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Virginia Factors that Affect Car Insurance Rates

In Virginia, there are many factors that can affect your auto insurance rates. Before you purchase insurance, make sure you discuss each of the issues below with your insurance company, broker, or agent if you want to understand how they affect your car insurance rates. Knowing that these different factors exist can help you have an intelligent conversation with the person selling you insurance and should give you an edge when negotiating for better rates.

Demographic Factors

To an insurance company calculating risk, who you are can make a lot of difference in how much you pay for automobile insurance. They have spent many years and a lot of money calculating which types of individuals are more likely to get into car accidents or have their vehicle stolen. While you, as an individual, may not fit the company's mold, that will not change your risk level in their eyes. Thus, it's best to know how safe of a driver an insurance company is going to view you before you try to purchase auto insurance.

Your age definitely affects your auto insurance premium. Drivers under the age of 25 and over 65 are likely to pay more than their counterparts in the middle of that age range. Young drivers pay more for insurance in Virginia because they usually do not have as much experience as older drivers and are more likely, because of youthful exuberance, to do something rash on the road. Older drivers may pay more because, in spite of their experience, they sometimes experience health or other issues that impair their driving.

Some good news for older drivers in VA is that the state requires car insurance companies to offer a reduction in premium rates to anyone over the age of 55 who completes a state-approved accident prevention course. The amount of the rate reduction is determined by each individual auto insurance company, but it is good for three years after the driver completes the course. Be sure to contact your insurance company if you are interested in pursuing this rate reduction.

Your marital status will also affect your automobile insurance premium in Virginia. Married people are involved in fewer accidents, statistically, than those who are unmarried. Some insurance companies believe that this change takes place because marriage brings a sense of grounding and of responsibility to people. Regardless of the reason, married people will pay less in vehicle insurance than their unmarried counterparts.

What you do for a living can also affect your car insurance costs. As a general rule, people with desk jobs are seen as less of a risk than those who earn their living some other way. Those who drive for a living are particularly costly to insure, though many times they are covered by a policy paid by their employer when they are driving on the job. Also, certain professions, like engineers, have proven less risky to insure than other professions, so individuals with those jobs will pay less in auto insurance premiums than others.

Finally, where you live plays a large role in how much you pay for auto insurance in Virginia. Those who live and drive mainly in congested urban areas will pay more for their insurance because their vehicle has a higher chance of being involved in an accident than that of someone who lives rurally and rarely sees another vehicle on the road. In addition, some areas are known to have more accidents and/or vehicle thefts than others, and those who live in these areas will pay more for their automobile insurance.

Other Factors

In addition to the demographic factors mentioned above, other things can influence your auto insurance rates. Your driving record is the most important of these. If you or someone on your policy has been deemed at-fault in an accident or has been convicted of one of the more serious traffic violations in Virginia, you will probably pay more in car insurance. With most auto insurance companies in the state, your rates will remain higher for 3 years after any accident or serious moving violation.

Note that Virginia does not permit an auto insurance company to raise your rates because of an accident you were involved in if you were not determined to be wholly or partially at fault. This law makes VA stand out from some other states, which do allow insurance companies to raise rates in this situation.

Just like your rates will go up if you cause an accident, they can go down if you maintain a safe driving record. While the percentages of rate increase or decrease are determined by the individual automobile insurance company, make sure to mention the fact that you or anyone you're hoping to include on your policy has a clean driving record. If your record is not clean now, make a note of when the 3-year rate increase will expire and make sure your rates go back down after that date.

Your vehicle will also help determine your insurance premiums in Virginia. Expensive cars, those more likely to be stolen, and those that are less safe in the case of an accident will all cost you more to insure. Before you purchase a new vehicle, check its safety rating and whether or not you can get a rate reduction for any safety features or anti-theft features it may have installed.

Where you keep your car can also influence your VA vehicle insurance premiums. If you live in an area where car theft is high, you will probably pay less for your insurance if you keep your vehicle in a closed garage. Storing your car under some sort of protection is often beneficial when it comes to auto insurance rates, because the car is less likely to be damaged by vandalism or acts of God, as well. Even carports can earn you a small rate reduction in some areas, so be sure to check with your insurance company.

If you drive below a certain number of miles annually, you might also be eligible for an auto insurance rate reduction. While the particular number will be determined by each insurance company for its customers, make sure you let someone know if you don't drive very much, or if your office is particularly close to your home. The less you drive, the less likely you are to cause an accident, so the less you will pay for Virginia automobile insurance.

If you've gone through each of these factors and you're still not happy with your auto insurance premium, check to see if a higher deductible will save you money. While it may not be your first choice, raising your deductible can make a substantial difference in your auto insurance rates.

Now that you know what to discuss with your insurance company before you purchase insurance, you are in the best position possible to get a good deal on your auto insurance premium. Make sure that you mention each of the factors that is in your favor when you're looking at different rates, as some companies may not ask you all the relevant questions. If you think you should be paying less, tell your insurance company and see what they say.

 

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