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Car Insurance Quotes Should Reflect Life Changes

Auto Insurance, Insurance
Car Insurance Quotes Should Reflect Life Changes

You think to tell your auto insurance company when you move and, of course, when you buy a new car. But changing jobs, getting married and other life events can also mean big changes in your auto insurance quote.

When calculating rates, insurance companies look at who you are, where you live, what you drive, how much you drive (and why) and who else drives your car regularly. Here are details on how different factors might affect your quote.

How much you drive

It’s obvious that a change in the amount of driving you do affects your risk of having an accident and, therefore, how much you should pay for car insurance. But many of us probably don’t revisit the annual mileage estimate we gave our insurer when we first got our policy.

If you’ve changed jobs, you may have a longer or shorter commute. Small changes in mileage probably won’t have much impact on your car insurance quote, but going from driving a lot to very little, or the other way around, might.

How you use your car

Your insurance company will want to know whether you use your car for work, to commute to and from your job or just for personal trips. If you use your car for business (beyond commuting), you’ll likely need a business auto policy.

Marital status

Couples can save money by combining policies and getting a multicar discount. But insurers also charge married people less, because statistics show they tend to get into fewer accidents.

Who lives with you

You may know that you need to list your spouse on your insurance, even if you have separate policies. But you need to tell your insurer about other regular drivers as well to make sure your vehicle is properly covered.

“We ask that you list all drivers in your household who have access to your vehicle, including your spouse, relatives, licensed children, and roommates,” Esurance says on its website. It adds that you might also have to add friends who don’t live with you if they frequently borrow your car.

If someone gets into an accident while driving your car and your insurance company determines that the person should have been on your policy but wasn’t, it could cancel your coverage.

How to make changes

Generally, you can update your policy by logging in to your account online or by calling the company or your agent. Since companies evaluate these factors differently, changes could mean the insurer that offered the top deal before is no longer your best option. So you might want to get new car insurance quotes after life changes.

NerdWallet’s car insurance estimator tool can help.

Aubrey Cohen is a staff writer covering insurance and investing for NerdWallet. Follow him on Twitter @aubreycohen and on Google+.


Image via iStock.