What Determines My Car Insurance Rate?

Car Insurance. We all have to have it when owning and operating a vehicle but why is everyone’s cost so different? Even you and your spouse may have different rates, what gives? Al Boenker Insurance agents have the ability to plug-in your information and shop multiple companies to find you the best and most affordable rate.

However, there are several factors that determine that rate. Insurance is a calculated risk-based business and companies configure how likely you are to file a claim.

Let’s explore some factors that can determine your auto insurance rate and see how life changes may affect your premium.

Your driving record

When you request a quote from an agent they will ask you about your driving history. Typically, how many accidents you may have been in, the cause of an accident and details on tickets. While this takes place, your driving record is being pulled and inserted into the policy. Based on your overall driving record, insurances companies determine your likeliness of having another accident. The easiest way to get a good rate is to be a safe driver.

Your policy and deductible

The type of policy you buy 100% affects your rate. As liability is the state minimum required, your lien holder may require something different. The amount you want to pay monthly determines how much you will pay when an accident happens.  Lower deductible= higher monthly rate. Lower monthly payments= higher deductible. Along with deductible differences, you have an option to add personal injury coverage, towing and rental coverage, medical payment reimbursement, or uninsured motorist, along with several others. All of these amendments reflect on your insurance premium. The best option is to determine how much you can afford if an accident were to happen. Would you be able to pay a $500 deductible or $1000? Would you be able to afford towing fees from the site and the cost of a rental car if necessary? Generally, the more you pay monthly means the less you’ll pay when an accident happens. There are a lot of factors here.

Your vehicle

Have you heard red cars get more tickets? Well the make, model and year of your vehicle are determining rate factors. Big trucks can be a little higher to insure because they can cause more damage. Thinking about getting a 2-door sports car? Insurance could cost you due to the high-risk of speeding!

Your age, gender, and marital status

Drivers under the age of 25 or older than 65 are considered higher risk drivers. Also, studies show that men are more likely to speed and get into an accident. Students are seen as responsible and some companies offer students with a B average or higher a student discount. Married couples versus singles are also seen as low-risk. Demographics of all drivers on a policy can have an impact on your insurance rate.

How often and how far you drive

Are you driving all day for work? Maybe you’re a mail a carrier and use your own car. How often and how far you drive daily can contribute to your risk calculator. The more you are on the road the more likely you are to be in an accident. Do you work from home and your car rarely leaves the driveway? You win here!

Where you live

Location is key! Living in a rural area might be in your favor when getting car insurance. Fewer cars on the road =less traffic= fewer accidents. Bigger cities tend to mean more people and more cars and more potential for accidents. Your risk of needing to file a claim also increases if crime rates are high in your neighborhood. Live 5-minutes from the office? This can be in your favor too. The fewer miles you commute daily often lends its self to be low-risk.

Your credit history

Insurance companies offer several types of policies. Monthly- annual- low credit- lower down payment and so on. Your credit can affect your premium. Texas allows your credit to-be ran and considered when selling a policy. According to dmv.org, “Low credit scores have been correlated with risky driving behaviors and poor driving records. This means that if your credit-based insurance score is too low, you face the possibility of being deemed high risk of filing a claim. Majority of car insurance companies may look at the following to calculate your score:

  • Payment history.
  • Debt.
  • Length of credit history.
  • Whether you have recently applied for new lines of credit.
  • What type of credit you have, e.g., loans, credit card, mortgage. (2018, dmv.org)”

There is not a definite risk- calculator but we’ve given you a good list. Car insurance is a risky business. Nobody wants to use their insurance, but knowing you are covered and protected when an accident happens gives you peace of mind. Take these into consideration the next time there are life changes.

Give us a call at 1-800-THANKSAL or visit us online at thanksal.com to see how we can help you save.

Are You Covered Enough?

Are you covered… Enough? Did you know that big life changes such as having a baby, getting married, buying a new home or sending a child off to college may require you to adjust the amount of coverage you need?

 

Milestones are meant to be celebrated and are an exciting time in life. However, how would you like to find out that life’s most amazing moments could leave your household without the proper coverage? You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test-drive right. The same thing should be said about speaking with your Al Boenker Insurance Agent before an important change.

 

Adding a bedroom onto the house may mean it’s time to re-evaluate your home owner’s policy to keep it up to date with the square footage. Or moving your college driver to another “garage,” is a sign it’s time to chat with your agent to determine coverage for a driver that is no longer living in your home.

 

Don’t let yourself get caught without the assurance your family is protected. Bring on all the major good-feeling moment’s life has the pleasure of giving us and speak with your Al Boenker agent today.

 

Give us a call at 1-800-THANKSAL or visit us online at www.thanksal.com

Spring Break Stay-cation!

Spring break is right around the corner! Either you have big plans or have forgotten your kids are out for a week. Traveling with a family can be challenging and comes with a lot of moving parts. Request time off from work- try to decide on a destination- set a budget- make travel arrangements- plan who is going to watch the pets- shop for the trip- pack the entire household and pray you haven’t forgotten anything.

Spring break vacations can be costly and take a lot of planning. If you haven’t planned a trip by now, there’s a possibility the best rates are no longer available. Unfortunately, the early bird gets the worm on those deals. But WAIT! There is still hope for a fun week. You have time to plan a Stay-cation. It’ll be your new favorite thing!

So, what is a stay-cation? Just like it sounds, a vacation that doesn’t require much, if any travel. The point is for it to still feel like the family is off- together doing something fun. The chances are that your city has a few things to offer that you may have forgotten all about.

Here are a couple of staycation suggestions your family will love

  1. Spend the day at an amusement park- when was the last time your family went to an amusement park? This may be one the most expensive options on the list but this expense will for sure be a crowd pleaser with the kiddos.
  2. Visit a local museum- if your city has a nearby museum, now is the perfect opportunity to spend your money locally and check out the museum. You may learn something new and find out a lot about your town.
  3. Attend a community festival- during spring break cities usually put on some sort of festival. Check out the list of events happening in your area on your Chamber of Commerce website.
  4. Take a trip to the zoo or aquarium- the never disappoints. No matter how many times you have gone, it always is a crowd pleaser. Make a game of it- play iSPY or map out feeding times and get in on zookeeper interaction.
  5. Host a family board game tournament- invest in a few new board games and battle the family in a day-long tournament complete with snacks and drinks.
  6. Get Outside- buy some kites, bubbles, hula-hoops, a slip-n-slide, a bug catcher, or maybe camp out. There is so much to do in your own backyard. Host a Family Olympics and plan a full day of outdoor activities. Get some ideas here.
  7. Geocaching- if you have not heard of geocaching, it may be one the largest games of scavenger hunt in the world. Download the app and let the fun begin. The GPS will lead you to treasures that people from all around have visited and contributed too. Check out the details at geochaching.com.

There are several options to enjoy your spring break as a family without having to travel too far. Enjoy the time as a family and see what kind of adventures your gang can find!