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Vehicle Use and How It Affects Your Auto Insurance Rate

Do you know what information insurance companies look at to determine the cost of your auto policy?

It may surprise you, but auto insurance rates aren’t one-size-fits-all: The price you pay can vary based on how you typically use your vehicle and your driving history. Here are some factors that can determine your quote.

Do you use your vehicle for work?

How often and why you typically use your vehicle can affect how much you pay for insurance.1 If your job keeps you on the road (think sales representative), you’re likely to have a higher average annual mileage than someone who only uses his or her vehicle to commute to and from a nearby office, resulting in a more expensive insurance rate.

Do you use your vehicle less frequently?

On the other hand, if you use your vehicle less frequently because you work remotely from home, the cost of your car insurance could be reduced if you only use your vehicle occasionally for errands and other recreational purposes.

Where are you driving?

Insurers may also take into consideration where you live or where the vehicle is garaged (if not the same) when determining the price of your auto policy. For instance, if you live in a densely populated area with heavy traffic, then your rate may reflect that risk.Additionally, whether you live in an urban or rural area and park in a garage or on the street can also affect how much you pay for auto insurance.1

What’s in your driving history?

To calculate your auto insurance rate, insurance companies also take a look at your driving record. Your rate may fluctuate based on whether or not you have a clean driving record.1 If you have a clean driving history, it’s predicted you’re less likely to have accidents or violations in the future, so you may qualify for a lower rate.

However, if you have a history of traffic violations, moving violations, a suspended or revoked license, minor collisions or major car accidents, you may receive a higher rate because you’re more likely to have similar incidents in the future.2

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1 What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?, Insurance Information Institute.
2 How Auto Insurance Companies Calculate Risk,