Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • A low credit score and the filing of previous claims can drive an insurance score down
  • Improving a credit score could aid in raising an insurance score
  • Comparison shopping is advisable when trying to find the best rate becomes hampered by a low insurance score

Purchasing affordable auto insurance is something most drivers want. Top-notch auto insurance should be able to provide the desired and necessary level of coverage at reasonable costs.

Reasonable does not mean always mean inexpensive, though. Reasonable means fair.

Specifically, the price quoted for an auto insurance premium policy is going to be based on an auto insurance score. Like a credit score, an insurance score tells a little bit about the history of a driver.

An insurance score rates the chances surrounding whether or not a driver is likely to file an auto insurance claim.

The higher an auto insurance score, the better the offered premiums will be. Conversely, those who possess a very low auto insurance score frequently find themselves to be locked into paying higher premiums.

Insurance companies are going to worry about whether or not the insured has intentions of filing a host of claims if necessary. The companies do need to earn a profit to stay in business so they must mitigate risk.

Owners and drivers who do not know how auto or other types of insurance policy premium costs are set might be confused about the specific factors capable of driving an insurance score down. Understanding the reasons behind the low score is necessary to take steps to improve the situation.

Looking for more affordable auto insurance? Compare at least three to four policies today to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code above to begin!

A Low Credit Score


Insurance companies look closely at a person’s credit score when factoring insurance rates. A low credit score has the potential to drive down an insurance score which, in turn, causes premium prices to rise.

To many, it may seem unfair that items unrelated to insurance claims are examined by insurance providers.

A person whose credit card balances are unreasonably high and has limited available credit is going to suffer from a low credit score. Few will find it unreasonable to ask “What does this have to do with my insurance purchasing?”

An insurance customer with bad credit needs to accept the insurance company’s logic. Someone with bad credit is more likely to file an insurance claim.

With a low credit score, available credit and borrowing options are going to be limited; therefore, the person is more likely to file a claim to recover money in order to pay for damage, theft, or vandalism.

Obviously, the driver would need comprehensive and collision insurance in place to access such claims. Anyone who is worried about the costs deriving from personal fault may wish to think about getting such extra coverage in place.

Unfortunately, premiums could end up being costly unless comparison shopping is performed.

Question marks may surround the personal responsibility of someone with a bad credit score. Credit reports do create a profile about a person.

An individual who is not in control of their personal finances may be lax in other areas of life. Being lax with performing necessary safety repairs to a vehicle does bring forth the potential to cause an accident.

Accidents usually mean liability claims end up being levied at the person who is at fault.

Insurance companies are taking on greater risk when choosing to cover someone who has bad credit. Consider it sensible to charge such a person a bit more for an insurance policy.

Equally sensible would be to charge higher insurance rates on someone who has a significant history of filing claims.

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Occurrences of Previous Claims

The greatest indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

A driver who has repeatedly filed auto insurance claims over the course of five years is definitely someone who has a greater likelihood of filing another claim than someone who never filed any claims in 10 years.

In coming to this conclusion, insurance companies are poised to quote higher rates.

Previous insurance claims are, of course, added into the insurance score along with the credit score. A combination of a weak credit score and a high frequency of claims is going to drive an insurance score down.

A negative mark on a credit score does not remain in place forever. A claim falls off the insurance score.

Individual insurance companies may have their own criteria. One might put more weight on a claim filed within three years while another may look more closely at claims that occurred six years ago.

Cutting Down on Claims


A basic assessment here would be that anyone wishing to increase an auto insurance score should file fewer claims, which is not possible in a number of circumstances.

A driver who injures someone else in an accident relies on insurance coverage for protection from a major lawsuit.

Minor incidents such as damaging one’s own car by hitting an object is a different situation. Filing a claim via collision coverage is a means of procuring a settlement to pay for the damage.

Paying out-of-pocket for the full damages to the car eliminates the need for a claim which, subsequently, eliminates any record of a claim.

One thing that is more controllable would be to work on reducing the problems that are harming a credit score. Negative marks remain on a credit score for seven years, but this does not mean nothing can be done to improve a score at the present time.

Reviewing a credit report and taking appropriate steps to correct problems might minimize a host of problems. Launching a new strategy to pay down growing debt just might aid the process of getting a better insurance rate.

Ordering an Insurance Score Report


Speculating on an auto insurance score is not wise. Nor is doing so necessary since two legitimate sources compile the score.

The same FICO that produces credit scores also produces insurance scores. ChoicePoint is the other company. The state government of Michigan provided a reliable study that looks at how ChoicePoint’s insurance score works.

Ordering a copy of an insurance score to determine what the number is is helpful when wishing to take steps to improve the score.

Those with low auto insurance scores should not feel discouraged or assume they are locked into paying high rates. Comparison shopping may lead to locating far better deals on car insurance than many would think initially possible.

Start comparison shopping today for better coverage and rates by entering your ZIP code below!