There are a great deal of factors that determine how much your auto insurance will cost. Some of these factors are things that you have some control over, while others will be out of your control.
When determining your auto insurance premiums, your insurance company will take the following into consideration:
The type of vehicle you drive can greatly affect your premiums. Newer cars typically have higher auto insurance premiums as do certain models that are prone to theft. Your car’s safety rating and safety features may also affect your rates. For example, a driver with a car that has a high National Safety Rating will typically pay lower rates; as will the driver of a car that has front and side airbags.
Your Driving Record
Your insurance company will typically check your driving record with the DMV every 6-12 months or so. If you have received speeding tickets or fines for other traffic violations you will typically pay more for car insurance. These types of violations add “points” to your license which can be translated into an increase in premiums. Usually, these points will be removed from your license history after three years from the date of offense.
Type of Coverage
As with all other types of insurance, there are varying amounts of coverage that you may have for your vehicle. A driver who carries only liability coverage will typically have a lower premium than a driver with the same car who carries liability, comprehensive and collision coverage. The coverage you have on your vehicle is typically mandated by your state’s regulations as well as any lender or leasor requirements.
If you qualify for car insurance discounts you may pay lower premiums than drivers who don’t. See a full list of car insurance discounts.
Every insurance company calculates your insurance score which can vary from one company to the next. Your insurance score is typically calculated by taking into consideration your claims history, payment history and credit score. Usually, the lower your insurance score the lower your insurance premium will be because insurance companies typically reward drivers for having good credit.
Where you Live
Finally, the rates that car insurance companies are allowed to charge are mandated by each state’s insurance commissioner and rate bureau. Drivers in some states typically always pay more than drivers in other states. For example, in 2005, Washington D.C. drivers paid the highest premiums in the country at about $1,164/year while North Dakota drivers paid the lowest average premiums at only about $530/year.