An unexpected list of car insurance pricing factors can be found in a report published by insurance search engine the Zebra in March 2019. The report describes the state of auto insurance based on 61 million rates. The list won’t seem that surprising if you realize the link between the car insurance rates and these factors isn’t always direct, though.
Whether you’re married
Going to get married? Expect a 6% ($90 a year) drop in your car insurance rates. Insurers rely on statistics showing that married people more rarely file claims. If you get a divorce, be prepared to pay about 5% more than you used to (although the divorced don’t pay as much as those who have never been married). The widowed pay about 3% more than the married and about 2% less than the divorced.
Yet, there’re several states, including Montana, Massachusetts, and Hawaii, where insurers aren’t allowed to include marital status in the list of factors affecting insurance rates.
Whether you’re a woman or a man
It’s women who have to pay more for their insurance, nationally. The difference isn’t that big at the national level – not more than 1%. And yet, if a woman lives in one of the “unlucky” states, she will have to pay up to 6% more than a man. This may come as a surprise if you take into consideration the following statistics:
– 28% of male driver deaths were caused by speeding versus 18% of female driver deaths (2017, research by IIHS)
– there were around 8.000 male alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal car accidents versus about 2.000 female alcohol-impaired drivers (2018)
– men are more prone to risky driving behaviors, according to most studies
– men are more often involved in severe crashes than women
– also, there’s a difference in car brands preferences: men more often buy luxury cars than women do.
The driver’s age typically correlates with how long he or she has been driving. In other words, it’s an essential factor affecting the person’s driver’s experience and as such plays a major role in determining the car insurance rates.
The most known fact is that teens and people in their twenties are those who pay most ($5.217 and 1.979 respectively). Drivers in their thirties pay roughly $1.449, which is $530 less than those in their twenties.
Some people aren’t aware that after they turn 60 their premium starts to grow. Drivers in their eighties pay $400 more than 30-year-olds.
We should point out that teens buying their own policy pay about 50% more for their car insurance policies than those added to their parents’ car insurance policies.
While your level of education correlates with your insurance rates, the difference is comparatively small. Drivers who don’t hold a degree pay only 2.6% more than PhDs and Masters, 2.2% more than bachelors, and 1.2% more than those who hold a high school diploma.
Whether you have a house of your own
If you rent a house, you pay about 2.4% more than a homeowner and 2.3% more than a condo owner, which is about $35 annually.
Employment and occupation
Do you have a full-time job? Those who do typically pay about $20 less annually than those who work part-time or are unemployed. Yet, some states don’t use employment as one of the factors affecting insurance rates.
Also, your profession affects your rates. Active duty military and veterans are the luckiest – they pay around $30 less than an average employed car owner. The list of specialists paying less than average for their car policy includes engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, firefighters, those who work in law enforcement, and teachers.
Whether you have a good credit score
Have you ever wondered why many insurers are so eager to find out your credit score? The reason is a driver’s credit score is clearly linked with how often he files a claim and how much he wants to get from the insurance company. To begin with, drivers with exceptional credit scores are less likely to file a claim. If they still file a claim, its dollar amount is about twice as little as the dollar amount of claims filed by drivers with low credit scores.
Now, you shouldn’t be surprised that a driver with exceptional credit (800-850) pays less than half the sum paid by those with poor credit.
We should point out, though, there’re states where it’s prohibited to use credit scores among car insurance pricing factors.