Q: My rate has increased, what's the cause of this? Have I done something wrong?
A: Whether a
customer’s rate has increased or decreased, it's natural to want to know
why. The answer depends on your specific situation so it's not possible
to give a broad answer that applies to everyone, but here are some
common factors that often come into play.
Have you moved recently? Some folks are surprised
to learn that their locale affects their rates. The general rule is that
in busier, more populous areas, auto rates will be higher than in
rural, lower-traffic areas. The frequency of losses is higher in areas
with a high number of vehicles on the road, and because insurance is a
shared pool that we all pay into, the rates will generally be higher for
individuals living in those locations.
Has your vehicle usage changed? The annual mileage
you put on your vehicle is one of the factors we consider, so if you
changed your driving habits recently that could have changed your
Has activity on your driving record changed?
Tickets and accidents can impact your auto insurance rates, so a new
ticket or accident on your driving record could have increased your
Did you add or remove a car recently? Such a
change can affect more than just the particular vehicle you added or
removed. For example, if you have more cars on your policy than the
number of drivers, the risk per vehicle is less since at any given time
there may be one or more vehicles sitting at home unused. As a result,
adding an extra car might not cost as much as you think! Likewise, if
you remove an extra vehicle there can be additional risk placed on the
other cars, raising those vehicles' costs even while your overall
premium goes down. Generally you’ll pay a higher total premium to insure
more vehicles, although the cost per vehicle may drop if there aren't
enough drivers to use them all.
Did you change your policy's payment plan? We
offer a Paid In Full Discount when you pay your auto policy annually or
semi-annually. If you changed onto or away from one of these payment
plans, you may have gained or lost the discount.
Have your credit habits changed? A credit-based
insurance score is one factor that influences your rates, so a change in
your credit habits may contribute to higher or lower premiums.
Depending on your policy type and the state in which you live, we may
check your credit-based insurance score periodically to get an updated
snapshot. For more information about how credit relates to your
insurance premiums, check out our Insurance Score FAQ.
Have you filed any claims? Any claims filed have
the potential to impact your rate, even if your claim is for something
you don't feel personally responsible for. A tree falling on your car,
the cold weather causing a crack in your windshield that requires
replacing the glass, or a bear chewing up the fresh leather seats in
your new car all have potential to impact your rate if a claim is filed.
Is your policy renewing? Some factors that affect
your rate, including some of the points listed above, might take effect
only at the next renewal rather than in the middle of the term. A few
examples of things that don't alter your rate until renewal include
tickets or accidents on your driving record, new claims filed,
company-wide rate changes, industry changes in how your vehicle’s risk
is assessed (e.g., updated safety or collision statistics), and the age
of drivers on your policy.
Each policy's rate reflects a combination of a wide variety of
factors, so that no two policies are the same. While this complexity
makes it difficult to paint rate increases or decreases with a broad
brushed explanation, it also allows for us to tailor your rate to your
unique combination of factors. If you've seen your rate go up or down
and aren't sure what prompted it, don't hesitate to contact your agent
or our Customer Service Department for more information.