Auto Insurance: Choosing Yours

Driving Record

On the application, you will be asked about your previous driving record.

Insurers will ask about accidents and traffic violations for any driver covered by the policy for the preceding three to five years. Drivers with previous violations or “at-fault” accidents are considered to be a higher risk and are charged a higher rate.


The claims experience in your geographical area will also affect your rates. Applications include a question that asks for the address where the vehicle will be garaged. From this information, insurers assign you to a territory whose rate is based on historical experience for that territory. Generally, more claims are made from urban areas with tendencies of busy traffic, thefts and vandalism; therefore causing the rate to be higher in the city.

Gender and Age

Statistically, males have more accidents than females. For this reason, men may tend to pay more for insurance than women. A small number of states have prohibited insurers from using gender as a factor in underwriting. Nevada, however, allows this type of rating.

Your insurance company also has statistics that tell them that younger people have more accidents, causing more cost to the company. A person under 25 will pay more for insurance than someone over 25.

Marital Status

This will influence your premium because statistics show that fewer married people file claims to receive money from their insurance companies.

Prior Insurance Coverage

Your company will want to know if you’ve ever been cancelled from a policy for any reason, especially for non-payment of premiums. They also want to know if you’ve had a lapse in coverage.

Vehicle Use

You will be asked on the application how often and how far you drive the vehicle that you want to insure. The shorter your everyday travel is, the better your rates will be. If you spend a lot of time in the car every day, then you’re more likely to get into an accident.

Make and Model of Vehicle

The type of car you drive directly affects the cost of coverage. If your make or model of car has a high number of claims or higher claim costs, it will be charged a higher premium.