Understanding Auto Insurance Rating and Underwriting Factors

First you need to understand insurance is a custom fit product, one size does not fit all. You may be living in Miami or Fort Lauderdale and have 2 cars which may run somewhere around $1800 for six months of insurance. Meanwhile the person living next door not more than 20 feet away also has 2 similar cars and pays $900 for similar or the same insurance. Auto insurance is rated on many different factors.

First there is your credit score. Why should your credit score determine the cost of insurance? Simply put, statistically it shows a persons responsibility to pay bills on time and be more aware for their actions while driving. Person with a high credit score will have more fear to get behind the wheel of a car if they are intoxicated than one with a low or no credit score. Credit score is something people want to keep and retain as it brings benefits and discounts in many different financial areas. Then there is the old driving record. For those who wear seatbelts, don’t speed or at least don’t get caught at it and are lucky enough not to have any collisions with other fellow motorists or objects, receive a huge reward from insurance companies by not being surcharged for reckless behavior.

Other factors which determine rates are length of driving history. Operators from certain countries outside the USA are surcharged because the insurance company can not check your driving record. Marital status believe it or not has also an effect, if you’re a single female your rate could be higher than if you were married. Florida Insurance companies are insinuating single females may have unknown friends or boyfriends which at sometime may borrow their car, this becomes a higher risk for the carrier. And of course zip code has a major role. Insurance carriers hire bean counters. People who’s job is strictly to read statistics. They create reports on every zip code in Florida state illustrating the number of accidents, speeding tickets, deaths, DUI’s, vandalism, etc. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of the congested zip codes you will enjoy the benefits of the higher cost of insurance. Another factor why Florida auto insurance is so high is due to high loss exposure. Florida is well known for its riff raff of stolen cars, stolen parts, and accident scams. While many scammers take advantage of the Florida insurance companies assets the good paying consumers who avoid trouble have to pay for these losses and expenses. So the insurance keeps rising as cars keep increasing in value and claims grow consistently.

With all this said what is it you can do to decrease the cost. Obviously some have realized when the fantasy of owning that dream car fades the monthly payments combined with the insurance becomes a scary reality.

1. Know what you’re buying. Different cars have different risks attached and are charged by the Florida insurance companies appropriately. A SUV may cost 10 to 30% more in insurance due to the fact that SUV’s have a greater risk of flipping over. Insuring a Lexus in Florida may cost more than insuring a Honda due to the value of the Lexus is substantially greater to the Honda. Choose several types of vehicles and get a preliminary quote on each one to compare how this in turn will fit into your monthly budget. Never buy in the moment, rationalize your income and expenses, too many of us buy in the moment only to regret it for the next few years. If you are leasing or borrowing money understand the vehicle belongs to someone else until you pay it off. During this time the leasing company or bank will require you carry certain limits of insurance which may be more expensive than you realize. Check your contract before you buy or sign. Unlike marriage a lease can not be broken without huge cost.

2. Minimize cost. There’s not much discounts you can count on anymore when your buying a car because they are all included and are automatic like an alarm system. However an auto theft recovery device or Lojack can save you a significant amount on your insurance. As much as 10 to 30%. It may cost more to add it to the vehicle but the savings on insurance will pay for itself over time. Other Florida auto insurance discounts you should be aware of is homeowners discount, marital or spouse discount. It may be wise to have an insurance agent you can trust who can advise you on discounts and also possibly decreasing coverage’s to meet your financial needs. Check your driving record, you can request a copy of your driving record by using our link found on site in the info section of on site. Often enough you may have incorrect infractions on your license which you my be able to remove by visiting your local DMV.

3. Making changes. To get the cost down sometimes it takes some drastic changes. If you’re driving an auto 10 years or more consider removing the comprehensive and collision coverage. First research what the current value is, use the link found on onsite in the info section to determine the current value. Also consider upgrading older vehicles because they may not receive certain discounts like dual airbags, or anti lock brakes. These are safety features the insurance company will discount for. If you have a child in the household who recently obtained their drivers license this can cause your Florida auto insurance premium to increase by 300%. This can continue until they are 21 yrs of age and as high as 25. An option would be to consider purchasing a late model vehicle for them with their own separate insurance policy. This way you may be able to get them a policy with lower limits than yours which meets their needs and allows them to build up their driving record. At the same time you will help by providing a valuable insurance lesson at an early age. Another way to reduce cost is if you have a spouse not licensed or does not drive, get them licensed. Insurance carriers in Florida will usually surcharge a spouse in the same household who may not be licensed due to the risk this spouse may have to drive in an emergency and will lack proper driving knowledge without a license. I have also seen other drastic measure taken on by people such as relocation to a different zip code. One of my clients moved from Miami to Orlando and saved $1500 on his Florida auto insurance. You need to shop around websites like on site where there is an instant insurance quoting system set up with Progressive. Keep in mind if you change to a Florida auto insurance carrier who is small and not well known, this may not be worth the money you may save. Today customer service is key and small companies just can’t or don’t want to spend the money for proper customer services. When you’ll need them it won’t be worth the money you’ll save from the frustrations and stress they can give you.

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