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Does your annual mileage affect car insurance?

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The lowdown...
  • Annual mileage can affect your car insurance premiums
  • Other factors also affect your premium rates such as age and the make and model of your vehicle
  • Shop around and see how you can get the best value based on your own factors

Many factors affect your insurance rates. Among them, your annual mileage is one factor that insurance companies do take into account when they are figuring your premiums.

Your risk goes up as you drive more. So insurance companies use a formula to predict the likelihood of you having an accident based in part on how much you drive.

More important than how much you drive, however, is your driving record. Your driving record tells insurance companies not only what your behavior is on the road but how your real behavior is.

In other words, they have a record of how you have performed on the road in the past based upon the entire record of your driving history for at least the past three years.

Some databases in different states keep this information fo up to seven or eight years. But the most common is three years. After three years, it’s safe to say that any traffic violations, accidents, or other events are probably removed by that period.

After three years, it’s safe to say that any traffic violations, accidents, or other events are probably removed by that period.

To check to see where you stand with your current driving record, you can visit the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state of residence. You can fill out a form and receive your driving record for a fee of $7-$13.

If you are concerned about your driving record and need better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today! Enter your ZIP code above to find the best auto insurance rates!

Why is it important to know what’s on my driving record?

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The short answer to this question is in the fact that your insurance company knows what is on your driving record so you should, too.

If you are going to make sure that an insurance company is quoting you a fair rate, shouldn’t you know what they are basing that decision on?

Your driving record will show any or all of the following:

  • DUIs and moving violations — Your driving record will have any DUIs, moving traffic violations, or other infractions that you have incurred for the period that the driver’s record was requested.
  • Accidents and citations — Any traffic collision you have or citations that you receive will be a part of your driving record and could be reported on your record if it is three years old or less. Accidents and citations are all viable information that insurance companies may use to prorate your premiums.
  • Your driver’s license and other information — Your state driver’s license identification number and other relevant identifying information may be shown on the driver’s report. Remember that your driving record is not confidential information and is a matter of public record.

Notifications in the Mail

If you get a notification that a copy of your driving record was requested, don’t be alarmed. This request is customary for insurance companies to do whenever you apply for new insurance, change insurance, or update your current insurance.

You will typically be sent a copy of what was revealed to the insurance company at that time. However, if you don’t want to wait on this to come to you, you may want to pay the $7 to your state DMV to get your report sooner.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

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In addition to the mileage and your driving record, other factors will affect your premiums. Below are the most common other factors that insurance companies consider when granting you a policy.

— Age Range

Your age range matters because the statistics prove that people within certain age ranges have more accidents than others.

For example, people in the age range of 18-24 have more accidents than those age 25 and older.

Additionally, teens age 16-19 than those over 20 as is evidence in this statistics report.

— Marital Status

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Marital status has some bearing on your rates because married people have fewer accidents. No one knows exactly why, but it’s true.

— Credit Report

Your credit report shows your trustworthiness to pay your insurance bill and is a small factor in determining your rates.

If you opt for putting your insurance on a bank draft each month, you may level out this amount and get a discount for having an automatic draft.

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— History of Other Insurance

When you apply for auto insurance, insurance companies have access to an extensive database of information that is a matter of public record. Among this information, they may discover your history with other insurance companies.

Your previous history is not a problem unless there were issues on paying your bill promptly or if you came on off of your insurance. Your rates can be raised, because it puts the insurer at risk when you do not carry insurance without gaps.

— Make/Model of Car

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The make and model of your vehicle is an important factor for a number of reasons.

One of these reasons is the fact that some cars are in more fatal and severe accidents than others.

Additionally, some cars are just seen as safer by both the auto industry and insurance industry. The more reliable your car is considered, the lower your rates will be.

— Modifications

If you have made modifications to your vehicle, you are required to report this to your insurance company.

It can affect your rates because some changes are not legal. Some also pose a threat to your safety and the safety of your vehicle on the road to others.

Consider Your Risks

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When choosing an insurance plan and company for yourself and your family, think about what your personal risks are.

Do you drive thousands of miles each year for your job? Do you use your personal vehicle for both work and personal use? How many people do you take in the car with you on a regular basis?

All of these questions should be examined carefully, because they are all risk factors that you must take into consideration.

The more you drive and the more people you take with you, the more risk you are taking on.

If you regularly take other people in the car with you such as in a carpooling situation, you may want to consider adding personal injury protection insurance or additional bodily injury liability even when you have met your state mandatory limits.

Take it upon yourself to custom design your insurance policy to fit your personal level of risk to yourself and others. Report any modifications to your insurance company to make sure they are lawful.

If you do not do this, it is possible that a claim that you make later for that car could be denied.

You must always be straightforward with your insurance company and make sure that you tell them the truth about your vehicle and additions you make so that you are on the same page with them.

Will my premiums go up?

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In general, your insurance premiums stay the same once you have qualified for a rate. But it is possible that they can increase if you add anything to your vehicle, add on another vehicle, or have an accident.

Any factor is subject to change. As those factors change, your insurance rates will reflect this.

In addition to this, the insurance market, like any industry, fluctuates over time due to claims that were made by other drivers, people coming on and off their policies, and general insurance market issues.

You will usually see any changes like this at the end of a policy term, however, not in the middle of your current term.

Finding the Best Coverage

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Finally, make sure that you are always open to other insurance if it provides a better deal for you.

Browse our site for the best deal and consider adding other optional insurance if you need it. Only by shopping and comparing will you know you are getting the best deal for the money.

Don’t forget to see if you qualify for a low mileage discount. When it comes to saving money on premiums, every little bit helps.

Looking to save on auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today!

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