When Can My Auto Insurance Rates Go Up

Truth be told, there are actually plenty of reasons why auto insurance premium fee increases. The problem is some agents or the companies neglected to provide comprehensive information about this issue when you purchased the insurance.

suryo | 20 Mar 2015
Revised 20 Mar 2015

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The following passages briefly outline the most likely causes of the premium fee increase.

1. Driving Records - The Obvious

As expected, your car insurance company obviously uses your driving record as one of the most important variables in determining your premium fee. Any accident and traffic violation in which you are involved will be documented by the DMV; they will stay there for 3 to 5 years depending on the law in your states. If the insurance company checks your driving records on renewal, your premium fee is likely to increase. Insurer can simply consider you careless driver, and they can charge more for the coverage that you purchase. Traffic violation is usually classified into two categories including minor and major. Minor violation may include speeding and failure to obey road signs/traffic lights. Major violations include DUI (Driving Under Influence), drag racing, etc. Some states luckily offer a driving course with which you can avoid premium fee increase if you pass the test. Another way is to purchase minor violation forgiveness from insurers, if possible. Most forgiveness purchases from insurers are only possible for minor violations.

2. Aging

Getting older is also an inevitable reason why you need to pay more. Insurance companies actually offer discounts when you reach 50 years of age or so. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) suggests a statistic that indicates older drivers between 64 and 69 years old are the safest. Based on that statistic, the premium will be higher as you become around 70 years old. This does make sense, since older people may have difficulties to see, hear, and react properly while on the road. As physical abilities undergo a decline, your skill in driving is probably not at its best anymore. In other words, insurance companies treat elderly customers the same as teens who are commonly not very skilful, making them prone to accidents. The bottom line, your insurance premium will increase as you reach your 70s.

3. Credit Score

Some car insurance companies still use customers' credit ratings to determine premium fee. It means poor credit ratings usually cause higher insurance rates. The reason is very simple; if you have poor credit rating, it is because you missed mortgage or credit card payments. Based on that conclusion, insurance companies consider you less reliable customer. The insurers see poor credit score as a possibility that you will neglect to pay the insurance premium anytime soon. There isn't any strong enough link between timely insurance bill payment and credit score, but some companies still use this formula anyway. The practice of checking credit score in determining insurance premium is a bit controversial indeed, and some states strongly against this kind of practice. Some insurers do this, but others don't; you need to always ask your agents whether any particular auto insurance company still implements the policy. If it does, the insurance rates will rise as your credit score falls. You can always switch insurers and find one that does not implement such practice.

3. New Address

Moving to a new house can be an exciting experience for you, your family, and your car insurance company as well. When you first signed up with your insurer, you usually provided information about home address. Based on this information, the company could predict how many miles you drive each year and whether your everyday route is safe. If your new address also makes you drive more miles every day, your insurance company will ask for more money. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are involved in road accidents. Once again, there is no straightforward explanation on how annual mileage and insurance coverage are strongly related. It is best to consult your insurance agent concerning this issue before you sign up. If driving more miles mean higher rate, you probably can ask for lower rate if you drive fewer miles.

Your home address actually plays big role in your premium rate. If you currently live in a place where criminal activities often occur, this will direct auto insurance to charge you more. Some companies will lower your premium if you equip your car with plenty of safety devices. A good, reliable, reputable, safe auto insurance company/agent is one that provides information about all aforementioned cases along with other insurance-related issues before you even sign up. An independent agent is usually better than the insurer's representative since independent agent works solely for you and this kind of agent will not try to sell bad insurance policies to the person whom he/she works for. Get My Insurance Auto

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