, if you have a long commute to work, it could reflect in your auto insurance premiums.
  • The kind of car you drive: If your car costs a lot to repair or replace, it can cost more to insure. Also, if your car has a particularly bad safety rating, that too can lead to higher insurance premiums.
  • Your credit score: People with bad credit tend to pay higher insurance premiums.
  • Where you park your car: If you park your car in a locked garage vs. in the street, it can save you money on insurance. Anti-theft devices may work in your favor too.

Have you been injured in a car accident? To file a claim for compensation, contact our firm to meet with a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney.


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