Do you know Insurance companies use very complex metric "factors" to calculate your level of risk to rate your insurance premiums? Your credit score, prior insurance coverage, prior insurance company, claim history, driving records, address, year and make of your car, age, gender, marital status are some examples. Some of the factors you don’t have any control of, but others you do. Here are a few things you can do to help lower your insurance premiums:
- Your Credit Score - Insurance companies use what the industry calls “Insurance Score” to determine your insurance rate. The “Insurance Score” comes from your credit history. So think about the late payments or the unpaid credit card, loans, utilities bills you might have. A credit-based score is developed from information such as amount of debt, number of credit cards held, pattern of payments, defaults, etc. Credit-based scores are used to help decide the acceptability of applicants. They may also help a company choose to modify the premium charged to existing clients.
- Your Prior Experience - This is huge. If you carry 30,000/60,000 BI limits change your coverage immediately. This type of coverage will cost you 30-50% more in premiums than 100,000/300,000 BI limits when you change companies. The 30,000/60,000 BI limits prevents you from finding a better rate than your current rate. Not to forget, it does not provide you enough coverage when you need it.
- Non-Standard vs. Standard - Some insurance companies are classified as Non-Standard Insurance Companies, others are Standard. Non-Standard insurance products effect your future insurance premiums. If you buy insurance coverage from a Non-Standard company and you want to look for a better rate somewhere else you will have to pay more than if you are from a Standard company. Ask your agent if your insurance company is Standard or Non-Standard. If your coverage is 30,000/60,000 BI limits you belong to the Non-Standard group!
- Comprehensive Claims - Insurance agents tell you that comprehensive claims do not affect your rates. It is not that simple, I can prove that comprehensive claims are not “chargeable claims” but they do affect your insurance rates. Some insurance companies will non-renew you because of comprehensive claims, other will not accept your insurance application because of your comprehensive claims.
- PIP claims - If you had two or more PIP claims in five years, you could be uninsurable.