Rhode Island auto insurance can often be confusing and complex.
It can be even more puzzling when you’re hit with an unexpected rate increase. Insurance policies are full of legalese, exemptions and conditions, but particular events are common to premium increases.
Here are some things that may have affected your policy and why you may need to dig a little deeper into your pockets for the same coverage.
You Had A Driving Infraction
Insurance companies frown on accidents and speeding tickets because they indicate that you may be a “risky” driver. Even one small fender bender or ticket can send up a red flag that they may have to pay out on your policy.
Insurance companies base their rates on risk. If they think your driving habits are riskier, they increase your premiums. If you are convicted of a serious violation, your insurance premiums hit the roof. Insurance companies track your incidents, so even after you restore your clean driving status, you’ll face higher premiums if you’re in another accident or get another ticket.
You Changed Vehicles
You may have changed vehicles and thought your premiums would remain the same. However, this depends on the value the insurance company places on the vehicle. Even if the dollar value of the replacement car is about the same, the cost to repair it may not be.
Sporty models and imports cost much more to service. Luxury models have more bells and whistles and more parts to replace. You may also pay more if your vehicle does not have the same safety features of your previous vehicle.
The size of the vehicle may also affect your premiums. Larger vehicles with large engines often have a superior safety record to smaller vehicles. Some vehicles are also magnets for thieves, and the most stolen aren’t luxury vehicles either. If you bought a Honda Accord or Civic, a Toyota Corolla or Camry or a pickup truck, you’ll often pay more.
Insurance companies base premiums on crime rates and the number of accidents in an area. If you changed zip codes, you may have moved into what insurance companies view as a riskier area.
Insurance companies set premiums by predicting the likelihood of a claim. If you used to live in a rural area and moved into the city, the risk of theft and accidents increases. If you just moved from one neighborhood to another, it could be that repairs cost more there or the area has a higher crime rate.
Your premiums may even go up if you move from a building that offers secure parking to an area with street parking. If your commute is longer than before, your rates can increase too.
You Messed Up Your Credit
Some companies use your credit score as a factor when they calculate your insurance premiums. If you’ve had financial problems and now have less than stellar credit, it throws up a red flag and the insurance company may increase your premiums.
You’re Single Now
If you went through a divorce or your spouse has died, it very well may affect your insurance rates. Insurance company use “actuarial data” to measure risk and uncertainty, and it suggests that married couples have fewer accidents than single people.
A 2015 study published by the Consumer Federation of America revealed that many insurance companies jack up rates when you change your marital status from married to unmarried. The study showed rate increases as high as 226% for widowed women, and dubbed it the “widow penalty.” If you’re single again, you’ll probably pay more.
If your rates have gone up, don’t panic. Give us a call and let us review your Rhode Island auto insurance coverage options with you. We work with many top carriers, and we’ll work to make sure that you get the best coverage at the best price possible.