Five Occurrences That Can Increase Your Auto Insurance Rates
Auto insurance rates are determined by many sets of data that provide insurance agencies with information about drivers of certain ages, genders, those living in certain areas of the country and driver behavior. Car insurance companies create complex algorithms that allow them to make educated guesses on how likely an applicant will be to file a claim, in other words, how likely you will be to get into an accident. The riskier you look on paper, the more you will pay. Conversely, the safer you look on paper, the lower your monthly rates will be. In general, there are certain occurrences and factors that can increase your auto insurance rates, even if you have been paying a lower rate for many years. Many insured drivers are unaware how certain factors can impact their monthly premiums. Georgia has the dubious distinction of leading the nation with increases in insurance rates for drivers. This is a distinction that the state has held for several years. This is due, in large part, to the rising costs to repair vehicles, and the larger numbers of people living in metropolitan areas. The following is a short list of the top five reasons why your car insurance rates may go up if you live and drive in Georgia.
Change of Location
If you moved recently, then your auto insurance rates may have increased. Certain ZIP codes, especially in dense urban areas, have higher incidences of traffic accidents. Living in a larger city, as opposed to in the suburbs or in a rural area, can directly impact your rates. Using your ZIP code, the auto insurance agency can also check on the prevalence of crimes in your area, how many cars were stolen or vandalized and how many were damaged as a result of weather conditions.
Points On Your License
If you are involved in a traffic incident and points are assessed against your license, then your rates could go up. However, you might not see the change reflected immediately. This is because most agencies in Georgia do not receive updates from the DOT automatically. The agency must request them, and in most instances, will only do that when the policy is up for renewal. The agency will also do a quick motor vehicle record review if you decide to increase your coverage, or if you purchase a new vehicle that is considered a luxury or high-performance car. Unless you have purchased a new car, or want to make changes to your policy, the chances are that the policy will not be reviewed for at least 18 months up to two years. At the point of review, though, the rates can go up. This often confuses individuals, since the length of time between the accident or traffic offense and the rate change can be significant.
The Type of Vehicle That You Drive
Certain vehicles have lower safety ratings, therefore making them riskier vehicles to insure. The agencies base this information on the number of customer claims and industry safety reports. Vehicles that are considered high-end sports or luxury vehicles may cost more to insure, because the theft rates are higher for these types of vehicles. Vehicles that have both lower safety ratings, as well as a higher prevalence of theft, will cost more to insure. For example, Honda Accords and Civics are some of the most often stolen vehicles in Georgia, as well as sporty Porsches and Camaros.
Your Personal Statistics
Personal history and statistics can impact your auto insurance rates in GA. Personal history from your credit history to your gender can shift the monthly premium upward. Credit history is often considered by insurance agencies when issuing a policy. This is because it can be a predictor of future behavior. Likewise, historical data indicates that crash rates are increased for drivers who are under the age of 25, and that single males that fall into this category are often involved in the most claims. However, young Georgia drivers, in general, have greater chances of filing claims, because of their inexperience behind the wheel. Rates can drop as much as 25 percent when a driver turns 25. The elderly can also see their rates increase, as the statistics show that slower reflexes and declining hearing and vision can make senior drivers riskier to insure.
Number of Previous Claims
Clients who file numerous claims within a two-year period could see their auto insurance rates go up. This is because insurance agencies do not just collect information from your driving records, but they also analyze the types of claims you have submitted. For example, if you have filed an at-fault claim which resulted in a surcharge, then your rates could shift upward. However, if the claims filed were not-at-fault, then there may not be a rate change. How much was paid in either case is also considered, and in the long run, the agency will consider you a riskier investment if you are filing several claims within a two-year period.