When the premium is not mandated by the government, it is usually derived from the calculations of an actuary, based on statistical data. The premium can vary depending on many factors that are believed to affect the expected cost of future claims.[38] Those factors can include the car characteristics, the coverage selected (deductible, limit, covered perils), the profile of the driver (age, gender, driving history) and the usage of the car (commute to work or not, predicted annual distance driven).[39]
While most of us are eager in availing no-claim bonuses (a discount in premium at renewal if no claim is made during the policy term), but we hardly pay attention towards other smaller discounts which can add up to a substantial amount. All comprehensive insurance plans offer reward for good claim history, with a discount which could be 50% of the premium.
Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.
On 1 March 2011, the European Court of Justice decided insurance companies who used gender as a risk factor when calculating insurance premiums were breaching EU equality laws.[42] The Court ruled that car-insurance companies were discriminating against men.[42] However, in some places, such as the UK, companies have used the standard practice of discrimination based on profession to still use gender as a factor, albeit indirectly. Professions which are more typically practised by men are deemed as being more risky even if they had not been prior to the Court's ruling while the converse is applied to professions predominant among women.[43] Another effect of the ruling has been that, while the premiums for men have been lowered, they have been raised for women. This equalisation effect has also been seen in other types of insurance for individuals, such as life insurance.[44]

A lot goes into an auto insurance rate quote, including your ZIP code, coverage levels, marital status, annual mileage, driving history and vehicle make, year and model. In most states, your gender and credit history are also used to determine rates. And again, the reason auto insurance comparison shopping is so important is because rates between companies are different for each person, too.
But that is the past. Today, if you pay for an insurance quote online—or even offline—you are likely not dealing with a reputable company. Insurance comparisons are offered freely from nearly all insurance companies. So word to the wise, if you are being charged to get a look at an insurance company’s premium rates, RUN don’t walk away. Receiving a free insurance quote comparison is the new way of doing business.
More commonly purchased is third party, fire and theft. This covers all third party liabilities and also covers the vehicle owner against the destruction of the vehicle by fire (whether malicious or due to a vehicle fault) and theft of the insured vehicle. It may or may not cover vandalism. This kind of insurance and the two preceding types do not cover damage to the vehicle caused by the driver or other hazards.
State legislators set limits on how much a company can increase your rates after a crash. Our hypothetical accident resulted in only $2,000 worth of damage. That caused average annual rates to spike by $1,000 or more in some states, while others jumped by far less. One thing’s for sure: Your rates will definitely increase after an at-fault accident, so be sure to compare car insurance rates if you have one on record.
It’s important to note that every company considers credit very differently, and even among insurers this factor fluctuates by state. For example, NerdWallet’s 2019 car insurance rate analysis indicates that while State Farm charges higher rates for poor credit in many states, it doesn’t seem to do so in Maine. Similar variations are true for many other companies as well.
×