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Time to Shop for New Auto Insurance

This article was written by in Insurance. 14 comments.

Auto insurance companies are changing the way the calculate premiums, according to MSN Money. Did you know that some insurers look at your credit report to determine the risk of insuring you? Some states have declared this practice illegal, but the companies claim there is a correlation between a history of late payments and insurance claims.

That means that if you have a clean credit history as well as a clean driving record, you might be able to save some money. I have had the same insurance since 2004, so it may be time for me to shop around again. Now that more companies are using pricing schemes that are more flexible and based more on the individual than the process where drivers are placed into one of a small number groups or tiers, there may be some deals out there.

Published or updated June 7, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Pat

Is it just me or does anyone else have to repeatedly change car insurance to get good rates. It always seems like the first year is great and they they start jacking it from there even with good credit, no claims, and high deductibles.

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avatar broknowrchlatr

I have to change all the time too. I jsut went through this process and my insurer marked up the rate about 5% due to my credit report. After fixing a credit report issue, they knocked it down 10%! So, if you have good credit, you can actually benefit from this.

I bet I’ll still be changing every 6 months to a year, though.

Note – this is another hit for Credit card arbitrage. If companies are running my credit report for insurance and stuff all the time, i have to keep it well polished.

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avatar Chris

I shop around every year. My insurance kept going up a small amount each time it renewed. I don’t understand why these companies want all fresh new customers instead of retaining loyalty. I switched and saved $300 a year. Maybe someone can explain it to me!

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avatar KMC

Neither you nor the article mention it, but a couple of days ago, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that essentially said insurers could increase your auto rates for poor credit and not tell you.

Even though the article points out somebody who spontaneously got a decrease, I doubt that’ll happen too much. I’ll bet it’s a lot more the other way.

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avatar Luke Landes

KMC: Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t heard about that. Good to know SCOTUS is looking out for corporate rights involving “trade secrets” like risk calculation formulas and not the rights of individuals.

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avatar Chris

KMC, are they required to base their rates on your credit score, or are they allowed to change your rates based on your credit score?

Credit scores can go up and down by 10-20 points for a variety of reasons, including spending a lot on a card one month even if you paid it in full, signing up for a new card, canceling a card, a hard inquiry…you name it.

So if the auto insurance companies can raise your rate without notice whenever your score drops, and are not required to lower it again when it goes back up, what is to stop them from perpetually raising your rates as your credit score bounces around?

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avatar Journey2Retirement

I use GEICO, and for the past 3 years, rates have only gone down for me.
Haven’t had the need to use them yet *knock on wood*, so can’t say much about anything else.

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