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: Jun 11, 2019

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There are several factors that will make your auto insurance more expensive. Some of them you can control; some you cannot. For example, you cannot control your age, but you can control how carefully you drive and avoid tickets and accidents.

Shopping around for auto insurance can often help you find much cheaper insurance. In fact, some people who have been with the same company for years are amazed at what they can save by switching to another company.

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Where You Live

The first factor that influences the price of your car insurance is where you live. It is a fact that auto insurance costs more in some areas than others. If you live in a rural or suburban area, your rates will probably be less than if you drive into a large city every day.

How many miles a day you drive can also influence your rate; obviously, drivers who are on the road more are more likely to be involved in an accident.

You Age and Experience

Your age is one of the biggest factors influencing auto insurance rates, especially if you are very young or older. Very young drivers and older drivers are statistically involved in far more accidents, so these groups are charged higher rates.

Between the ages of 25 and 55, however, your rates should remain about the same, without significant increases or decreases. Young people can help reduce rates by maintaining good grades and taking driver’s education, both of which are often attached to auto insurance discounts.

The Type of Vehicle Insured

Another thing that makes a big difference in the price of your auto insurance is the car itself. It costs less to repair or replace an older car than a newer one, so the older your car is, the less your insurance should be.

Expensive newer cars cost more to repair or replace than inexpensive newer cars, as well.

However, keep in mind that not all of your rate is based on the cost of your car; liability, for example, is often just as much for an older car as a newer one, because the insurance company will have to pay the same amount if you hit someone else, no matter what you are driving.

There are features of your car that can lower your rate; if you are interested in buying a car that has insurance-saving features, talk to your agent about what to look for in your next vehicle.

Your Credit Score

Most auto insurance companies will also look at your credit score in some cases.

While some states do not allow this practice, if it is allowed, insurance companies run a credit check in order to determine the rate offered. This is based on the belief that those who are careful with finances will be better drivers.

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How to save money on Auto Insurance?

There are some ways you can reduce your auto insurance rates immediately. First, if all of your cars, house, and life are not insured with the same company, consider combining them all with the one with the best rate.

Most auto insurance companies offer significant discounts for “multi-car” policies and for combining all types of insurance with them, so ask your agent to give you a quote.

Be sure to get quotes from every agency you deal with, and let your current agent know if you receive lower quotes from others; he or she may be willing to work with you to bring your rate down.

Drive safely! This is probably the best thing you can do to keep your rates low, and to give you negotiating power if you decide to move to another agent.

Even a single speeding ticket can raise your rates significantly; more importantly, however, if you lose your insurance coverage with your current company as a result of a reckless driving or DUI conviction, you may find yourself unable to find another company willing to ensure you.

Do not make claims for every little fender bender. The higher your deductible is, the less you will pay for insurance, so set your deductible high enough not to tempt you to make a claim for a small amount of damage.

Many experts recommend a $1000 deductible, which can significantly reduce your rates. Take the money you save and invest it in a special savings account to pay your deductible if you must make a claim, or to repair your car’s small damage.

Finally, be sure to shop around to various agents periodically. Many insurance companies offer “customer loyalty” discounts, but these may not be equal to what you can save by switching your coverage.

However, if you are going to change companies, be very sure the new company offers the same coverage you currently have for that price and read customer reviews about the proposed insurer.

You can find good reviews annually at J.D. Power and Associates and other websites.

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