Why Is My Insurance So High With No Accidents?
Last Updated on October 27, 2020
So you’re a good driver. You’ve never been in an accident. You’ve never even made a claim on your car insurance policy. Why are you paying so much for car insurance?
There are a number of reasons why your insurance may be so high with no accidents. Today, we’re explaining all of these reasons to help you understand why you’re paying high prices. Sometimes, you’re legitimately paying too much. In other cases, insurers are charging a competitive price for your policy – and you just don’t understand how insurance pricing works.
Table of Contents:
- What goes into the price of car insurance?
- Other reasons your car insurance is high with no accident history
- What states have the highest insurance rates?
- What age groups pay the most for insurance?
- How your driving record can increase your rates
- How to save money on car insurance
What Goes into the Price of Car Insurance?
The price of your car insurance is about more than just your driving history. You might have a clean driving history yet still pay significantly higher premiums than someone with an accident-filled driving history.
Some of the factors that go into the price of car insurance include:
Your Driving Record: Insurance companies want to know your complete driving history before offering you a policy. This includes any accidents or incidents from your past. If you’ve never had an accident, then you might still pay high prices because of previous speeding tickets or traffic violations.
Your Driving Activity: How far do you drive to work every day? How many miles do you put on your vehicle every year? The more you drive, the riskier your driving activity is.
Your Credit History: Your credit history has a powerful effect on your insurance rates. Your insurance company may ask to see your credit history, including your debts, tax liens, personal judgments, and medical bills.
Your Location: Drivers in some states pay significantly more than drivers in others. We’re not just talking about drivers in rough winter climates. Drivers in Louisiana, for example, pay some of the highest insurance rates in the nation. Your state can have a significant impact on your insurance rates.
Your Demographic Data: Your sex, age, and marital status all impact your insurance rates. These factors are typically outside of your control. However, your insurance company will look at historical driving data to decide on a fair rate for your insurance plan. If 23-year-old male drivers are a higher risk group than 58-year-old female drivers, then younger male drivers will pay more for car insurance.
Your Vehicle: Your vehicle, obviously, is one of the biggest factors in the price of car insurance. The type of car you drive has a big impact on the price you pay. If you’re driving a $200,000 luxury vehicle, then you’re going to pay a higher price than someone driving a $10,000 economy vehicle.
Your Policy Options: What’s covered on your insurance policy? How much are you paying for your deductible? Did you opt for a low deductible and a high monthly premium? Did you buy a comprehensive policy with all of the bells and whistles? Or did you choose a cheaper plan with the minimum liability coverage? The type of policy you choose – and the options on that policy – will have a profound impact on the price you pay.
Other Reasons Why Your Car Insurance May Be High with No Accident History
Some people have gone their whole lives without being in an accident – but they still pay enormous insurance premiums. Here are some of the reasons why you might pay high car insurance prices with no accidents:
- You have a terrible driving record, including points-related offenses like speeding tickets or traffic violations
- You have a history of big claims (someone who has made claims for three fender benders, for example, may pay lower rates than someone who has totaled one vehicle)
- You have a long commute and/or put a lot of miles onto your vehicle every year
- You have a poor credit history
- You’ve canceled auto insurance in the past
- You have a DUI or other similar offense
- You’re a young, unmarried male
- You live in a state or region with high insurance premiums
- You’re driving a car that’s perceived to be unsafe or riskier than an ordinary vehicle (smaller sports cars tend to be involved in more accidents than a Prius, for example)
- You’re paying too little for your deductible
- You’re paying for more coverage than you need
- You’re not bundling insurance plans together
- Someone has stolen or abused your identity (someone might have provided your driver’s license or personal information when they were caught speeding, for example, or there may be other record-keeping errors in your driving history)
What States Have the Highest Insurance Rates?
Some states have higher insurance premiums than others. Each state sets its own insurance laws. That’s why drivers in Ohio pay around $1,050 per year for car insurance, on average, while the average driver in Michigan pays over $2,800 per year.
The most expensive states for car insurance in America for drivers with a clean record (or any driving record) include:
- Michigan: $2,864 per year
- Louisiana: $2,412 per year
- Florida: $2,389 per year
- Texas: $1,983 per year
- California: $1,981 per year
- Georgia: $1,932 per year
- Rhode Island: $1,931 per year
- Colorado: $1,898 per year
- Connecticut: $1,892 per year
- Delaware: $1,888 per year
All prices above are based on estimated insurance premiums for a middle-aged driver with no accidents.
Fortunately, having a clean record is important in every state. A clean driving record with no accidents will lower car insurance premiums in all states. Although car insurance may seem expensive in states like Michigan and Louisiana, drivers with accidents on their record will pay even higher rates – so be thankful you have a clean record with no accidents.
What Age Groups Pay the Most for Insurance?
