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May 01
5 Big Factors That Determine Auto Insurance Premiums

5 Big Factors That Determine Auto Insurance Premiums

As a responsible automobile driver, you know that auto insurance is required by law and that it will help you in the event you are involved in a car accident. If you currently own a vehicle, you also know how expensive auto insurance can be. You may have shopped around with various insurance companies and found it hard to compare rates with the different charges, fees and discounts that are available. While rates may vary slightly among different insurance companies, there are some things you can do to help decrease your overall costs. Here are five general tips you can use to help decrease your auto insurance.

Personal Driving Record

First, you may have heard that your driving record influences the rates that are offered to you. This is not surprising, as I’m sure you can understand why someone who has had five accidents is going to be more costly to insure than someone who has reported zero accidents. Non-moving violations, such as a parking ticket, are not going to increase your premiums; however, moving violations such as speeding tickets and DUI offenses will definitely cause your premiums to increase.

To determine your premiums, insurance companies basically measure your risk potential. This is where your driving record tells a lot about you and your potential to file a claim. If you have several violations, the insurance company assumes you have developed hazardous driving habits and poor judgment.

Fortunately, your personal driving record is something you have a lot of control over. Begin now by developing safe driving habits and following all traffic laws.

Driving Location

Did you know that your driving location also plays a factor in how much your insurance premiums are? People who live in highly populated areas such as large cities and urban areas are more likely going to pay more for their auto insurance than those individuals who live in rural areas. This also makes sense as the potential for accidents increase when there is a higher concentration of people driving in the same area.

While you may not have a lot of control over this factor, keep this in mind if you currently live in a highly populated area. You may be able to save some money on car insurance by having some members of your household use public transportation.

Vehicle Selection

Your choice of vehicle also plays a factor in your auto insurance rates. There are at least three types of cars that will generally increase your premiums:

  • Cars with low safety ratings
  • Sport utility vehicles and trucks
  • Foreign, sport and high performance cars

First, owners with cars that receive low safety ratings will tend to pay more for their insurance. This is because these cars are more likely to have mechanical issues and thus be involved in automobile accidents.

Second, sport utility vehicles and trucks are involved in more rollover accidents than cars. These types of vehicles will also be more costly to repair because of their larger size.

Finally, foreign, sport and high performance cars are more likely to have owners who are driving at accelerated speeds and therefore more likely to have an increased number of moving violations. These types of vehicles also have increased theft rates.

When shopping for a vehicle, keep in mind that you have control over this factor by choosing a car that will not increase your premiums.

Personal Characteristics

Unfortunately, there is one factor that you don’t have a lot of control over. Because males generally have more reported claims, they will typically pay more for their premiums. Another factor is how seasoned of a driver you are. Young, inexperienced drivers may also pay a bit more on their auto insurance unto they have proven that they have developed safe driving habits by maintaining a clean driving record.


The amount you drive will also influence your premium amounts. You will typically pay more for your auto insurance if you drive more miles than the agreed-upon average per year. You can also mitigate this factor by taking public transportation.


You know the importance of carrying auto insurance and fortunately there are some things you can do to control your costs. Consider the factors mentioned above and take those steps necessary to help reduce your costs. One of the easiest steps to take is to develop safe driving habits so that you are paying less and keeping yourself and others safe.