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California Factors that Affect Insurance Rates

If you're looking to purchase auto insurance in CA, you'll want to know the most important California factors that affect insurance rates. Some of these you can change and some of them are outside your realm of control. Knowing them, though, will give you a good idea about what to look for when examining car insurance policies

Who You Are

Who you are matters to auto insurance companies, because they use statistics based on demographics to determine how likely you are to get in an accident or be an unsafe driver. While this might seem counterintuitive or unfair, these statistics do prove themselves over time and your auto insurance rates will be determined by them, whether you fit the statistic or not. It's better, then, to be familiar with what you'll be facing when you pursue obtaining auto insurance.

Your age helps determine your auto insurance rates. Drivers under 25 years are more likely to get into accidents than older drivers. This is usually attributed to a younger person's desire for speed. Similarly, elderly drivers are also more likely to cause accidents, and so will also pay higher premiums than their younger counterparts.

Your gender is also important among the California factors that affect insurance rates. Women are less likely to get into accidents than men, and statisticians can tie this to the higher aggression level that usually exists in males as opposed to females. However, this is a factor that seems to be changing, as women are starting to get into a proportionately higher percentage of accidents when compared to men.

Though it may surprise some people, your marital status also effects your auto insurance rates. Married people get into fewer accidents than unmarried people, regardless of age and gender. Being married seems to give some drivers an added sense of responsibility, and so helps them remember to driver better.

Your occupation is another of the key California factors that affect insurance rates. There are two components of this factor. First, if you drive your private vehicle for work in any capacity, you spend more time on the road than your cubicle-slave counterparts, and so are more likely to get into an accident. In addition, some jobs seem to attract people who are drawn to risk-taking, adventuring, or have other more accident-prone mindsets, and people in those jobs will pay slightly higher insurance prices than people in jobs that attract those who are steady, responsible, and highly rule-conscious.

Where you live is also important to an insurance company calculating your rates. If you live in the country or a more rural area, you are far less likely to suffer an accident or a stolen vehicle, so you will pay lower rates. The more urban you live, the higher your rates will be. In addition, there are certain parts of CA that have a higher rate of incidence for accidents and/or stolen vehicles than other, equally urban areas.

The last important factor about you that affects your auto insurance rates is your credit rating. That may seem particularly unfair, but insurance companies see people with lower credit ratings as being more at risk, both of getting into an accident and of not being able to pay their premiums.

How You Drive

Your driving habits are the second category of important California factors that affect insurance rates. How much you drive is particularly important. When you're looking into auto insurance rates, you will be asked to approximate how much you drove your vehicle in the last year. The more driving you do, the higher your rates, because you're spending more time on the road and are, thus, more likely to get into an accident.

In addition, most auto insurance companies want to know how much of your driving is to and from work and what times you do this driving. This tells the insurance company how much time you're spending on the road during the commuting hours, which are some of the most dangerous ones of the day when it comes to car accidents. The longer your distance to and from work, the higher your insurance rates will be.

The most important factor about how you drive, though, has to do with the number of auto accidents on your insurance record. Generally, each accident you get into that gets reported to your company will raise your rates, anywhere from a slight raise you might not even notice to a significant raise of 10, 20, or even 25 percent. Even accidents that are not your fault can raise your insurance rates if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured and you company ends up paying to cover your injuries or to repair your vehicle.

It is important to note that car insurance companies will not necessarily count accidents against you that you do not report to them. If you are in a small fender bender, it may be wiser to pay for the other motorist's damages out of pocket rather than report the accident to your insurance company and require them to pay.

A final factor about how you drive that affects your car insurance rates is your driving record. The more moving violations and auto-related tickets you have, the higher your insurance rates will be, because more moving violations indicates to an auto insurance company that you are engaging in risky driving behavior more often than a motorist without these tickets. In general, auto insurance companies in California will keep each ticket on your insurance record for three years. If you can keep a clean record for that period of time, your rates should go down.

An exception to this is any alcohol or drug related driving offense. These can stay on your record longer and will raise your rates quite a lot. In fact, some auto insurance companies will not insure people with these violations on record.

Your Vehicle

The final set of California factors that affect auto insurance have to do with your vehicle. The age, model, and make of the car, as well as any special features you have installed, will contribute to your auto insurance rates. The more valuable the car, the more it would cost the insurance company to replace it if you got into an accident or it got stolen, so the higher your rates will be. In addition, some vehicles are more likely than others to be stolen even though they are not especially nice, and these always cost more to insure.

On the other hand, any theft protection devices that you have installed in your car or that you use regularly will lower your auto insurance rates, because the insurance company is less likely to have to replace your car due to theft. It might be worth your while to investigate how much installing an alarm would lower your rates, because you might actually save money that way.

While there are many California factors that affect insurance rates, above are a few of the most common ones. If you have any questions about how these particular factors are affecting you, contact your insurance company today. They should be able to answer your questions and help you see what you can do to lower your rates today.



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