A rise in car insurance premiums can be aggravating, especially if you haven't filed a claim and have a spotless driving record. But keep in mind that insurance premiums aren't raised on the spur of the moment, and the reason for a rate increase is almost always related to insurance risk. Auto accidents and traffic violations are common reasons for increased insurance rates. Still, there are other reasons why car insurance premiums rise, such as a change in address, a new vehicle, and claims in your zip code.
Reasons for a rate increase
If you're wondering, "Why is my car insurance so expensive?" you may have encountered one or more factors. While most of these factors are controllable, there are times when your rate may rise or fall for reasons beyond your control.
Speeding tickets and other moving violations
Violations on your driving record, particularly a DUI or multiple speeding tickets, indicate to your insurance company that you are more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver with no violations. The more violations you have, the more likely you are to file a claim, increasing your auto insurance rates. Even minor traffic violations can raise the cost of your auto insurance. Remember that insurance companies will not raise your premium because of a non-moving violation, such as a parking ticket.
Accidents: Both at-fault and not-at-fault
At-fault accidents on your driving record, like violations, indicate you're at risk for another, and insurance companies will charge you accordingly. Will my insurance cost more if I file a claim for an accident that wasn't my fault? In some cases—in states that allow it, even accidents you didn't cause can raise your rate, as insurers have data showing that some drivers have a penchant for not-at-fault accidents.
Accidents that you did not cause can raise your insurance rates in some states.
Depending on your insurance company and the state in which you live, your rate may rise due to uncontrollable events. These are known as comprehensive claims, including theft and vandalism, hitting an animal, fire, glass breakage (including a cracked windshield), hail/weather-related damage, and other natural disasters.
Adding vehicles and drivers
If you buy a more expensive car, your insurance rate will likely rise because your new vehicle is more likely to be stolen and will cost more to repair or replace than your previous one. Adding new drivers to your existing policy may also raise your premium, mainly if they are teenagers or other family members with a poor driving record.
Claims in your area
As unfair as it may appear, you may see an increase in your auto insurance rates due to insurance data in your zip code. It becomes riskier for an insurance company to cover drivers in your area if your city has a high theft rate, accident, and weather-related claims. Even if you have a perfect driving record, this risk can increase your auto insurance premium.
Changing the address where your car is "garaged" (kept overnight) is a rare instance where your rate could rise in the middle of your policy without affecting your coverages, vehicles, or covered drivers. If you are relocating out of state, you will need to obtain a new approach. However, if you stay in the same state, your rate may increase based on your new zip code claims.
Changes to your insurance score
If your insurance score changes, your rate may change as well. In a few states, insurers cannot use your credit score to determine your rate. Most insurers have data that shows a link between credit history and the likelihood of filing a claim.
While senior discounts may be available depending on your insurer and state, your rate may rise once you reach the age of 60. Insurance companies frequently view old drivers in the same light as teen drivers in terms of risk.
Lapse in insurance
If you're looking to reinstate or start a new policy after being uninsured for an extended period, you're likely to pay more for insurance.
Loss of discounts
If you received discounts for not having any tickets or accidents on your driving record, your auto insurance rate would increase by two. You will be charged not only for the violation and misfortune, but you will also lose any associated discounts. Other standard discounts that you may lose if your situation changes include being a homeowner, going paperless, and insuring more than one product with the same company.
Why did my car insurance go up after renewal?
Even drivers with a spotless driving record may face an increase in their insurance renewal price. Auto insurance rate increases are sometimes based on factors beyond your control, such as claims in your zip code. Alternatively, if you've added a new driver or vehicle to your policy, your rate may rise at renewal.