Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 30, 2019

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The price of your auto insurance policy is going to depend largely on the type of policy you purchase. Different people are going to have different coverage needs.

Your risk profile is also going to play a big role in how much you end up paying for your auto insurance.

Trying to predict how much you will pay without seeing a quote first is difficult to do. Here are some common variables that will impact the price you pay for car insurance.

Be sure to enter your ZIP code into the FREE auto insurance comparison tool above!

What is Your Driving Record Like

Safe drivers should get the lowest rates on their policies. This is because they have not filed claims on those policies. Insurance companies see their profits eroded away when they have to pay on a claim.

Drivers who do not cost the insurance company money will generally be charged less. Accidents, tickets and other violations will likely increase your premium.

Having a DUI conviction on your driving record is going to significantly increase how much you pay for insurance.

Miscellaneous Factors That Impact Your Risk Profile

Other factors that have nothing to do with your ability to drive a car will influence your cost for insurance. Having a low credit score can cause you to pay more for a policy. Living in a city is another variable that will raise your rates.

The type of car that you drive is going to be taken into consideration as well.

Cars that are more expensive to repair will cost more to insure. Cars that are frequently stolen may cost more to insure as well.

How Much Coverage You Will Need

The amount of coverage that you need will certainly factor into the price you pay. A driver who only purchases liability coverage will pay less than someone who purchases liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

Increasing the levels of coverage beyond the legal minimum will increase your prices even more. Lower deductible amounts on your policy will also make it more expensive.

Consider increasing your deductible if you want an easy way to lower your premium each month. You will save money on your premium when the insurance company has less liability in the event of an accident.

Make sure that you could afford to cover the cost of any damage before you increase the deductible. It isn’t worth paying $1,000 after an accident just to save $5 a month on your premium.

What Company Are You Using?

Your current company will tend to raise your rates slowly over time. They might slip in an extra administrative cost, convenience fee or claim that the cost of insurance is simply going up in general.

You need to shop around to compare quotes at least once or twice a year. This will allow you to see what the competition is offering in terms of price.

You may find that another company is willing to give you a discount for bundling your homeowners insurance with your car insurance. No two companies are going to price your policy exactly the same.

That is why it is important to compare quotes on a regular basis.

Do you Have Your Own Policy?

Having your own insurance policy can significantly alter the amount you will pay for insurance. A younger driver may be better off joining his parents policy for a couple of years.

The only downside is that a younger driver could not own his own car unless he had his own insurance policy. This could be a problem for a teenager who wants to be independent from his parents.

However, the ability to save money on car insurance premiums for a short period of time may be well worth it.

Paying Your Premium in Full Helps

You have the option of paying your premium in full or in installments each month. Paying the premium in full is an easy way to save money on your policy.

Most drivers can expect to save about ten percent or so off their premium when it is paid upfront. This is because you won’t have to worry about any convenience fees or processing charges for each installment.

Trying to predict the cost of your auto insurance is like trying to predict the weather. You never really know what you are looking at until the day you purchase your policy.

Safe driving, high deductibles and paying your premium in full are three ways you can guarantee that your policy will be cheaper.

Otherwise, you have to shop around until you find a policy that you are comfortable with. Do not make any commitment to a policy until you know it is something that will fit your budget as well as comply with state law.

To easily search auto insurance rates, enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool below!

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