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Requesting Car Insurance Quotes With Your Age and Zip Code
When it comes to requesting car insurance quotes, it’s important to know what variables will affect your quoted premium. Where a driver lives can impact which providers are available and how much coverage will cost. Additionally, each state has its own set of minimum car insurance requirements that can affect what you pay for insurance.
As insurers base rates on risk factors, both the ZIP code and age of a driver also indicate to insurers the likelihood of a driver eventually filing a claim. Certain areas may be more populous, for example, leading to dense traffic and a higher chance of collision. In addition, drivers who are younger are more likely to get into accidents and receive speeding tickets.
Requesting auto insurance quotes with your ZIP code and age helps ensure that you are receiving accurate quotes based on your state’s requirements, insurers available in your area, and your driver profile.
Comparing Auto Insurance Quotes
Car insurance rates are personal and unique to each driver. How much someone pays each year depends on a number of risk factors, including their age, driving history, vehicle, credit score, and address (although some states limit which factors can be used). Every insurer evaluates these risk factors differently, meaning premiums can vary significantly (sometimes hundreds of dollars per year) from company to company. To help ensure you’re getting the best car insurance rates, consider comparing quotes from multiple companies.
Factors That Affect Auto Insurance Prices
Driving history is one of the most important factors in determining car insurance quotes. Auto insurance companies usually begin the underwriting process by evaluating driving records for incidents like accidents, traffic violations, or previous insurance claims. Typically, insurance companies assume that a larger number of negative reports equates to a higher level of risk and generally charges a higher premium for coverage. Negative marks on records typically impact insurance rates for a period of about three to five years. Maintaining a clean driving record usually gives drivers access to more insurance options and discounts that could lead to lower car insurance premiums.
Auto insurance premiums reflect the specific vehicle insured on a policy, factoring in the make, model, and year. More expensive, luxury, classic, or sports vehicles can be more costly to repair and replace, for example, often leading to higher premiums. Comparatively, a 10-year-old generic car involved in a minor accident can generally be fixed for a lower cost. In addition to the repair bill, car insurance companies know that sports cars often encourage owners to drive faster with less caution. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs, tend to do more damage in accidents, but usually keep drivers safer.
Vehicle type, age, and safety features are reflected in the way that insurance companies calculate premiums. These details may also be useful to policyholders as the car a driver insures can also have a positive impact by reducing the cost of insurance. Safety features such as anti-lock brakes and stability control are favored by car insurance companies because they reduce the likelihood or cost of accidents. Discounts for these features can be an important factor for someone seeking cheap auto insurance.
Most car insurance companies offer a variety of policy combinations and levels of coverage, all of which impact the cost of a new policy. Laws exist in most states to regulate minimum insurance levels, but consumers often elect for additional coverage. In general, a buyer can expect to receive higher auto insurance quotes for higher levels of coverage or add-ons. For example, collision and comprehensive coverage both offer vehicle damage coverage for your automobile, but do so in different ways and for different prices.
Collision insurance covers car damage in the event of an accident, whereas comprehensive coverage provides additional protection from things like vandalism, fire, and other non-collision events. This upgraded policy provides an additional level of protection, but typically costs more than a minimum coverage policy.
While not used in every state — like California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts — many insurers factor a driver’s credit score in determining rates. Auto insurance companies have done studies that show a correlation between a policyholder’s credit score and both their likelihood of filing a claim and the resulting claim size. Though many states are resisting this at the legislative level, car insurance companies often offer lower rates to customers with higher credit scores in the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions.
Other Personal Information
Car insurance companies weigh personal factors quite heavily when calculating insurance premiums. Factors like age, gender, and ZIP code could all impact a car insurance quote, depending on the state of residence. Several studies have found teenagers to cause more accidents than other age groups. Location is also a significant factor as it helps the car insurance company calculate likelihood of vehicle theft, patterns in accidents nearby, and even how much it costs to repair a damaged car in certain areas. Specific counties and states impose regulations on car insurance companies that may also impact minimum insurance levels and car insurance quotes.
Although a less intuitive measure, a driver’s occupation and education level may also be considered in setting insurance premiums. Policyholders who identify themselves as working a low-paying job without a post-secondary degree could pay higher auto insurance premiums than a doctor, for example.
These factors, combined with your age, ZIP code, and other variables unique to you and your situation are what lead to an accurate quote from auto insurance companies. Because each company weighs these factors differently, it is recommended to get quotes from several providers to find the best fit.