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  1. Prior Accidents

This may seem obvious to most, but the primary cause for high Car Insurance Premiums is having and accident history.  Car accidents are extremely expensive for Auto Insurance companies, especially as vehicles become more and more technically advanced.  In most cases, vehicles involved minor accidents can be repaired and the cost may be minimal.  But more and more often, cars involved in seemingly minor accidents are completely written off as “too expensive to repair”.  And statistically speaking, drivers with accident history are likely to be repeat offenders.  The good news here, is that if you can go 3 years without an accident, your rates will start to improve!

  1. Traffic Violations

Traffic Violations, such as speeding tickets, running a red light or even DUIs have a similar impact to your car insurance rates as prior accidents.  If you think about it from the standpoint of the insurance companies, moving vehicle violations, you have probably done something wrong, or took unnecessary risks in a car, and since the insurance company is trying to lower risks, they raise your rates to help compensate.  So keep your seatbelts on, put your cell-phone away and don’t drive to fast!

  1. Price of Car

Hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise, but more expensive cars cost more to insure than less expensive cars.  That shiny Mercedes Benz E350 4Matic you just leased will cost $55,000 or more to replace, whereas that old Honda Civic you picked up used a few years ago might only cost $10,000 to replace.  There is a big difference between replacement values, and repair costs for each of those vehicles, and insurance companies will charge you accordingly.

  1. Size of Engines

Larger engines that produce more horsepower typically cost more to replace and will also entice drivers to go much faster than the posted speed limit.  Although that 10-year old Ford Mustang sitting in the driveway might now be worth very much money now, it’s still got a high-powered Ford V-8 engine in it, and is capable to going extremely fast, and potentially causing a serious accident. Keep your engine size moderate for your driving needs, and you can avoid this added premium increase.

  1. Miles Driven per Year

Simple formula here.  The more miles you drive in a year, the more time you have to potentially be involved in an accident.  Most insurance applications will ask how many miles you drive each way for work on a daily basis to gain a good understanding of your annual mileage.  Keep your commute to less than 10 miles each way, and you should be able to keep your car insurance rates lower.

  1. Age

Age is a major factor that car insurance companies use to determine rates, and unfortunately for younger drivers, it’s completely unavoidable.  Younger drivers, typically under 23 years of age, have much higher car insurance premiums, since they are still “learning” how to drive.

  1. Gender

Sorry guys, but girls typically have lower car insurance rates because they simply take few risks.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a girl do a burn-out or peel out of a parking lot to impress a guy, but I’ve seen plenty of younger guys do it!  There is a solution though, and no, I’m not talking about changing your gender… see #8 below:

  1. Marital Status

Although this primarily impacts males more than females, but getting married can actually reduce your car insurance rates.  In fact, I had a client recently who reduced his car insurance premium by $130 for the year, just buy getting married!  Now, I’m not advocating to get married just to lower your rates, but it does help…

  1. Credit Score

Unfortunately, having a poor credit score can have a negative impact on your car insurance rates.  It’s rather unfortunate, because not all low credit scores are caused by the individual, but more often than not, poor credit is caused by poor decision making.  So keep those credit scores high (700+) to have the best car insurance rates.

  1. Location

Rural locations typically have fewer drivers on the road than densely populated urban environments, and when there are more drivers on the road, there is a higher chance that accidents will occur.  So if you live in the suburbs, or out in farm country, you will probably see a benefit on your insurance premiums

If you haven’t updated your Home or Auto Insurance in a while, give us a call at the Criss Insurance Agency in Westerville, Ohio. We represent 6 different insurance carriers to help save you Time & Money on a new policy!