Isn’t it true that almost all of us own a car or a bike? And we always have that one unanswered question related to car insurance in our minds. This article will cover 9 key areas related to car insurance in the United States of America.
Our team sourced data from 17 large car insurance firms and key insurance-related government and private agencies in the United States to compile this article.
Driving Profile Categories in the United States
The insurance cost will change depending on your driving profile; keeping a good driving profile will ensure that you get the best premium rate for your car. Car insurance companies classify drivers into various groups, which are listed below.
- Good driver
- A driver who caused an accident, including an injury
- A driver who caused an accident, including a property damage
- Driver with one DUI
- Driver with one speeding ticket
- Driver with poor credit history
- Driver caught without insurance
- Drivers with multiple traffic violations
18 Key Factors Affecting Car Insurance Premiums
Car type – Insurance premiums will differ depending on the kind of vehicle. If it is a sports car, the premium will be high owing to the high risk of driving and the cost of the parts. However, if it is a limited-capacity sedan, the premium would be minimal.
Different car models are classified based on their purchase price, performance, repair expenses, and the cost of the body shell and replacement parts.
Car Value – The insured declared value (IDV) of a car is a major factor in determining car insurance premiums. The IDV value is simply the car’s approximate current market value.
Driving Record – One of the most important elements influencing how much you pay for vehicle insurance is your driving record. In general, a clean driving record leads to cheaper insurance prices. If the driver has a history in accidents or significant traffic offenses, on the other hand, gives you a higher risk of insurance and will most certainly result in a higher premium.
Age and Gender – Young men often pay more for auto insurance than young women, but older folks’ rates tend to be lower.
Insurers have discovered that teen boys and young men are more likely to be involved in car accidents, and they are more inclined to acquire sports cars, speed, or take other risks behind the wheel.
Coverage Type – Most states in the United States mandate specific mandatory insurance covers (for example, collision coverage, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, etc.) for a car, and the insurance cost will vary depending on the coverage types you have.
Ownership Type – If it is home ownership, the premium is lower; the premium is high if you lease or finance your vehicle.
Claim History – If the number of claims per year is high, so will the next premium.
Credit History – Many auto insurance companies heavily rely on credit-based insurance scores when determining rates. Certain states, such as California, have outlawed this practice, but still, insurance companies tend to do this.
Anticipated Mileage – Your projected annual mileage will alert the insurance about the amount of wear and tear your vehicle endures. And the premium will vary based on the mileage.
Policy Add-ons – The premium will be high if you add any additional policies to cover medical privileges/family benefits/towing facility, etc.
No-Claim Bonus – If you have not claimed any accidental repairs, you may be entitled to a no-claim bonus, drastically lowering your annual insurance rate.
Deductible Amount – The deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket when you file a claim for bills. This cost will usually range between $200 and $3000. The higher the deductible amount, the lesser the premium.
Demographic Location – Cars insured in metropolitan areas must pay a higher premium than vehicles registered in rural areas. The main reason has been accidents and thefts in urban areas.
In addition, cars in places prone to severe weather events, such as hurricanes and floods, would have to pay a higher premium.
Security Systems in Place- Installing a car security system might help you save money on your car insurance. The lower the chance of automobile theft or vandalism, the lower the cost of your insurance coverage.
Digital Insurance – Certain digital insurance policies provide lower rates than traditional insurance policies, but always ensure to weigh the benefits and risks before purchasing one.
Occupation – Your profession and the risks that come with it impact your auto insurance. The premium will vary depending on the job type, job location, etc.
Marital Status – Married drivers are perceived to be more financially stable and safer drivers; married drivers pay a lower rate on their auto insurance than single drivers.
Education Qualifications – According to insurance firms, drivers with advanced degrees are more likely to submit vehicle insurance claims than drivers without advanced degrees. As a result, your auto insurance rate will be higher if you have a higher education.
What Makes Someone Uninsurable for Car Insurance
As a driver if you have been involved in high number of accidents, especially if it has been established that you were the at-fault driver in these accidents, you pose a risk to yourself and others on the road. In certain cases, insurance companies may classify you as uninsurable.
In certain cases, insurance companies may classify you as uninsurable.
Certain insurance firms will provide you a high-risk category insurance coverage if you are uninsurable. However, the premium will be extremely high.
Typical Components of a Car Insurance Policy in the USA
These are the typical 6 components included in a car insurance policy. But you can always have add-on options by paying an extra premium.
Bodily Injury Liability – Bodily injury liability coverage compensates for injured people’s medical bills. This coverage also helps to cover the cost of legal defense if you are sued for damages by someone else.
Property Damage Liability – Property damage liability covers the cost of repairs if you cause damage to another property or a vehicle in an accident. Damage to your own car is typically not covered by property damage liability coverage.
Collision Coverage – Collision insurance reimburses the insured for damages to their personal vehicle. Reimbursements are made in part to cover the cost of repairs or spare parts and may even include the replacement of the vehicle if it is beyond repair.
