Firm News & Announcements From Michael T. Gibson, P.A.

Surprising Factors That Impact the Cost of your Auto Insurance

When shopping around for the best auto insurance rates, there are factors you would expect to impact the cost- but as we know in the auto insurance world, there are always surprises. The factors that affect just how much car insurance costs can vary by region and demographic, and include the age of the driver, the driver’s experience, and the legislation of that given state.

For instance, most states consider teenage drivers to be high risk, and as a result, the premiums to insure a teen driver can be higher. The type of car being insured can also determine the cost you will pay for insurance. For instance, an insurance company may be less likely to offer a lower insurance policy for a sports car than a family vehicle.

Floridians pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country, averaging $1,098 per year. Car insurance is essential in every state, but perhaps more so in Florida due to the number of drivers who do not carry insurance, which is nearly double the national average. Additionally, Florida is a no-fault (PIP) state, which means that your post-accident medical expenses could be covered by your own insurance company regardless of who caused the crash. It is essential that Florida drivers carry Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage to protect themselves in the event of an accident involving an uninsured or under-insured driver.

Below are some surprising factors that can impact how much you pay for car insurance.

  • Your history of car insurance (or lack of). If you have a long history of insurance coverage, and if you have chosen policies with more coverage, you will likely pay less. So what level of coverage do you need to see the savings? Research shows that people with a five-year history of carrying $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $300,000 per collision (often designated as “BI 100/300”) can expect to pay an average of $184 less a year for the same insurance policy as someone with no history of insurance coverage. In contrast, if you have a lapse in insurance coverage (even if it is only a few days), this indicates “high-risk “behavior for insurance companies and it will cost you.
  • The reasons you drive. When you apply for auto insurance the agent will ask you how you use your vehicle. Do you drive solely to get to and from work? Do you have a truck to transport materials to and from your farm? Research reveals that prices can vary up to 18% depending on how a person uses their vehicle. People who use their vehicles on a farm will pay the least, while those who use their cars for business will pay the most for car insurance- approximately $227 more each year.
  • Lying during the application process. Insurance companies are not big fans of dishonesty. If you do not disclose accidents or other violations during the application process, this can cost you.
  • Your level of education. Research found that nationally, people with a bachelor’s degree save $32 more each year than people without a high school diploma. Choosing not to disclose your level of education can cause your premium to be higher, because the default option is the lowest-tier, signifying ‘no high school or diploma.’
  • Marital status. You may already know that married people pay less for their auto insurance than single people, but you may not know the impact it has on divorced or widowed people. When a single person gets married, his or her insurance rate will drop $74 a year, on average. If you get divorced, your rate goes back to where it was. But if you are married and your spouse passes away, your rates will also climb a little higher, though not as high as if you had gotten a divorce.
  • Not all violations are created equally. Research found that a DUI will make a driver’s car insurance rate 3,200% higher than a texting-while-driving violation would. However, violations vary widely among states. For example, speeding, causing a collision (“at-fault accident”), driving recklessly, racing or driving under the influence of alcohol will all raise car insurance rates at least a couple hundred dollars- and as much as several thousand. A DUI will raise rates more than 100% in seven states, and although DUIs increase average annual premiums the most nationally, 23 states cite racing as the costliest violation.
  • How long you have had your license. The amount of time you have been licensed to drive can also impact your rates, because it is a strong indicator of the amount of driving experience you have. If you have been licensed for less than three years you will most likely pay higher rates than someone the same age who has been licensed for more than three years.
  • Having a poor credit score. People with no credit pay 67% more for car insurance than people with excellent credit, on average. Farmers Insurance seems most reliant on credit data, with credit newcomers paying over twice as much as customers who have an excellent credit rating. Even GEICO has a 24% penalty for customers with poor credit. You can see where you stand by viewing a free credit summary on Credit.com.
  • Car safety features. Drivers have additional tools available to help reduce their insurance premiums, but most of these are slow to impact your monthly rates- for example, demonstrating safe driving behavior. Installing the following car safety devices can have an immediate effect on your car insurance premiums- not to mention give you peace of mind while on the roads.

If you or a loved one were involved in an automobile accident, you need to contact an experienced Orlando auto accident lawyer immediately. Florida drivers have only 14 days to seek initial medical attention to receive insurance benefits after an accident. The damages from a serious car accident are not always covered in a settlement from your insurance company. Many times, the initial settlement offer is barely enough to cover the basic costs associated with your accident. If you are having a difficult time with your insurance claim or are facing resistance from your insurer, you don’t have to tackle the insurance company alone. Our personal injury attorneys are well equipped and armed with years of legal experience helping people file auto insurance claims. We can help you obtain full compensation for your medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. Please fill out our FREE case review form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail or call us today for a free case evaluation at (407) 422-4529. We offer a free legal consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Se Habla Español .

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Orlando, FL 32814
P: 407-422-4529
Copyright © Michael T. Gibson, P.A. 2018