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Car Insurance and Your Credit Score

Nov 20, 2007
Did you know that your car insurance premiums may be affected by your credit score? Well, they can, and more and more automobile insurance companies are turning to this new system of premium determination. Not all companies are using this new system but many are, and if your company is using it, you should know a few things.

There is a philosophy behind this system. Some consumers may not agree with it, but there is one. After years of data collection, research, and study some car insurance companies have concluded that those individuals who have low credit scores are also the individuals who file the most claims. This assertion leads to some interesting questions, the most notable being: Do people with lower credit scores drive more poorly than those with higher scores?

The answer to that question is debatable. It might very well be that car insurance companies receive more claims from lower credit score individuals for reasons that have nothing to do with accidents. It is entirely possible that these same people live in communities where auto theft or vandalism is more prevalent than in other communities. There is also some debate over fraudulent claims, which would increase the overall number of claims associated with those who have lower credit scores.

Of course there is a flip side to this. What about those individuals who have low credit scores but have never had an accident or filed a claim? Is it fair for car insurance companies to increase their premiums? This is the crux of the debate, whether or not it is fair for an entire group of people to be penalized for the actions of a few.

In the past, car insurance companies have often used this broad stroke approach to setting premiums. For instance, we all know that younger drivers are usually assessed a higher premium, and this applies whether the driver in question has ever had an accident or not. All younger drivers pay more, or so it seems, and there is evidence that these younger drivers do have more accidents than people who are older.

On the issue of using credit scores, however, as a basis for determining the car insurance premiums that you may have to pay, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you should review your credit reports and scores to make sure they are accurate. You might be surprised at how often mistakes or omissions are found in these reports. Another option is to ask your car insurance company if they are using this system. You may find it more economical to switch to another company that does not use credit scores as a premium setting module. Lastly, if you discover your company is using this model, you may want to sit down with your car insurance representative and ask him or her for a waiver. This will only work if you have a clean driving record. They may be willing to offer you a better rate rather than lose you as a customer.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for Rebuild.org, offering mortgage loans, or if your UK resident compare mortgages or submit your details for the best mortgages on the market.
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