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How Insurance Companies Establish Your Car Insurance Rate

Aug 17, 2007
Learning how your car insurance rate is ascertained allows you to understand the options that are available to you and how you can influence your personal rate based upon existing variables derived from your own driving experience.

Depending on where you live, the premiums in your car insurance rate may be decided by your driving history or by the government, or a combination of the two. In most cases, a person's driving history has a significant impact on the premiums and creates a rate that reflects a driver's skill and prior driving and claims history.

When your car insurance rate and the premiums involved are not calculated by the government, they tend to involve an actuary. An actuary is a professional business person that deals in the fiscal impact of risk and uncertainty.

Actuaries are employed by car insurance companies, and by the department of motor vehicle and safety regulatory committees, to establish a foundation for the rates to be charged for insurance policies of all types and any conditions which will apply.

Actuaries will look to the experience and driving history of the policyholder, as well as the claims history at his location (usually determined by a zip or postal code) and the likely volume of traffic in the particular area a customer lives and drives.

One can expect lower rates if they spend time driving in a low traffic area because of the lower risk. Conversely, one can expect higher rates if they live in a high traffic area because of the increase in risk and uncertainty. The decision on the rate considers this information along with other pieces of driver history and road status.

Gender, surprisingly, is also a variable that is considered when establishing your car insurance rate. Because, according to most statistics in most areas of the world, men drive more miles per year than women, the rates for male drivers tend to be higher than those for female drivers. Men also have a significantly higher accident involvement than females do, creating more risk for male drivers and raising premiums.

Women tend to keep the car insurance low and tend to end up with lower premium rates because they tend to be safer drivers. This tendency, however, in terms of car insurance low rates can be argued by proving general accident histories from your own personal experience.

Other issues such as type of vehicle, engine size, cost of repair, driver age and a driver estimate of the distance to be driven all contribute to the overall cost of your auto insurance policy. There are many variables included in providing an insurance quote and different insurance companies apply different weightings to these variables. Be prepared to shop around until you find the best car insurance rate for you. Young, inexperienced drivers or those with a poor driving history may have to pay for some rather expensive premiums until they can demonstrate an improved driving history.

It takes time to develop a driving record that allows for a better car insurance rate. Until then, your car insurance rate may remain an object of dissatisfaction and may even rise based around your own personal actions behind the wheel.
About the Author
Graham Johns spent many years in finance and insurance and now regularly contributes to a number of web sites on a range of topics including car insurance and motor insurers
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