If you have always had good car insurance rates, you may wonder why they have gone up. Several things can make this happen, but following is a list of the most probably causes for an increase in rates. When you understand what happened, you can take steps to ensure you have affordable car insurance again.
Receiving a Traffic Violation
If you get a ticket for speeding or another traffic offense, you can expect your rates to go up. An exception to this rule is when companies offer traffic violation forgiveness. It usually only applies to one offense, but it can keep your mistake from ruining your rates.
Being Involved in an Accident
If you are at fault in an accident that results in a claim, your rates will most likely increase. If you have accident forgiveness, you may be able to get by on your first accident without increasing your premiums. You may also not see an increase if the claim is small, usually less than $500.
Filing a Comprehensive Claim
If you file a comprehensive claim, you may end up paying more for insurance. Many providers don’t charge extra for this, but more of them are beginning to change the rules. It may also depend on how many claims you have in a time frame.
Sometimes, you may find that your insurance premiums go up as you age. While teen drivers are usually the highest risk, those over 70 may also have a harder time finding affordable car insurance. Prior to that time, you may actually get a discount for seniors.
Letting Your Insurance Lapse
If you go without car insurance for a while, you may have to pay a higher premium when you get a new policy. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a car to insure, not having insurance can count against you. It may benefit you to be added to someone else’s insurance as a secondary driver just to keep your insurance current.
Changing Where You Live
If you move to an area where more accidents happen or somewhere that has a higher rate of auto theft, you may notice that your premiums go up. Your insurance is based partially on where you live. This often includes the suburbs vs. downtown as well as what state rates are.
If Your Credit Score Drops
Another factor that could cause your insurance premiums to go up is if you have a low credit score. If your score drops, you may notice a difference in what you have to pay. You can ask your insurance provider if they figure your credit history into your rates. While most states allow it, not all insurance companies use this data as part of determining your premiums.
Some of these factors are ones that you cannot change while others are within your control to alter. Consider what you can do to improve your insurance rates or talk to an agent to find out how you can qualify for a more affordable car insurance policy.