If recent car insurance quotes have left you asking “Why is my car insurance so high?”, it’s important to know that your premium is affected by numerous risk factors — many of which you can influence, some of which you can’t. Don’t despair over what’s out of your control. These are some of the factors that could be negatively affecting the cost of your premium.
Where you live
Densely populated areas typically have higher rates of accidents and thefts. Higher labor costs make auto repairs more expensive in some cities, which make claims more costly to settle. All of these factors contribute to higher premiums.
Some states are estimated to have several million uninsured drivers, so you may want the protection of uninsured motorist coverage. But more coverage means you’ll pay more in premiums.
It’s difficult for drivers under 25 to find cheap car insurance because they’re more likely to be in accidents than drivers with more experience. Insurance rates also tend to go up after drivers turn 70.
Sorry, guys: Research shows that men are involved in accidents and engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding or drunk driving, more often than women. Men also buy cars that are costlier to insure, such as sports cars, and don’t buckle up as often.
Your state’s laws
Insurance regulations vary widely among states, and some of those requirements lead to higher auto premiums.
In states with no-fault insurance laws, your policy will cover medical benefits and other accident-related expenses regardless of who’s to blame. No-fault laws restrict the amount of damages that can be sought in a lawsuit.
While no-fault insurance can reduce the number of lawsuits and speed up medical claims, it’s also ripe for fraud — and most insurers pass the cost of fraud on to policyholders.
As you shop, don’t be frustrated by factors beyond your control. There are things you can do — like keeping a good driving record and owning a vehicle that’s cheap to insure — that can lower your car insurance rates.
Image via iStock.