- The best way to get a good insurance rate for yourself is to shop around and do research, according to a data scientist at car insurance shopping comparison site, Insurify.
- Buying an older, less flashy car and driving safely can also reduce your rate.
- Mileage-based insurance is also available, but it’s not always a great fit for everyone.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Our current stay-at-home economy has created a surge in demand for cars. And those cars need to be insured.
Shopping for insurance can seem like a daunting task at first. But like with most things, being thorough with your research and knowing how rates are determined can be a big help in saving money.
How your rate is determined
When determining your rate, an insurance company will take many things into consideration, including your gender, age, marital status, homeownership, where you live, your driving record, and even what kind of car you’re trying to insure.
Recently, Insurify released a report that broke down how insurance rates are determined, the likelihood of getting a discount, and projections for car insurance next year. In creating the report, the team investigated more than 25 million rates from car-insurance applications in Insurify’s database from last year. You can download the report in full here.
“Generally speaking, female drivers aged 25 to 65 pay the least for insurance,” Kacie Saxer-Taulbee, a data scientist at insurance comparison shopping website Insurify, told Business Insider.
But if you aren’t a female driver or do not fall within that age range, there are still some actions you can take to lower your insurance rate. Buying an older and less flashy car will “reliably lower insurance premiums,” Saxer-Taulbee said, as “insurance costs drop steadily as a car ages.”
Insurify found that cars made in the US tend to be more affordable to insure than foreign cars, perhaps because it costs more to find parts overseas. Additionally, vehicles that are more than 20 years old are the cheapest to insure. Using this knowledge, we can then reasonably deduce that a 2000 Ford Windstar minivan would probably be pretty cheap to insure. If you’re into those, of course.
It’s also worth pointing out that an older car might need more maintenance than a newer one, so factor that into your budget when making a decision.
Another tip, which seems pretty straightforward, is to drive safely. Don’t be reckless and get a ticket, because that will affect your rate. “Safe drivers save an average of nearly $300 a year on car insurance,” Saxer-Taulbee said.
The Insurify report found that minor violations (running a red light, failing to yield) can increase rates by 24%, intermediate violations (negligence, careless driving) can increase rates by 31%, and major violations (driving under the influence, reckless driving) can increase rates by 49%.
“Nothing beats online comparison shopping for car insurance quotes,” Saxer-Taulbee said. “The more companies a car owner can compare, the more likely they’ll be able to find the best coverage for the lowest price.”
There are a few ways you can do this. The first is creating a list for yourself, where you get individual quotes from each insurance company and compare them all. Or you can use an insurance comparison tool, which lets you compare personalized insurance quotes.
But regardless of how you shop for your insurance, Saxer-Taulbee recommended comparing insurance rates every six months to stay up to date on the best new deals. You can also make sure that your insurance agent is “independent and not captive to certain companies if [you] choose to use one.”
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re someone who lives in a city and perhaps doesn’t drive very often, now find yourself working from home, or your employment situation has changed so that you don’t need to drive as often, you might want to check out mileage-based insurance.
Metromile is one example of mileage-based car insurance, but NerdWallet pointed out that most likely those who drive very little get the lower rates. It’s available in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
Certain insurance companies such as Root, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Traveler’s use a telematics device to track mileage. But, “these devices also monitor driver behavior, so car owners who speed or who are not as cautious behind the wheel may want to avoid this form of coverage,” Saxer-Taulbee said.
Everyone’s situation is different. Hopefully, you’ll be able to price out a rate that’s good for you and your family.