Merrill Burchell, Car Insurance Writer
Common reasons for high car insurance costs include your driving record, age, coverage options, where you live, the car you drive, your credit history or not taking advantage of discounts. The average car insurance premium has also become more expensive as it increased by more than 50% in the past 10 years.
8 Reasons Why Your Car Insurance Is So Expensive
1. You Have a Poor Driving Record
Your driving record is probably the most important factor in determining your car insurance rates. If your record is poor, with accidents and driving violations, and you have a history of claims, your rates will be high. You will also pay more than average if you’re bad with credit, young (especially young and male), or unmarried.
2. Your Vehicle Is Expensive to Insure
Insurance companies like safe, boring cars that nobody wants to steal for joy-riding or parts. If you choose to drive something large, fast, luxurious, statistically unsafe on the road, or popular with thieves, you will pay more.
3. You Live in a High-Risk Location
Where you live has a large impact on your premiums. Some areas of the country have much higher insurance costs than others. A number of factors go into this, such as the history of accidents in the area, population density, the number of uninsured drivers, crime statistics, bad weather patterns, etc. Also, if you live far from work and have a long daily commute, the high annual mileage could raise your rate.
4. You Have High Coverage Amounts
If your coverage limits are high and your deductibles are low, you will be happy if you need to make a claim, but not as happy when you’re paying your premiums. If the insurance company risks having to pay out more in the future, you will have to pay more now.
5. You Are Not Taking Advantage of Discounts
Insurers offer a very wide variety of discounts. Valued customer discounts offer savings for things like loyalty, multiple cars and policies, and paying online. Driver discounts may apply if you are a good driver, good student, belong to a certain profession or organization, are married, or more. Your car may also qualify for a discount if it has equipment that makes it safer to drive or harder to steal. Discounts are available to nearly everyone, and you may qualify for some that you aren’t getting credit for yet.
6. You Are Too Young or Too Old
Teens are statistically more likely to cause car accidents than the average driver, so insurance companies charge them the highest premiums. Drivers who get their license at 16 years old usually see their premiums decrease with every year of experience, however, and age 25 is generally considered a turning point when premiums become considerably lower.
Experienced drivers in their 40s and 50s are often the cheapest to insure. But rates begin to rise again after age 65.
7. You Have a Low Insurance Score
Every major insurance company uses a credit-based insurance score to calculate premiums where allowed by law. Like credit scores, insurance scores are based on credit report information, only they are used to predict a driver’s likelihood of filing a claim. The rationale is that individuals who are careful with their money tend to be careful drivers, too.
However, insurance scores are controversial, so they are banned in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California. Most other states also have restrictions on their use, which can be found on the state insurance regulator’s website.
8. Costs Increasing Overall
Record-setting natural disasters, more phone-related car accidents, high rates of insurance fraud, and expensive-to-repair car technology have all increased costs for insurance companies. As a result, insurers have been raising their prices to cover their expenses.
From 2010 to 2019, the average cost of car insurance increased by more than 50%. Prices have gone up every year. This steady rise in insurance costs has outstripped other consumer costs. Even skyrocketing hospital costs lag slightly behind car insurance.
Overall Cost Increases from 2010 to 2019
- Car Insurance: 52.2%
- Hospital Services: 49.1%
- Cost of Living: 17.2%
- Physician’s Fees: 15.7%
You can’t reverse this industry-wide inflation. But if you want to lower your own insurance costs, address as many of your personal factors as you can. Then get quotes from multiple insurance companies and compare.
Check out WalletHub's full guide on the factors that affect car insurance rates for more information.
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