There are numerous factors that car insurers take into account when they determine your car insurance price, and while some are out of your control, some are within your power to change. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
Want to save money on your car insurance? Who doesn't? While you can certainly shop around for quotes, the fact of the matter is, there's a list of items all insurers take into account when they are determining your price. Some are things you probably won't want to change just to save a few bucks, like your marital status.
Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com says a friend of hers recently tied the knot.
"She ended up saving about $200 a year after she told the carrier that she was now married," Adams says. "And this simply goes back to the fact that married people are making fewer claims and they're making less expensive claims, so carriers are giving them a break on rates."
Another big one, she says, is your zip code, which immediately tells an insurer about the types of problems you might encounter.
"In terms of traffic and congestion and claims that are being made," Adams says. "But theft also plays a big role from zip code to zip code."
There are some things you have a bit more control over, like the type of car you drive.
"The make and model of your car, most people do know that that certainly is a factor in the rate that you have to pay," Adams says. "Bottom line, it costs more to insure a sports car than a minivan."
Another thing you probably know is that bundling can also save you a bundle.
"If you've got a home policy and a car policy with two separate carriers, bundling them under one carrier can give you substantial savings, as much as 15 percent on average nationwide," Adams says.
You can also save big by hitting the books. You could get a master's degree, since higher education also leads to lower rates, or simply take a driver's ed course. It only takes a few hours and doesn't require student loans.
You might think being married or having a college degree has no effect on your driving habits, but insurers study the numbers, and listen closely to the stories they tell.
"If consumers as a whole and as a group are making fewer claims because they're married or maybe they have kids, this just translates into being a better customer in the eyes of the insurance company," Adams says. "The insurance company wants to keep these customers and are going to give them breaks on the price."
Want a rate that's more reflective of how you drive? We'll take a look at usage-based plans in the next Money Matters report.