What Affects Your Insurance Rate

2016 08 10 Driver Insurancerate

First, you should know that Say's rating system is based on three broad factors: you, your household and your coverage. You can check out how your age, gender, marital status, driving experience and household factors affect your rate here, but we figured we should break down the more complicated policy and driving record ones a little more. So, here we go!

Deductible:

The amount you pay out of pocket for auto repairs or replacement before Say covers the rest.

Example: If a fender bender causes $1400 in damages and your Collision deductible is $500, you would pay $500 and we would pay the remaining $900. If your deductible was $1000, you take on more of the bill and Say's portion is reduced to $400.

Bottom line: The higher your deductible, the less financial risk you are to Say, and less risk means a lower rate.

Coverage Limits:

The maximum amount a policy can cover on a claim. Once that max is reached, you're in charge of covering any additional costs. Every state has set up minimum limits for certain coverages, but you can opt for higher amounts when you purchase your policy. You may notice some coverages list two limits written something like "$25,000/$50,000." The first number represents the coverage limit per person and the second is the limit per incident.

Example: Say you're in an accident and the other driver and her passenger get hurt. The injuries add up to $30,000 in medical bills for the driver and $20,000 for the passenger. With Bodily Injury coverage limits at $25,000/$50,000, your insurance can only cover the limit of $25,000 for the driver, but pay the full $20,000 for the passenger, totaling $45,000. While the total incident costs fall under the policy limit, the per-person limit is exceeded by $5,000 (for the driver), leaving you to cover that cost. Now, if there were three people hurt, each with $20,000 worth of medical costs ($60,000 total), the per-person limit would be fine, but the per-incident cost would be exceeded by $10,000, leaving you to pay that excess cost.

Bottom line: The higher your coverage limits, the higher your rate, but the less you pay out of pocket in the case of a major accident.

Tickets:

Less risk equals lower rates, and in the insurance world, driving tickets indicate risky driving behaviors. Say Insurance looks to see if you've had any moving violations in the 36 months prior to your quote or renewal. If so, the severity of each violation is taken into consideration. We've got:

  • Minor violations, such as non-excessive speeding
  • Serious violations, like illegal passing or turning, stop sign or traffic light violations, excessive speeding and following too closely
  • Major violations, including driving under the influence, hit-and-run accidents and driving without a valid license

Bottom line: Each violation in the last 36 months is given a point value, and the total number of points is factored into your rate. 

Accidents:

Based on the same 36-month period described in the ticket section, Say considers any accidents "chargeable" if they've resulted in $1,000 or more in claim payments. There are exceptions though! We will not include:

  • Accidents where your car was lawfully parked
  • Being rear-ended, but not charged with a moving violation in connection to the incident
  • Being a victim of a hit-and-run that was reported within 24 hours
  • Other certain circumstances (excuse the vagueness, there can be a lot of technicalities)

Bottom line: Each chargeable accident in the last 36 months is given a point value, and the total number of points is factored into your rate. 

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