We all know that there are many factors that
can affect your auto insurance costs. Some of the more obvious determinants
• Gender and Age. Young male drivers are
typically the most expensive to insure, especially if they have
any type of mark on their driver's record.
• Driving Record. Tickets, accidents, being
caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol…they
all add up and translate into higher auto insurance costs.
• Miscellaneous Discounts. If you are a
good student, if you have safety features installed on your car,
if you have low mileage on your car, if you are a senior, if you
are in the military…all of these can mean discounts on your
auto insurance costs.
But, did you know that where you live and what you drive may also
impact your auto insurance costs?
Location, Location, Location
It's a fact, auto insurance rates in rural communities are almost
always lower than those in large urban centers. Accidents tend to
happen much more frequently in big cities, usually due to the high
amount of cars on the road (AKA: Traffic!)
Certain states have higher insurance rates than others due to
the percentage of claims filed. States like New Jersey, Washington
D.C., New York and Massachusetts typically have the highest average
It can also cost more to settle claims in certain areas, and this
can add to the cost of your insurance premiums. Expensive cars cost
more to repair or replace, and wealthy urban communities will sometimes
have higher average insurance rates.
Pick a Low-Profile, Safe Vehicle How your vehicle
holds up in a crash is also important to auto insurance companies.
Think about it, the more a vehicle costs to repair after a crash,
the more auto insurance companies will have to pay out. If there
are certain vehicles that tend to be involved in more accidents,
tend to incur more damage and involve more bodily harm to passengers
when in those accidents, it is safe to assume those vehicles will
cost more to insure. Vehicles such as sports cars and some SUVs
tend to rate lower in terms of crashworthiness, and therefore carry
higher insurance rates.
Another important factor is whether or not your vehicle is on
the list of those most frequently targeted for theft. Non-profit
organizations such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) track the most commonly
stolen vehicles. The NICB lists tend to track all vehicles on the
road (often meaning the most popular cars are those most commonly
stolen), while the HLDI tracks results based on the number of insured
vehicles on the road (meaning those with higher theft claims top
the list). The NICB lists the five most commonly stolen vehicles
in the U.S. in 2001 as the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Honda
Civic, the Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera and the Jeep Cherokee/Grand
Cherokee. The HLDI list the five vehicles with the highest theft
claim frequencies in 2001 as the Acura Integra, the Jeep Wrangler,
the Jeep Cherokee 4WD, the Honda Prelude and the Mitsubishi Mirage.
Basically, all these cars will most likely be more expensive to
insure. Make sure you check out the insurance costs of a particular
vehicle before purchasing it.
If your car is stolen, make sure to contact the police right away.
Have information such as the year, make and model of your vehicle,
your license plate number, the VIN (vehicle identification number),
where the theft occurred and what time of the day. Next, you should
inform your insurance company that the car was stolen. The more
quickly you do this, the more quickly they can get started on processing
For more information:
National Insurance Crime Bureau: www.nicb.org
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute:
Along with the obvious factors about you, the person to be insured,
other factors about your vehicle type and where you live are likely
to affect your auto insurance costs. Make sure to compare quotes
before purchasing an insurance plan, and find one that best suits
you, your vehicle, and your locale.
You can start here to shop for online auto