Certain age groups pay higher rates for car insurance. Although there are slight differences between states, certain genders and age groups tend to pay higher or lower rates for car insurance in all states:
- Young drivers (drivers under age 25) pay the highest rates for car insurance in virtually every state. Even if you have a clean record with no accident, you pay higher rates for car insurance because you have limited driving experience and little insured driving history. You could go your entire driving career without a single accident – or you could cause multiple at-fault accidents before age 25. The insurance company knows nothing about you, so they err on the side of caution by charging higher rates to younger drivers.
- Young men pay particularly high car insurance premiums, with males under 25 paying over $5,000 per year for full coverage car insurance in many states.
- As a teenage driver, you pay the highest possible car insurance rates in most states, even if you have a clean record. Drivers who buy their own car insurance at age 16, 17, 18, or 19 could pay $4,000 or more per year for full coverage car insurance. All drivers under 25 pay high rates for car insurance, but teenagers are punished particularly harshly.
- As drivers get older, car insurance premiums decline. Car insurance premiums drop every year you go without an accident. After age 25, car insurance premiums drop significantly every year until you’re in your 30s.
- Car insurance rates continue to decline in your 30s, 40s, and 50s, assuming you maintain a clean record. In your 50s and 60s, you pay the lowest possible rates for car insurance as a driver with a clean record.
- Starting in your 70s or 80s, insurance companies may raise premiums for older drivers. Statistically, older drivers are more likely to cause accidents than drivers in their 50s and 60s. Expect car insurance premiums to increase slightly as you get older and continue to drive. Some states have passed laws forbidding insurance companies from raising premiums on older drivers with a clean record, although you may need to pass a driving test to verify your ability and avoid higher premiums.
Different insurance companies treat age in different ways, which is why it’s crucial to compare quotes. While some insurance companies charge high rates to younger drivers, others welcome younger drivers to balance the insurance pool.
How Your Driving Record Can Increase Your Rates (Even With No Accidents)
Even if you have no accidents on your record, you could pay high insurance premiums. In fact, you might pay higher rates for car insurance than a driver with an at-fault accident due to factors like credit score, speeding tickets, and more.
Here are some of the ways a driving record can increase your rates – even if you have no accidents:
Speeding Tickets: Some insurance companies ignore a single speeding ticket, especially if it’s a minor offense. However, drivers with multiple speeding tickets or a single serious speeding violation could face higher insurance premiums. Statistically, speeding increases the chances of an accident, and insurance companies raise rates to cover this added risk.
Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is a serious offense. Some insurance companies treat reckless driving convictions as seriously as DUIs, although it varies depending on your state and insurance company.
Other Tickets or Citations: Parking tickets and other non-moving violations are unlikely to affect insurance premiums. However, other tickets or citations could raise the cost of car insurance. Any moving violation could raise premiums, depending on your insurer and state.
DUIs: If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated, you could pay significantly higher rates for car insurance. In fact, many insurers raise rates higher for a DUI than for an at-fault accident. DUIs can also remain on your record for 10 years or more, depending on your state, which means a single DUI could lead to significantly higher insurance premiums for the near future.
Changes to Credit Score: Insurers use credit score to calculate insurance rates in every state, although three states (California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii) have banned the practice. If you have a low credit score, or if your credit score suddenly dropped (say, due to bankruptcy), then your car insurance premiums could rise significantly.
Any Other Violations or Offenses in the Lookback Period: Insurance companies use something called the lookback period to calculate premiums. This is the length of time during which an insurer can check your driving record. Typically, insurers use a lookback period of 3 to 7 years, although lookback periods vary between insurers and states. California, for example, uses a 12-year lookback period for DUIs, while most states have a 3 to 7 year lookback period for general driving offenses.
How to Save Money on Insurance
If you have a clean driving record, then you’re a highly desirable customer to insurance companies. You have proven experience driving safely on the road, and that means you’re a lower risk driver to insure than someone with multiple offenses or an accident.
To save money on car insurance, consider the following:
Take Advantage of Discounts: All insurance companies offer discounts. Take advantage of bundling discounts, good student discounts, safety feature discounts, age-based discounts, safe driving discounts, and other options.
Compare Quotes: Some insurance companies treat offenses differently than others. One company might give you a clean driving discount because you have zero accidents, for example, while another company might cancel that discount because you received a speeding ticket five years ago. By comparing quotes from different insurers, you can ensure you’re working with the company that best matches your driver profile and charges you the lowest possible rates.
Adjust Coverage: You can customize your car insurance policy to raise or lower rates. Consider raising your deductible to drop monthly premiums, for example. Or, lower liability coverage, drop collision and comprehensive coverage in older vehicles and adjust your policy in other ways.
By implementing the strategies above, you can save money on car insurance in any state – especially as a driver with zero accidents on your driving history.
So, Why Is My Car Insurance So High?
You’ve never had an accident – but you’re still paying a lot of money for car insurance. As we learned above, there are a number of reasons why you could be paying too much for car insurance. Maybe you’re driving a brand new vehicle, for example. Maybe you have a driving record filled with speeding tickets and traffic violations. Maybe someone stole your identity and abused your clean driving record.
Whatever your reason may be, be sure to check with an insurance agent or compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re paying a competitive price for car insurance.