Auto Insurance 101: Factors that Can Affect Your Premium

When purchasing auto insurance, there are a number of points to consider. It is the most frequently purchased type of personal insurance.  In Ohio, everyone is required to comply with the state’s financial responsibility law.  This law requires drivers to show that they can pay for injuries to other people or damages to other people’s property if the driver causes an accident. Buying insurance is one way to show financial responsibility and the easiest way to comply with the FR law.

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According to the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), the following factors can have an impact on the premiums you will pay:

  • For starters, auto insurance premiums are linked to the type of vehicle driven. If you’re buying or leasing a new car, check the insurance rates before you make your final choice. For example, SUVs, convertibles and performance vehicles typically cost more to insure than other cars.
  • Safety devices on your car can help reduce your premiums. If you’re buying or leasing a new car, consider getting one with anti-lock brakes, side air bags, automatic seat belts and daytime running lights.
  • Anti-theft devices on your car, such as an alarm system and global positioning system (GPS) – so that your car can be located if stolen – can help reduce your premiums.
  • Where you park your car can also impact premiums. If you have access to an indoor garage or locked parking lot – places that decrease the likelihood that your car will be stolen – you may qualify for lower premiums.
  • The geographic region in which you live may impact your premiums. For example, areas prone to extreme weather – hail, wind storms, hurricanes, etc. – higher    traffic patterns or higher risk of theft may have higher insurance rates.  If you live in an area prone to extreme weather, check whether your policy includes comprehensive coverage on your car to cover potential damage from storms.
  • Your driving record – tickets, accidents, DWIs/DUIs (driving while intoxicated/ driving under the influence citations) – directly affect your premiums.
  • The number of claims you have previously filed impacts your insurance costs. Consider not filing claims for smaller events to avoid premium increases.
  • Finally, the cost of your insurance is linked to your policy’s deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay as part of a claim, before your insurer pays the remaining amount toward that claim.  For example, if your vehicle incurred $1,000 of damage in an accident and your deductible was $250, you would pay the first $250 and your insurer would pay the remaining $750. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.
  • Another important factor that has a great impact on your insurance premium is your credit score.  A consumer with poor credit can expect to pay higher rates than a person who has good credit.

If you have any questions about purchasing auto insurance or questions with your current coverage, don’t hesitate to call your trusted advisors here at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency.  We’re just a phone call away!