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The average yearly auto insurance premium is about $900, but there is wide variation around this average. Many factors can affect your premium. Not all companies use all of these factors, and some might use factors not listed here. Your premium may depend on:
1. Your driving record.
The better your record, the lower your premium. If you have had accidents or serious traffic violations, it is likely you will pay more than if you have a clean driving record. You may also pay more if you are a new driver and have not been insured for a number of years.
2. How much you use your car.
The more miles you drive, the more chance for accidents. If you drive your car for work, or drive it a long distance to work, you will pay more. If you drive only occasionally—what some companies call “pleasure use”, you will pay less.
3. Where your car is parked and where you live.
Where you live and where the car is parked can affect the cost of your insurance. Generally, due to higher rates of vandalism, theft and accidents, urban drivers pay a higher auto insurance price than those in small towns or rural areas. Some areas are also prone to more lawsuits and higher medical care and car repair costs.
4. Your age.
In general, mature drivers have fewer accidents than less experienced drivers, particularly teenagers. So insurers generally charge more if teenagers or young people below age 25 drive your car.
5. Your gender.
As a group, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents (DUIs) and most importantly less serious accidents than men. So, all other things being equal, women generally pay less for auto insurance than men. Of course, over time individual driving history for both men and women will have a greater impact on what they pay for auto insurance.
6. The car you drive.
Some cars cost more to insure than others. Variables include the likelihood of theft, the cost of the car, the cost of repairs, and the overall safety record of the car. Engine sizes, even among the same makes and models, can also impact insurance premiums. Cars with high quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.
7. Your credit.
For many insurers, credit-based insurance scoring is one of the most important and statistically valid tools to predict the likelihood of a person filing a claim and the likely cost of that claim. Credit-based insurance scores are based on information like payment history, bankruptcies, collections, outstanding debt and length of credit history. For example, regular, on-time credit card and mortgage payments affect a score positively, while late payments affect a score negatively.
8. The type and amount of coverage.
In virtually every state, by law you must buy a minimum amount of liability insurance. Buying higher limits will cost more, but not proportionately more. So twice the minimum liability coverage will not double the premium. If you have a new or recent model of car, you likely will also buy comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays if you are responsible for damage to your car. Comprehensive and collision coverages are subject to deductibles; the higher the deductible, the lower your auto insurance premium.
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