Medical Payments Coverage – Medical payments coverage will reimburse for medical expenditures incurred because of a car accident. This includes doctor’s appointments. Medical test fees, theater fees, hospital stays, X-ray fees, ambulance fees, etc.
Personal Injury (PIP) / Medical Cover – Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance pays for medical expenditures for both injured policyholders and passengers. This coverage pays for treating injuries to the policyholder’s car driver and passengers traveled.
PIP is like medical coverage in many ways, but it also covers things like lost wages and funeral expenses.
Comprehensive Insurance Cover – Comprehensive insurance pays to replace or repair your car if it is damaged in an event which is not a collision. Comprehensive coverage will pay for losses caused by theft, natural catastrophes, fire, or vandalism.
Car Insurance Add-on Options in the USA
Roadside Assistance – Adding roadside assistance coverage increases your chances of being rescued if your car has to be jump-started, you have a flat tire, or your engine gives you trouble.
Key Loss – Key loss cover is an add-on which covers the cost of replacing the insured car’s key if it is damaged, lost or stolen. The lost key add-on also compensates for the cost of repairing the lockset if the automobile lock is damaged.
Engine Protection – An engine protection cover is a car insurance add-on that provides cash coverage for any damage to an insured automobile’s engine. This includes lubricating oil leaks, gearbox problems, water ingression, and complete engine failure.
Loss of Personal Belongings – The insurer will cover any loss or damage to any of your personal things kept within the automobile due to theft under loss of personal belongings insurance.
The insured stated value of your car insurance policy will be used to compensate you for the value of your personal belongings.
Return to Invoice cover – Return to invoice cover enables you to obtain compensation equal to the automobile’s invoice value, i.e., the car’s original purchase price. This is a great add-on if your car is new and it is within five years from the manufactured date.
Nil or Zero Depreciation Cover – If you have nil or zero depreciation add-on, you can recover the full cost of replacing car parts in the event of an accident. The claim amount will not be reduced by the depreciation value of the damaged parts.
Tire Damage Coverage – If you do not have comprehensive car insurance, you cannot claim for tire damage. The tire damage add-on will assist you in filing claims for tire damage caused by potholes and vandalism, but please keep in mind that normal tire wear and tear is not covered.
How Can I Check if My Car is Insured?
Many insurers have online accounts via which you can check, change, or renew your coverage. You may be able to check-in and see if your coverage is up to date if you know the insurance company and the email address linked with your account.
The Office of the Secretary of State maintains car insurance information in different states. You can contact the office or walk in to see if they can locate your insurance by using your driver’s license number or other identifying information.
What is Proof of Insurance?
You must submit evidence of insurance when registering a new vehicle, being involved in a car accident, renewing your license, or being pulled over.
This document proves that you have a current and legitimate car insurance coverage that meets the minimum liability requirements of your state. The document will detail your policy so that anyone is reviewing it can verify the information.
When you purchase a policy, the insurance company will provide you with a card or printed paper. This will be your proof of insurance.
How to Check My Car Accident History?
The simplest option is to ask your current auto insurance company for information on any claims you’ve made in the past. This information may include the type and date of any claims, the amount paid out, and any injuries.
Alternatively, there are online databases like bumper.com / vinaudit.com / clearvin.com, where you may enter the VIN of your vehicle and retrieve the vehicle’s history. However, most of these websites will charge you a fee.
You can utilize the free VIN check webpage provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This website provides useful information, such as if the car was stolen and never recovered and whether it had a salvage title.
Can Insurance Companies See Your Traffic Violations?
Yes, your driver data can be accessed by car insurance companies. They can obtain a summary of your motor vehicle report (MVR), including the most recent citations, accidents, and convictions. The MVR lookback time varies by state and the insurance company.
Why Do People Look for New Car Insurance?
• Looking for a lower price – This is the most common reason people look out for new car insurance. The most important factor is the premium when it comes to auto insurance.
• Dissatisfied with the present insurance company – The second most common cause for customers looking for new vehicle insurance companies is bad claim experience or high renewal charges.
• Looking for tailor-made solutions – Many young drivers prefer this sort of insurance coverage over purchasing regular car insurance because it fits their budget and vehicle type better.
• Looking for a policy with better options and add-ons- Certain insurance companies will provide you with free add-ons and additional benefits along with your car insurance, like critical illness coverage for the family.
50 Best Car Insurance Companies in the USA
There are nearly 6000 insurance companies in the USA. We have listed few of the more established and highly rated companies. This list includes several companies which operate regionally.
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- All State
- American Family
- Loya Insurance
- New York Central Mutual
- Kentucky Farm Bureau
- Stillwater Insurance
- National General
- Tennessee Farmers Insurance Cos.
- Bear River Mutual
- Michigan Farm Bureau
- Grange Insurance
- Aspire General
- Commonwealth Casualty
- Farm Bureau Financial Services
- The Hartford
- The Hanover
- NJM Insurance
- Cincinnati Insurance Company
- The Hartford
- Ohio Mutual
- Tower Hill
- Auto Club Insurance Association
- Mercury Insurance