Car Insurance Rates Unrelated to Driving History

by Staff | August 3rd, 2015

The price of car insurance has very little to do with your driving record and more to do with your socioeconomic circumstances, according to a huge two year study conducted by Consumer Reports which appears in its September edition. The study, which analyzed more than 2 billion price quotes from more than 700 companies across the United States, showed that insurance rates were not based on meaningful behavior, like your driving record, but on factors such as how you shop, pay your bills or how likely you are to tolerate your rates being raised. The study found that those individuals who had “good” credit scores paid $68 to $526 more than similar drivers with the best credit score, depending on where they lived. For instance, in Florida, an adult single driver with a clean driving record and poor credit paid $1,552 more on average than if the exact same driver had a drunk driving conviction but excellent credit. Most car insurance companies select factors in your credit report that have nothing to do with your FICO score. Whatever the factors are – it’s a secret. The carriers are less interested in transparency than in legitimately setting rates based upon the actual risk presented by one’s driving record. Car insurance companies spend roughly $6 billion on advertising annually, touting such things as discounts for bundling home and auto insurance or installing anti-theft equipment. In reality, bundling home and auto only saved $97 per year on average and the anti-theft equipment saved $2. The actual savings are negligible but they keep consumers from shopping rates. In fact, car carriers count on customer loyalty – one factor that has nothing to do with the rate you pay. So if you think being a customer for 30 years matters to the carrier, think again. For more information go to www.ConsumerReports.org.