It is generally assumed that if you are a good driver you will be rewarded by getting the lowest rates on insurance. Although an individual’s driving record does play a part in what they will pay for car insurance, it isn’t the only factor. Even good drivers may end up paying more for car insurance due to other factors.
Are you married or single? Have you been widowed or divorced? Is your credit history less than stellar? Your answers to those questions can affect the rates you pay for car insurance.
The Consumer Federation of America did an analysis and found that online quotes from most companies were almost always higher for single, separated and divorced drivers than for married drivers. In another notable example the analysis found that quotes for annual premiums for a young woman were an average of 14 percent higher if she was a widow, rather than married.
In another recently published analysis, this time conducted by Consumer Reports, two billion price quotes from 700 insurers were examined and it was concluded that factors that don’t have to do with driving — like your credit history and whether you use store or bank credit cards — are increasingly used as criteria in setting rates. The report gives an example of a single New Yorker, with merely “good” credit would end up paying an average of $255 more in annual premiums than someone with “excellent” credit.
What you end up paying for car insurance also has a lot to do with the state you live in. As an example, in California it is mandated that driving-related factors must be the primary criteria used to set premiums. There are three states, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts where insurance companies are prohibited from using credit scores to set insurance rates.
Regardless of where you live, it is always the best idea to have a good driving record.