When you come to us for car insurance, we ask you a lot of questions. You might wonder why we get so “personal.” How far do you drive to work, your age, your occupation…what difference does it all make?
The answer lies in the basic job of the insurance company when rating a new customer’s insurance. Predicting the future. That’s right, our companies are obligated to pay covered losses, but not obligated to take on a risk in the first place (with some exceptions).
So when a prospective car insurance customer asks for coverage, the company does its best to predict the chances that that person will have an accident. The better the risk, the less expensive the insurance policy.
Below are some of the factors they use to determine the likelihood that you will be in an accident…or not. We thought we’d prepare you if you call for a quote with some of the questions we might ask and why we ask each question:
Where do you live?
Car insurance rates are based on where you live. Urban areas tend to have higher rates than rural areas. So if you live in Utica, New Hartford, Whitesboro, or Clinton, your rates are higher than if you live in Madison or Westmoreland.
How old are you?
There is no getting around it, younger drivers cause more accidents than middle aged drivers. They are inexperienced, uninhibited, and live with fewer responsibilities than older people. However, younger people who are married will get a better rate.
Are you married or single?
Like young drivers, men cause more accidents than women. So, a single male may pay more than a single female. However, married males pay less than single males. Gender is not so much a factor as people get older.
Have you had any tickets or accidents?
This is probably obvious to you. If you have racked up speeding tickets or other moving violations in the last 39 months, insurance companies will consider you likely to have an accident in the future. Any alcohol related violations stay on your record even longer. And each infraction adds more to the premium. So the better your driving record, the less you pay.
What is your credit score?
Most auto insurance companies are using a credit check as an indicator as to how well you drive. Stats show that people with good credit tend to drive more safely.
Do you drive to work?
You are more likely to have an accident the more you drive your car. So, your rates are based on whether or not you drive to work (home based businesses get a break here!), how far to work, and how often. Also, you pay more if you drive your car for business, such as an outside sales person.
What kind of car do you drive?
Hot cars, sports cars, luxury cars all cost more for insurance. The sports and hot cars because they go so fast. The luxury cars because the physical damage (comprehensive and collision) premium is higher with the additional costs of repair. That could also hold true for sports cars, where parts are hard to get or expensive. Also, these cars are more prone to theft.
Your Question to Us: How Can I Save on My Car Insurance Rates in the Greater Utica Area?
As you’ve discovered above, there are a bunch of reasons you’d be charged less for insurance. A good driving record, standard car, and less driving all help. Plus, good credit and just being a little older.
If you’d like us to take a look at your car insurance rates, we’d be happy to offer you a price from one of our 22 insurance carriers. We have them all compete for your business so you don’t have to shop it around. We do it for you!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
PS. Reminder: We’ve moved to 120 Lomond Court, Utica, NY 13502. Our phones, fax, email, and website remain the same.
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.