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5 Surprising Things That Negatively Affect your Car Insurance Rates

Everyone wants affordable car insurance rates and rightly so seeing as most adults have at least one car to insure and it just adds to the costs associated with car ownership, right along with filling the tank up with gas, regular maintenance, new tires and any problems that creep up.

Lucky for you, living in the information age and being able to take advantage of technology, you can easily find low car insurance rates by comparing any of a number of car insurers in your area. The best way to compare car insurance rates for FREE is by entering your ZIP code in in our car comparison tool.

Comparing car insurance rates should be done every few years to make sure that you are getting the best available rates or if your current insurer raises your premiums without much reason and refuses to lower them upon request. Just spend an hour comparing the rates on the internet and you’ll likely find a better deal on your car insurance

It’s really that simple! If you still need more details from the company, call up their toll-free number or start an online chat with one of their reps to get your questions answered.

Before you sign any contract you’ll want to make sure that you are getting all of the auto insurance discounts for which you are eligible. These will help lower your premiums and will be helpful if you fall into one of the five categories of things that negatively affect your credit score. Most people know that teenage boys will have higher premiums and that having a DUI on your record will cause rates to be higher.

But what other things about your or your past will negatively affect you when it comes to buying car insurance? Being single with a low credit score and living in a crime ridden neighborhood will. Here are five surprising things that will negatively affect your car insurance rates along with some tips, where applicable, on how to overcome it. To get multiple car insurance quotes for FREE enter your ZIP code in our car insurance comparison tool.

improve credit score

Surprise #1: Bad Credit

A surprising number of people do not realize that their credit score is taken into consideration when insurers make up a quote. If you have good credit, meaning a FICO score of 700 or higher, you don’t need to worry about not having a perfect score or one above 800. However, for a good many people have seen their credit scores suffer inrecent years because of car repossession, foreclosures or job loss which often leads to living off of credit cards and racking up huge balances. 

What Can You Do?

  • Pay your bills on time each month. Simple but so many people fail to do so. If remembering to mail in your payments is a problem for your, set up online bill pay through your bank so that you can pay your bills with just a few clicks of your mouse. You’ll never have to worry about it getting lost in the mail and you can even set it up to recur monthly if you so choose. 
  • Don’t keep more than four credit cards open. Too much credit from too many sources will cause your credit score to be low. As you clean up your financial life close out the store credit cards that you don’t use anymore. Your score will take a little hit when you close the account, and never close out your oldest one, but you might as well do it now before you work hard to increase your score. 
  • Pay more than the minimum balance. As you have extra money, put more towards your credit card debt. Your credit report will begin to reflect this and your card may extend you more credit which will be good for raising your credit score. Just don’t use all of that credit limit.
  • Check your credit report to find unknown debts. Request a copy of your credit report from one of the three reporting bureaus to see if you have any outstanding debt that you don’t know about and need to clean up. On the other hand you may find some errors which you need to get taken off.

Surprise #2: Marital Status

Couple At the Beach

Strange but true, having a wedding ring on your hand, no matter what your age, will result in lower premiums than single folks. Insurers state that married people have fewer accidents than their single peers. Additionally they say that since married couples are more financially stable they can pay their premiums on time and are less likely to engage in insurance fraud. 

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do about this if you aren’t actively looking to be married. If you’re thinking of having your wedding sometime down the road, you could consider the idea of doing it sooner rather than later if you are in a long term relationship. 

Surprise #3: Your Neighborhood

Your address is an important part of the car insurance comparison process. By pin pointing where you live a company will see how likely it is that you’re car will be vandalized, thus they’ll lose money by paying out claims. 

What Can You Do?

Short of moving to a safer neighborhood there’s not much you can do other than to install anti-theft devices and give proof to your insurer and ask for a discount for taking preventative measures.

Surprise #4: Your Age

While it’s pretty common knowledge that younger drivers pay more in car insurance due to their inexperience on the road, some do not realize that it’s not just teens that pay higher premiums. Up until age 25, both males and females will pay more, especially males. This age group makes up a large percentage of the accidents that occur and so they pay for the risk that they bring to the road. 

Most people do not realize that once they get closer to, and past, retirement their rates steadily rise as well. Again this is because the represent more risk due to decreasing eye sight and longer reaction times as well as the possibility of health conditions that make them a high risk driver. 

What Can You Do?

  • Drive a sensible car, think a sedan or compact car, with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and air bags.
  • Take a safe driving class every year or two.
  • Avoid driving after dark. 

Surprise #5: Your Car

aston-martin-db9-auto-insuranceIf you are in a serious pinch with being able to afford your insurance and your car is a flashy, performance type is bright red, than you might consider selling it and getting something a little less conspicuous. Sports cars, SUV’s and large rugged trucks, especially when brand new, are targets for theft and vandalism which makes it more likely that you’ll file a claim. If you aren’t sure where your car fits,check out a listing of the most frequently stolen or vandalized car make and models as well as colors and then consider making the switch.

What Can You Do?

  • If suspicious, check to see if your car is considered to be at a higher risk.
  • Sell or trade it in for a car that will net you lower premiums.

Final Thoughts

Fortunately very few people will be at risk for falling into more than a couple of these categories at any given time. Do your best to take action where you can and do a thorough comparison of car insurance rates, including any discounts that you are eligible for, before buying a new policy. 

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