You might dread the moment that your car insurance arrives in the mail or the payment auto-debits from your bank account. The bill might look like a lot of dollar signs. And the number might seem completely random – why are your rates what they are? Where is this random payment amount coming from – is it just the powers-that-be that chose a rate out of a hat? Not exactly. There are a lot of factors that affect Alabama car insurance rates, and we’ll explain some of them.
What affects your Alabama car insurance rates?
1. Your driving record.
Your driving record has an effect on your rates. If you have tickets, accidents, or a DUI on your record, you could see significantly higher rates. Insurance companies will most likely see you as having a higher risk of getting into an accident and causing a claim. Safe drivers often get lower car insurance rates.
2. Your location.
Where you live also affects your Alabama car insurance rates. Drivers in urban areas might have higher rates because cities have more traffic, which means a higher chance of getting into an accident. And cities also may have higher rates of car theft and vandalism than rural areas.
3. Your car.
The year, make, model, and safety features of your vehicle can also affect your Alabama car insurance rates. If you drive a safe, sturdy car that has great safety ratings and doesn’t have a high theft rate, you might see lower rates. The car’s value affects how expensive it would be to replace if you were in an accident.
4. Your age.
Younger drivers often see higher rates because they’re not experienced behind the wheel and they tend to be more inclined to take risks. That’s why teen car insurance rates can be very expensive, especially for boys. However, as the driver gets older their rates could get better – usually age 25 is when a driver with a clean record might see some lower car insurance rates.
5. Why you’re driving and how often you drive.
The purpose of the vehicle is also something that plays a part in the cost of your car insurance. Are you commuting across town? Do you only drive to run errands? If you cover a lot of miles in a year, your rates could be higher – the more you drive, the more opportunities to be in an accident.
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6. Your deductible and your coverages.
Your rates also depend on the deductible and coverages you select. Your deductible is the amount of money that you’ll pay out of pocket if you have a claim – you pay your deductible, the insurance company pays the rest of the claim (up to your limit of coverage.) If you select a higher deductible, you may see lower premiums because you’re less likely to file a claim. However, you don’t want to set your deductible so high that you would have a tough time paying it if you had a claim. You have to find the balance.
And your rates also depend on the types of coverage you choose and the limits you set. It’s important to make sure you have enough insurance to protect yourself if you’re in an accident. If you’re at-fault, you could be responsible for paying the other driver’s medical bills and any legal expenses if they decide to sue. You need to have high enough limits to protect yourself financially. And if you want your own car to be covered in the event of an accident or another loss, you would need collision and comprehensive coverage.
7. Your past insurance history.
If you’ve been canceled by an insurance company or if you’ve had lapses in payment, you might have a tricky time finding new insurance. That’s because other insurers might be concerned that you won’t keep up with your premium payments. And if you do find new coverage, it might be more expensive.
8. Credit score.
Your credit score can also be a factor in your Alabama car insurance rates. Not all insurance companies look at it, but some do. If you have a better credit score, you’re seen as being a lower risk to insure – and you could get lower rates. If you have a poor credit score, you’re seen as being a higher risk to insure – and you might see higher rates.
9. If you’re married.
Married people might get lower car insurance rates because they tend to get into fewer accidents (they drive more safely and they may not drive as much as people who aren’t married.) And if a married couple is on the same policy, they might get a multi-car discount from their insurance company. Plus, if the couple has home insurance and car insurance from the same company, they might get a discount for bundling.
10. Safety features.
If your car has cool safety features like anti-theft devices, traction control, and good airbags, that can influence your Alabama car insurance rates.
Many insurers offer car insurance discounts that reward safe driving or safe cars. For example, your carrier may offer a discount if you go a certain number of years without having a claim. Young drivers can often get a discount for having good grades in school. If you get your home and auto insurance from the same company, you could get a bundling discount. And if you insure more than one car with your insurance company, you might be able to qualify for a multi-car discount. Anyways, discounts are an easy way to save money on car insurance.
12. How old your vehicle is.
Your car’s “age” can also influence your car insurance rates because it indicates whether your car will be considered a total loss if you’re in an accident. It can cost more to repair an older car that to just replace it, so your car might be declared “totaled” if you’re in an accident. But newer cars are often less expensive to repair than to replace.
You may also be able to get lower car insurance rates simply by shopping around for quotes. By getting multiple car insurance quotes, you can compare different coverages and premiums. Just make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples when you look at different insurance policies and their prices.
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