For anyone sensitive to cost increases (that’s just about everyone,) the question could be readily asked, “Why does my car insurance keep going up?” The fact is that insurance rates generally do go up every year, so pricing goes beyond simply being a good driver. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, rates have gone up seven consecutive of the last ten years through 2016 (see: https: www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-insurance). And, rates have continued to go up during the most recent two years.
Cost increases often lead people to seek out cheap car insurance policies. The reasons “why is my insurance going up” are many and fall into two categories: factors within your control and outside of your control. Before you consider switching car insurance, make sure the following items don’t apply to your situation:
Factors Within Your Control
A car insurance premium increase can take place if you have:
- Had any traffic tickets or other violations.
- Been in an at-fault collision.
- Moved to a new area where the cost of insurance may be more expensive.
- Added drivers to the insurance policy or changed the roles of the primary drivers on the policy.
- Cancelled part of your insurance coverage, such as home insurance, causing you to lose the discount value of multiple coverage.
- Experienced new medical conditions that may increase driving risk.
- Changed employment, requiring your car to be driven longer distances.
- Bought a more expensive car.
Factors Outside of Your Control
A car insurance premium increase can take place based on:
- People are driving more—more cars on the road and more miles driven—resulting in increased chances for accidents to occur.
- Distracted driving has increased, causing a higher number of accidents.
- Many states have increased speed limits, causing a potential increase in accidents.
- Repair costs and medical costs continue to rise, and these can be passed on to policyholders.
- Increased incidents of vandalism or theft in your area.
- Car insurance fraud is affecting the entire care insurance industry.
Have You Filed Any New Claims Recently?
Filing a claim should be an obvious and immediate course of action after a car accident if a vehicle sustained serious damage or a person was injured. And, filing a claim will usually raise your premium. When deciding what impact there may be on your rates, the insurance company will consider how bad the accident was, who was at fault and how much your insurance company values you, based on your driving record.
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On the other hand, if you are in a minor single-car accident with damage only to your car with a small potential repair cost to your own vehicle that is less than the rate increases you may experience after a claim, you may not want to use your insurance coverage in order to avoid a car insurance premium increase.
Drivers with few or no accident claims usually get the lowest rates because they are seen as good insurance risks.
Any New Tickets or Driving Violations?
When you see the flashing lights behind you, one of your reactions will be to moan, “I’m going to get a car insurance premium increase.” Indeed, increases do take place for a series of violations, including:
- Reckless driving
- Careless driving
- Distracted Driving; texting while driving
- Improper turn; failure to yield; failure to stop
- Driving without a license
The best way to protect yourself against rate increases is to keep your driving record accident and violation-free. In case of a violation, you can take a defensive driving course, which may help.
Are There Any New Drivers or Vehicles Added to the Policy?
When you ask yourself, “Why is my car insurance going up?” consider the cars themselves. The year of the vehicle does affect your insurance rate. Newer vehicles can sometimes secure a new car discount. Or, you may pay a higher rate based on the replacement cost of the car. More expensive and fancier vehicles, including those with high uses of technology and some foreign vehicles, may also come with an increased premium.
A car that is added, which might be considered slower and safer, will generally cost less than a more high-end vehicle. Additionally, expensive cars have a higher risk of theft, which also impacts the insurance cost.
Driver age always has a direct impact on insurance prices. If you add a younger driver to your policy, that could quickly drive up your insurance rate. And, drivers less than age 25 will get the highest rates. Plus, younger male drivers will cause higher prices than young female drivers.
One other consideration is that having more drivers than vehicles can be good for rates, because an extra driver will be regarded as an occasional driver, rather than being a principal driver.
See also: Windhaven Auto Insurance
Did Any of Your Previous Discounts Get Removed?
You don’t need to wait until renewal time to address discounts. The answer to “Why does my car insurance keep going up?” can be in your hands because insurance companies provide discounts to auto owners who have fewer accidents, file fewer claims and have better driving and credit histories—so they can charge less for coverage.
Car insurance rates are calculated as follows:
- The base rate, based on risk factors
- Surcharges, such as tickets and violations
- Discounts, based on considerations that may reduce risks to the insurer
Discounts include such categories as:
- Demographic factors
- Driver affiliations
- Driving history
- Driver training
- Payment record
- Equipment related, including airbags and anti-theft devices
Simply explore all the available discounts and continue to negotiate the best prices, then save when you pay upfront and pay online.
Insurance Companies Frequently Change Their Underwriting
Underwriting is simply the process used by the insurance companies for evaluating the risk to the insurer and determining how profitable it is for the company to provide insurance. Underwriters will consistently review factors to protect the profitability of an insurance company. If an insurance company is experiencing higher claims and losses than expected, they will raise rates. If repair and medical costs increase, they will raise their rates.
They may elect to change rates based on credit scoring or other customer criteria impacting on policy renewal.
It is always the best policy to stay in close touch with your insurance company and to keep your driving record clean, that way you can prevent an unexpected car insurance premium increase.