One thing every insurance agent who has been in the business more than three months has heard is, “So & So is only paying $X for their insurance, why is mine more?” Let’s take a few minutes today to discuss how premiums are calculated. As well as, if anyone pays exactly the same.
Is my insurance agent setting my rates?
No. Your insurance agent has no control in deciding your premium. They can help you discuss coverage and endorsement options which will adjust the premium. However, the base rates are determined by underwriting through a calculation system.
What factors go into the calculation?
While all companies use generally the same information, each company calculates individual factors at a different percentage. This is often what causes your rate with one company to be different than with another.
The most obvious factors are age, years of experience with a license, gender, driving record, and claims history.
The more tickets and violations you have, the higher the premium you’ll see. Likewise, the more claims you’ve already turned in, the more you’re going to pay out for the same coverage going forward.
Some additional factors that play into your insurance score that you may not realize are credit history and score, longevitiy with prior carriers, types of vehicles being driven, and garaging address.
The population and amount of claims filed each year in the area you live plays a role in how insurance companies determine the rates for your location.
What control do I have with my rates?
Coverage options and endorsements are factors within your control in determining premium. Carrying full coverage on a vehicle is more expensive than just liability because you’re purchasing more protection. Driving a sports car is more expensive than driving a sedan. Bundling your home and auto together gives you a discount on both policies.
How long before my factors are reconsidered?
Each policy is reviewed before the renewal offer is sent to you. Tickets and accidents typically stay on your score for five years from the time they occured.
At Strategic Insurance Group, because we’re an independent agency, we write for several companies. If your circumstances have changed over several years and you are unsure your rates are reflecting this, we can shop you anytime with several carriers to make sure you’re receiving the best premium you can. It’s always our top priority to make sure you have the coverage that best protects you at an affordable annual premium.