Insurance Rates

3 Strange Reasons Your Car Insurance Could Go Up

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If you know anything at all about car insurance, you understand the importance of keeping a clean driving record. After all, one of the fastest ways to see your insurance rates spike is to get a ticket or be involved in an accident.

But what if you haven’t made any mistakes on the road and your car insurance premiums are going up anyway? This hardly seems fair, but it is possible. In fact, it’s much more common than you might think.

If you’ve been frustrated by an increase in your car insurance rates that can’t be explained by a moving violation, one of the three strange reasons below is probably to blame:

You moved

A huge factor when it comes to how expensive your auto insurance will be is the address at which your car is garaged. Insurance companies look at all kinds of data about break-ins and collisions in your area and charge you based on the likelihood that one of those things will happen. This means that if you move from an address where your car is in little danger of being damaged to an address where you’re more likely to make a claim, your rates will go up. Maddeningly, just a few miles can make a big difference.

More accidents are happening in your area

Obviously, you’re doing everything in your power to avoid getting into a car accident, but if your neighbors aren’t being so careful, your insurance rates could be affected. This goes back to the idea of risk – again, insurance companies charge you based on the likelihood that you’ll make a claim, and they’re constantly monitoring statistics about accidents. This means that if in a particular year your area experiences an up-tick in crashes, your insurance rates could go up because your car is deemed to be at greater risk.

Your credit dropped

Included in the long list of things in your life that your credit score impacts is your insurance rates, so if you’ve committed a serious financial blunder that resulted in a hit to your credit, your car insurance premiums are likely to rise. This is because your credit is regarded as a marker of your overall level of responsibility, and insurers view people with higher scores as more careful and vigilant in all areas. It may not be fair, but it’s reality.

While an increase in your car insurance rates might seem arbitrary, it’s probably not – one of the three reasons above is likely the cause. Your best defense against rising rates is to keep shopping around, which will almost certainly turn up something cheaper. That’s right: with a little effort, you can beat your insurance company at its own game!

About Lindsay Meredith

Lindsay is a high school teacher and personal finance blogger. She lives, works, and plays in the Washington, D.C. area.

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