Let’s face it, If you’ve taken a look at your Auto insurance bill lately you likely noticed a definite upward trend. You may ask – “What can I do to keep my rates as competitive as I can?” Here’s our answer.

5 Ways To Help You Save on Auto Insurance

  1. Keep a clean driving record.
  2. Drive safely and within the laws of the road. Be a defensive driver.

  3. Be careful of filing small claims.
  4. Filing small claims will likely cause your rates to go up and our options for car insurance carriers to be impacted.

  5. Pay attention to your credit score.
  6. You may be surprised to learn that there is potential your credit score will change your insurance rates. Spending the time to get your score as high as you can will benefit you in many ways beyond just how much car insurance costs.

  7. Bundle your Auto and Home or Renters insurance with the same insurance company when possible.
  8. Most companies offer a discount between 15% and 25% to bundle.

  9. Take advantage of the tracking devices and apps now being offered by many insurance carriers.
  10. These devices track how much you drive and how you drive and can give significant discounts to safe drivers. Call or email us if you are interested!

Now, when trying to save money on car insurance, we also need to look at how Insurance Companies determine their rates. New technologies allow for a considerable increase in the amount of data that is collected which enables insurance carriers to help determine the when, who, and where in regard to when claims are most likely to occur and charge accordingly. The following list is compiled of just a few important factors that will typically have the largest impact on your insurance rates.

Factors That Weigh into Determining Insurance Rates

  • Your Driving Record and Claims History.
  • This one may seem obvious, but it’s important to understand that many insurance companies are now looking back up to five years on your driving history and rating for claims, even though they may not have been your fault.

  • Your Age.
  • Believe it or not, you really don’t reach your prime, as far as insurance companies are concerned, until age 35. Then, once you turn 70 the rates can often start getting higher again the older you get.

  • Your Marital Status.
  • Yes, you get a discount if you are married. Studies have shown again and again that married drivers are less likely to get into an accident than single people.

  • Your Address.
  • Where you live plays a surprisingly large role in the cost of your auto insurance. The further away you live from a city center or densely populated area, the less you will pay. Insurance companies compile data and divide the state into different rating territories based on overall claims experience in that area.

  • Your Insurance Score.
  • Your insurance score is a set of information from a combination of sources, one of which can be your credit score. Insurance companies have long used credit as a rating factor for both auto and home insurance. Statistically, there is a correlation between credit score and claims frequency so the better your credit, the better rate you will get. Additionally, how often you switch insurance carriers has an impact over time on the rate you will pay.  Important to consider if you “shop and move” each time your policy renews, in the long run that can have around a 3% impact per year.

  • The Type of Vehicle You Drive.
  • If you own a car that has a higher value, costs more to repair, has a higher theft rate or is a high performance model, you are likely going to pay a bit more for your car insurance.

  • How Much You Drive.
  • This one often plays a smaller role than you might think, primarily because Insurance companies have no way (yet) to monitor how much you actually drive vs. how much you told them you drive. Therefore, the discounts they offer for lower mileage drivers are not very substantial at this point in time.

Are My Insurance Rates Being Changed?

Insurance rates, unfortunately, will rise more often than not. However, it’s important to understand that insurance Companies are not “singling” out a particular insured individual or family and deciding their rates. They also cannot just change rates at their will. If they want to change rates (in Washington state) they must present a case study, data and information to the Insurance Commissioner who will review it and make sure that the new rate is justified based on the information presented.

When an agent enters in all the information about you, it determines what rate the company is allowed to charge you. We are lucky that there are more and more advanced rating algorithms and models that encompass upwards of one hundred different factors to help ensure that we are each being charged as fairly as possible. However, you do have a say, and can help your own insurance rates. Consider some of the information we provided and make sure you ask questions whenever possible.

PNW Insurance is a local and independent insurance agency here in Puyallup, Washington. If you have any additional questions not covered in this post, give us a call or email us. Want to review or revise your current auto insurance policy? Request a quote online, give us a call, or email us and a member from our team will happily assist you!