- The amount you'll pay for car insurance is impacted by a number of very different factors—from the type of coverage you have to your driving record to where you park your car. While not all companies use the same parameters, here's a list of what commonly determines the bottom line on your auto policy.
- Your driving record – The better your record, the lower your premium. If you've had accidents or serious traffic violations, it's likely you'll pay more than if you have a clean driving record. You may also pay more if you're a new driver without an insurance track record.
- How much you use your car – The more miles you drive, the more chance for accidents so you'll pay more if you drive your car for work, or use it to commute long distances. If you drive only occasionally—what some companies call “pleasure use"—you'll pay less.
- Location, location, location – Due to higher rates of vandalism, theft and accidents, urban drivers pay a higher auto insurance price than those in small towns or rural areas. Where you park your car (on the street or in a secure garage) and anti-theft features may impact the bottom line as well.
- Other factors that affect premium price that can vary from one area or state to another are: cost and frequency of litigation; medical care and car repair costs; prevalence of auto insurance fraud; and weather trends.
- Your age – In general, mature drivers have fewer accidents than less experienced drivers, particularly teenagers. Insurers generally charge more if teenagers or young people below age 25 drive your car.
- Your gender – Statistically, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents (DUIs) and—most importantly—have less serious accidents than men. So all other things being equal, women often pay less for auto insurance than their male counterparts.
- The car you drive – The cost of your car is a major factor in the cost to insure it. Other variables include the likelihood of theft, the cost of repairs, its engine size and the overall safety record of the car. Automobiles with high quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.
- Insurers not only look at how safe a particular vehicle is to drive and how well it protects occupants, but also how much potential damage it can inflict on another car. If a specific vehicle model has a higher chance of inflicting damage when in an accident, an insurer may charge more for liability insurance.
- Your credit – Similar to your credit score, your credit-based insurance score is a statistical tool that predicts the likelihood of your filing a claim and the likely cost of that claim.
- The type and amount of auto insurance coverage – The limits on your basic auto insurance, the amount of your deductible, and the types and amounts of policy options (such as collision) that are prudent for you to have all affect how much you'll pay for coverage.
- NEVER race or religion – It is illegal to use race or religion to set insurance rates.
Many factors help determine the cost of car insurance
Halloween can be a fright when trick-or-treaters flock to your property. But taking reasonable steps to safeguard your home and having the right homeowners or renters insurance makes it easier to get into the spirit of things, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Your homeowners or renters policy provides financial protection for a number of disasters, whether they occur on Halloween or any other day of the year—including the following:
Baby boomers are feeling the pressure of empty-nest reversal from boomerangs – adult children returning home to live and live-in elders – seniors trading their current home for a loved one’s spare bedroom. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting an adult child. About one in seven of these middle-aged adults are providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.
In addition to negotiating cooking and cleaning responsibilities, it’s important to make sure everyone understands how a change in address might affect insurance needs.
Having an aging parent or other family member move in can be stressful for both parties. Before you unpack that first box, take the time to have “the talk” about finances, including insurance.
An Industry Only A Mother Can Love
Years pass, decades pass and surveys are taken. The results are largely the same. Most folks don’t care much for insurance. Insurance is still seen, at best, as a necessary economic evil. It’s still common for many insurance consumers to believe that, unless their policies have paid out on a significant loss, the premiums they’ve paid for coverage has been wasted.
Insurance people and the companies they work for don’t like this situation. However, it’s tough to make a case whether public perception is fair when, for so very long, that perception has not changed.
Really Think About the Big “I”
Take a moment to truly think about insurance. Yes, a policy’s value is best proven when insurance dollars are there; ready to pay for a loss. It’s great when, after an auto accident, your insurer sends out an expert in claims to write an estimate, arrange to have a car towed for repairs, handles reserving a rental car, and then issues a check to pay for it all (except for your deductible). The same can be said after an insurance policy pays for a loss to your home or your business. However, the real value of insurance exists each and every moment that a loss doesn’t occur and no payments have to be made. Its value is there for every home that passes years without storm damage, without windows broken by baseballs, without suffering kitchen fires or roofs caved in by snow. Value is right there in front of your eyes as you drive past businesses, apartments, schools, hotels, factories, supermarkets and shopping centers.
Modern Economies Have to Have It
Owning anything of real value is a risky proposition. The greater the value, the higher the stakes caused by possible loss or destruction. Insurance, which protects most types of property and responds to lawsuits for most types of legal liability, enables a modern economy. Regardless whether you ever experience a loss, what is the chance that you could buy a home without insurance? Do you think that owning a car is likely without access to lenders? Even if a vehicle purchase can be handled without a loan, what about the danger you pose to others while driving?
What business of significant size could operate without the security provided by commercial insurance? Can you even imagine how everyone would have to scale back in order to handle their exposures to myriad losses without the ready availability of insurance? Many aspects of our modern lives would not be possible.
Do you still have a problem understanding the value of insurance? Would you like to imagine your world without it? Insurance…..it’s worth it!
To avoid hitting a deer, use these defensive driving tips
As the deer populations grow and urban habitats continue to encroach upon rural environments, there has been an increase in deer-car collisions—over half a million a year, with a significant number of fatalities.
Deer-vehicle collisions are dangerous and costly so, though collision with an animal is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy, it's always preferable to avoid an accident in the first place.
To avoid hitting a deer, use these defensive driving tips
A major activity of commercial trucking is transporting cargo. There are two parties with a huge interest in the cargo: the property's owner and the trucking company or independent trucker transporting that property. Usually it is the trucker's responsibility to arrange for insurance since that is the party having custody and control of both the vehicle and the goods being shipped. Motor Truck Cargo coverage responds to a substantial, combined exposure. Specifically, it protects against the liability similar to taking a house full of expensive contents on the road for a long trip.
The coverage is typically written in the name of the independent trucker or trucking firm that owns the transporting vehicle. The policy protects against claims by third parties such as:
Cargo policy limits should reflect the value of the property being shipped. However, many policies restrict coverage by providing a maximum limit for certain perils such as theft. Another restriction is to void any theft coverage if the loss occurs when the covered vehicle is unattended. Such provisions are usually used when commodities such as alcohol, expensive garments, and electronics are being transported. Such goods attract thieves, so insurers are more careful about providing insurance.
The amount and type of coverage may also be affected by various state laws, so coverage should reflect the coverage necessary to comply with the most demanding jurisdiction on the travel route. Insurance companies that offer Motor Cargo Coverage are often very knowledgeable about this type of insurance. They typically also have different preferences for the amount of coverage they wish to write, the type of property they want to cover and the type of shipping companies and/or circumstances. It is important that, when securing coverage, a trucker or trucking company be certain they receive the help of a person who is qualified to understand what coverage is needed and what is being offered by various insurers.
Public adjusters and attorneys
Don't be a victim of dishonest service providers
If your home was destroyed by a hurricane, wildfire or other disaster, be cautious.Unfortunately, there are dishonest service providers that prey on disaster victims. They know that people who have lost their homes and valuables may not be thinking clearly.
Here are some basic guidelines for hiring service providers.
Roofers and builders
If you have suffered this type of loss, don’t make any rash decisions. Talk to one of our insurance agents, who may recommend service providers in your area.
Be sure your roofer can answer questions about their location, insurance and more.
Before hiring a roofing company, there are certain questions you should ask. A poor job can mean costly roof repairs and leaks in the future, which means more time and money spent. Ask a roofer the following questions before making a hiring decision:
Did You Know?
Our articles are written by professionals in the insurance industry who's mission is to educate