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Low Rate Car Insurance - Your Credit Score Matters

We’re continually asked about the many things that affect car insurance policy rates and one variable that many don’t know about is the policy owner’s credit history. So we’re re-posting information from a past entry because we feel it’s important for you to know.

The fact is your credit history can affect what you pay for car insurance and it may even cause a denial of coverage.

But how can a low credit score make a premium rise, even when a driving record has stayed clean? Aren’t things like a driving record, age of the driver, type of car you drive, and amount you drive the only things really taken into consideration? The answer is no. Bottom line, a poor credit history means a person may not be responsible so most car insurance companies factor in credit when calculating the premium.

Car insurance companies believe that the better your credit history, the more likely you are to pay your insurance premiums, and pay them on time. There is also a trend that indicates if you have a better credit score, you’re less likely to file a claim. Higher credit rating equates to being more responsible, and in this case, a more responsible driver is a lower risk for the insurance company.

So…what to do? If you’ve noticed your premium rising without any clear reason as to why, order a credit report then contact your agent and find out if indeed, this is the culprit. If so, clean up your credit as soon as you can. It will obviously help with your insurance premium but will inevitably help in other areas of your life as well.

Practical things you can do include paying your bills on time, paying off high interest credit cards, and don’t live beyond your financial means. Sometimes, it’s your lack of credit history that is doing the most damage. If you don’t have much, establish some. Over time, you will become less of a risk to insurance companies and you will have more flexibility with how much you pay.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - The Cost of Insurance Fraud

    One of the main reasons car insurance is so expensive is because car insurance fraud continues to be a major issue. It’s reported that over 11 billion dollars are spent on fraudulent cases each year. But how do criminals get away with it and how can you tell if you’ve been a victim?

    There are many ways in which car insurance fraud can be perpetrated…

    One of the most popular is what’s called “staged accidents”. This is an accident in which a team of two drivers intentionally run into you in a way that catches you by surprise and is done in a way that is almost impossible to stop if you don’t recognize it as it’s happening. Usually, the first driver will move in front of your vehicle and as they slam on their brakes attempting to have you run into them, the second drive will have pulled along side you, pinning you in so you have no option but to ram the car in front of you or hit the second driver’s car. More often than not, the team of drivers will pick on cars that are driving in the right lane and during a time of heavy traffic. The majority of the time, when a car is rear-ended, it is the fault of the car that did the rear-ending.

    Another type of staged accident happens when you’re driving and you see a driver wave you into their lane. And just as you move into the lane, they collide purposely with you, making it appear that it was your fault.

    A second type of insurance fraud happens at auto shops. Typically, a dubious shop will bill above the actual price, even billing for work that wasn’t even done. Sometimes they will cause further damage to the vehicle or over-quote a job which they of course can bill an insurance company for.

    Being able to recognize these types of scams in advance can, in the long run, help you avoid fraud and contribute to keeping your insurance rates down. If you see something that looks suspicious, whether it’s to you or someone else, make sure you write down any details and pass them on to the proper authorities.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Geographic Location and Car Insurance Rates

    Yes, where you lives matter when it comes to how much you pay for car insurance rates. Most people understand that things like driving record, claims history and the type of car you drive is factored into your policy price but most don’t know that location also plays a part.

    When you think about it, much of it is logical. If you live in a city and your driving takes place in a more congested area, you insurance will more than likely be higher because your chance of getting in an accident is higher. The more traffic, the higher the policy. Also, if you live or work in a high crime area, your chance of vandalism or theft is higher as well, hence, a higher policy rate. What type of weather you have in the location you live may also play a part. If you live in an area that experiences extreme weather often, it’s possible your rates could go up, not only because of possible damage to your car but also driving conditions.

    So is there a difference from state-to-state? Yes there is. Most people are not concerned about this because how much one pays for a premium is not enough to make someone change states. However if you’re thinking of relocating, and money is playing a part in your decision, check with the state DMV or a national car insurance company to find out the differences in premium price and coverage minimums from state-to-state. The fact that each state is different in what they require you to carry liability-wise and property-wise will also dictate how much you are required to pay and how much coverage you need to have as a minimum.

    If you find you’re living in a high-priced location, make sure you check with your agent to see if you’re entitled to any special discounts.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Tips to Protect Your Car

    To help prevent your car from being stolen, here are a few tips and suggestions:

    Have a “visible” device or alarm that alerts thieves when they look into your vehicle. Devices include steering column bars, brake locks, tire locks, ID markers on the car, window etchings in a visible place, audible alarms, steering wheel and/or brake locks, and wheel locks. Anything a thief sees may help deter them from stealing your car.

    Another deterrent is having an immobilizing device hooked up to your car. These devices can prevent thieves bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring your vehicle. Devices include kill switches, smart keys, starter or ignition disablers and gasoline or fuel disablers.

    If your car does get stolen, take note of the time of day you last saw your vehicle and where it was parked, what was in the car, etc. Then you’ll want to first notify the police, and next, your auto insurance agent. In most states, you have about 30 days to file a claim when it comes to a stolen automobile.

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