Why did my car insurance rate go up?
It’s important to know that insurance premiums aren’t raised on a whim, and the reason for a rate increase is almost always tied to insurance risk. Auto accidents and traffic violations are common explanations for a higher price, but there are other reasons why your car insurance premiums go up.
Reasons for a rate increase
Speeding tickets and other moving violations
Violations on your motor vehicle report, especially a DUI or multiple speeding tickets, tell your insurance company that you’re more likely to have an accident than a driver with no violations. The more violations you have, the higher your risk to file a claim—which leads to an increased insurance rate. Even a minor moving violation could increase the cost of your auto policy. Keep in mind, insurance companies won’t raise rates because of non-moving violations, like parking tickets.
Accidents: Both at-fault and not-at-fault
Just like with violations, at-fault accidents on your driving record indicate you’re at risk for another, and insurance companies will price you higher. Even accidents that you didn’t cause can increase your rate in states that allow it, as insurers have data revealing that some drivers have a propensity for not at-fault accidents.
Depending on your insurance company and state, your rate may increase for incidents out of your control. These incidents are called comprehensive claims and can include theft and vandalism, hitting an animal, fire, glass breakage (including a cracked windshield), hail/weather-related damage, and other acts of nature.
Adding vehicles and drivers
If you purchase a more expensive car, your rate will probably go up. Same goes for adding new drivers to an existing policy—especially teenagers and drivers with poor records.
Claims in your area
As unfair as it may seem, sometimes your policy’s rate will increase because of insurance data in your zip code. If your city has a high rate of theft, accident and/or weather-related claims, it becomes riskier for an insurance company to cover drivers in your area. That risk leads to a higher insurance rate, even if you have a perfect driving record.
Changing the address where your car is “garaged” (kept overnight) is a rare instance where your rate could increase mid-policy without making changes to your coverages, vehicles or covered drivers. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll need a new policy, but if you’re staying in the same state, your rate could go up based on claims in your new zip code.
Changes in your credit score
If your credit score goes down, there’s a good possibility your rate will go up. California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are the only states that prohibit insurers from using your credit score to help determine your rate. Most insurers have data showing a link between credit history and your odds of filing a claim.
While senior discounts may be available depending on your insurer and state, your rate is likely to increase once you reach 70 in many states. From a risk perspective, insurance companies often view senior drivers the same way they do teen drivers.
A lapse in insurance
If you’re looking to reinstate a policy or start a new one and you’re coming off a period of being uninsured, you’re typically going to pay more for insurance.
Loss of discounts
If you were earning discounts for being ticket-free or accident-free, your rate increase will be two-fold. Not only will you be charged for the violation and accident, but you’ll also lose the discounts. Other common discounts that you could stop receiving if the situation changes include good grades, bundling products, and going paperless.
How to make sure you’re getting the best possible rate
Current AB&B customers: Call us at 952.226.1226 and we’ll make sure you’re maximizing every available discount.
New AB&B customers: Request a quote online or call 952.226.1226 and see how our discounts can help you save money.