While finding the cheapest car insurance rate isn’t every driver’s top priority, it’s certainly not a bad idea to save money on car insurance while still being properly covered. But finding cheap car insurance isn’t always as easy as you might think — rates can vary widely from driver to driver, for drivers who have the same policy and live in the same state.
That’s because car insurance rates are based on many factors, including your driving history, vehicle make and model, your age, zip code, and even your gender and credit score if you live in certain States. Additionally, each car insurance company uses different methods to calculate rates. But while finding the cheapest car insurance rates can be difficult, there are strategies you can use to help you get the best rates.
What factors can affect your auto insurance rates?
Auto insurance companies use a variety of rating factors to determine your premium. These include your age, where you live, your driving record, driving experience and credit score in many states, as well as other demographic and personal factors.
A good driving record will generally lead to having a lower car insurance rate, while a driving record with convictions for traffic tickets or at-fault accidents is likely to result in higher premiums for a period of time. You may still be able to get cheap auto insurance with a few blemishes on your driving record, but you may have to shop around to find it.
Your age can also affect your auto insurance rates. Young drivers without extensive driving experience are statistically at greater risk of accidents and incidents on the road, so car insurance companies generally charge higher rates to compensate for the risk. Rates generally begin to fall after age 25, but may start to rise again for older drivers. However, not all states allow age to be considered as determining rates, so whether or not your age affects your car insurance costs will depend on where you live.
Where you live can also be a factor when determining your car insurance rates. In fact, the average cost of auto insurance can vary by several hundred dollars or more from state to state or city to city. For example, areas with higher crime rates are generally considered higher risk to insurers, so you may pay more than average depending on your location. Some regions may also have higher accident rates than others, which may also affect your premium.
Some states allow auto insurance companies to consider your insurance-based credit store when calculating your rate. If you pay your bills late or not at all, or have other blemishes on your credit report, your auto insurance company may consider you a higher-risk driver. This usually leads to paying more than average for car insurance.
The make and model of the vehicle you drive, as well as the safety features, can have a direct impact on the cost of your auto insurance. For example, certain types of cars will cost more to insure on average due to the higher cost of replacement parts or repairs. Or, some companies may not offer policies for certain types of vehicles, such as high-end sports cars, which generally present a higher risk on the road. In these cases, drivers may need to obtain coverage from certain companies, which may cause the cost of their policy to be higher than average.
The types of coverage you choose can also affect the cost of your premiums. In general, minimum coverage car insurance is less expensive, but it provides less coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance is generally more expensive, but it provides more coverage when you’re on the road. Any type of additional coverage you add to your policy, whether it’s roadside assistance, gap coverage, or something else entirely, can also increase the cost of your car insurance.
How to find cheap car insurance
If you want to find cheap car insurance, it can be helpful to start by comparing quotes from several car insurance companies. If you shop around, you’re more likely to find a policy that fits your budget.
It may also be useful to consider the following:
- Opt for a higher deductible: Going for a higher deductible can help lower your car insurance rate, but if you go this route, be sure to choose a deductible that you can still afford.
- Ask about discounts: If you qualify for a car insurance discount, it could lower the cost of your premium.
- Get quotes from several insurance companies: Shopping for auto insurance is often the easiest way to find affordable auto insurance. It may be beneficial for you to get quotes from a few different companies so you can compare and find the best rates.
- Compare quotes by coverage: Some insurance companies may have better rates than others, but the coverage and benefits may be less than what you need. Be sure to compare insurance options in terms of coverage and cost to ensure you are getting adequate coverage from your policy.
- Discuss your options with an insurance broker: You may also benefit from working with an independent insurance broker who can purchase a policy on your behalf and determine your insurance needs.
- Consider bundling your home and auto policies: Bundling your insurance policies can result in significant discounts. Therefore, if you are a home owner, it may be beneficial for you to get quotes for bundled coverage to see if this can help lower your premiums.