There are a lot of factors that can affect your car insurance rates. Here are some stats and facts to keep you informed about when - and why - your rates might change. Because understanding how things work is part of building safe driving habits and being prepared for an emergency.

Your driving record is directly reflected in your car insurance rates

Are you an at-risk driver? Incidents such as accidents (even if you weren't at fault), speeding violations, reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated can all cause your premiums to spike. If you've filed a claim in the past few years, this might result in an increase to your premium. Remain on your guard and maintain good driving and home protection habits. As time goes on, past claims on your record will decrease if you keep losses to a minimum.

Credit scores are factored into auto insurance rate

Your personal insurance score is used to help determine your home and auto rates. Insurers base this on your credit report, payment history and credit use, among other considerations. This practice lets insurance companies cover more drivers and homeowners, and promotes equitable rates for all customers.

The amount you drive can affect the amount you pay for insurance

It's pretty simple: the more you drive, the more opportunity there is to get in an accident. Let your insurance company know if your lifestyle changes and you're driving less, because you may be eligible for lower rates.

Driving certain cars can automatically increase your insurance rates

Luxury cars aren't the only ones that are at a high-risk of theft. Thieves target cars with high-demand parts. Some of the most commonly stolen cars are Honda Accords and Civics, Ford Fusions and F-150s, and Nissan Altimas.

Living in a region or neighborhood that's severe-weather prone can increase your rates

Certain areas that are more heavily affected by weather – including escalating extreme weather events like floods, hurricanes, snow and ice storms – tend to produce more claims, causing home insurance rates to be higher. For example, you may pay higher premiums if you live in a neighborhood prone to brush fires or mud slides.

Dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, and car security systems can decrease your insurance rates

When buying a new car, look for vehicles with high ratings for driver safety and passenger protection. Cars with anti-theft devices and security systems may be eligible for discounts as well.

The more valuable the car, the more expensive it is to repair and insure

Generally, a new car costs more to repair after an accident. New cars are also at a higher risk of break-ins or theft. So if you're thinking about buying that dream car you've always wanted, talk to your insurance company about how your rates will be affected.

The average insurance rate increases by 152% when adding a 16-year-old to the policy. See if you qualify for teen driving discounts

Teen drivers get in more accidents than any other age group, which means your car insurance rates will likely increase when adding a teen to your existing policy. Maintaining good grades, taking defensive driving courses, and increasing your deductible can lower these rates.

External factors can also directly affect your insurance premium

Other factors that result in a rise in total claims paid, can directly affect your premium. Possible external factors include:
  • More extreme weather events (incidents such as floods, hurricanes, snow, and ice storms have caused the frequency and severity of claims to rise across the country)
  • Increasing number of car accidents due to distracted driving
  • Rising healthcare costs
  • Rising cost of home and auto claims
  • Rising insurance fraud claims
  • Rising cost of parts and labor
Stretching your hard-earned dollars to get your money's worth of coverage should be a priority. Find out if you qualify for discounts and for more affordable car insurance rates.
Contact your local Armstrong Insurance agent today to save on your car insurance.