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How Insurers Make a Car Insurance Estimate by Jon Arnold

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How Insurers Make a Car Insurance Estimate by
Article Posted: 03/25/2008
Article Views: 373
Articles Written: 781
Word Count: 622
Article Votes: 0
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How Insurers Make a Car Insurance Estimate

The things that are looked at in a car insurance estimate can be mystifying. Why should it matter whether your car is paid off? And who cares whether it is a Ford or a Dodge?

Insurers know what they're doing. Their estimates are based on a wide variety of factors that go together to determine their risk. When you take out an insurance policy, what you're really doing is asking them to take some of your risk and paying them to do it – so the only fair way to determine this is to look at all your risk factors.

The most obvious factor as to whether you are likely to cost them money is you and your driving record. Are you a safe driver? Do you have tickets, and have you been found at fault in accidents before? Even if you were not at fault in an accident where you were a driver, insurers take this into consideration because people who have an accident where they were 100% not at fault still have accidents at a higher rate after this first one. If you have taken a driver safety course, you may be able to get a lower rate.

Your age is a consideration; very young drivers, especially teenage males, tend to have more accidents. Very old drivers also have accidents at higher rates. A good car insurance estimate takes this into consideration, as well as smoking and drinking habits if it has a record.

Beyond your risk of being in an accident at all, insurers want to look at how much damage will actually be done to passengers in an accident that does occur. If you do not wear your seat belt, you will pay a higher rate because you are more likely to be seriously injured. (Ironically, motorcyclists who don't wear helmets often get a lower rate because they are likely to be killed in an accident, which costs the insurance company less.) Safety devices like airbags count for something, as does equipment on your car like anti-lock brakes. You may pay a higher rate with some insurers if you have a lot of passengers on a regular basis, like if you drive the neighborhood soccer team to practice. And if you drive more, you'll also be hit with higher rates.

Where you live is a factor. Some neighborhoods have higher rates of vandalism and theft, and some also have higher accident rates. The insurers can charge you more just based on your zip code. In some states, insurers are legally required to cover certain repairs no matter what, like damaged windshields; in others, tight, winding, snowy roads may lead to more accidents. Either case ratchets up your payments.

If you have full coverage (as you must if there is still a bank lien on it), your insurance company will charge even more based on a variety of factors: how old the car is, how much it is worth, what its safety record is, how much it typically costs to repair damage to the vehicle. In addition, some insurers take into account things like car color. They look at car model – it's more tempting to drive a red Mustang convertible fast than it is to speed in a lime-green minivan. And they look at that specific car's overall accident record to see if it's higher than the average.

You can minimize your car insurance estimate by looking at all these factors and eliminating the ones that are in your power. Never pay more than you must for insurance. For more insights and additional information about your Car Insurance Estimate as well as getting a free online car insurance quote, please visit our web site at

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