When shopping for automobile insurance, it is important to do your homework in advance.
• Know what types and limits of coverage you need.
• Ensure you’re dealing with an authorized company and a licensed agent or broker.
• Make sure you have the make, model and other details of the vehicle you wish to insure.
• Answer any questions about your driving record and accident history fully and accurately.
• Shop for customer service and price. Agents and brokers selling insurance in Washington must be licensed with our agency. All Seasons Insurance is licensed and offer a range of insurance products from dozens of insurance companies. We're able to cover almost anyone.
Under state law, insurers may consider your age, driving record, where you live, credit history, and other factors to decide if they will offer you coverage.
There are three segments of the auto insurance market you should know about. All Seasons Insurance does business with all of these markets.
Preferred market – This market features companies with the lowest premiums and it is available to low risk drivers with exceptional driving records.
Standard market – This market refers to the average driver who uses family-type cars and has a reasonably good driving record.
Non-standard market – This market includes young drivers with less experience, drivers with multiple tickets or accidents, and drivers with reckless or drunk driving histories. Most insurers offer coverage that falls into the standard or the preferred markets.
A few corporations have several companies within their group and establish tiers that range from the preferred market to the non-standard market. We cannot recommend or suggest specific companies.
The cost of auto insurance Auto insurance cost is a major concern to Washington’s drivers. Insurance companies must submit their rate requests to our agency for review.
These requests must include enough financial information (actuarial-based) to verify the need for the requested rate. If we are satisfied with the rate information, we must approve the request.
Insurance companies can rate all licensed drivers in the household -- the policyholder and his or her spouse, and other household members, whether or not they are related by blood. This includes roommates. As a result, insurers generally base their premiums on all household members.
Insurance companies base auto rates on a variety of factors. The premium you pay consists of a “base rate.” The base rate is adjusted based on factors such as your age, sex, marital status, driving pattern, claims history, location, credit history, and the make, model and year of your vehicle.
When you shop for auto insurance, remember that each company uses these factors differently.
Statistics show drivers under the age of 25 have more accidents than adults between age 25 and 65. As a result, insurers charge young drivers and families with young drivers in the household higher rates. Statistics also show that senior citizens are more likely to be involved in an accident.
Gender: Young men under the age of 25 are involved in more accidents per miles driven than any other population group. Washington state law allows insurance companies to charge based on gender and age when statistics indicate a greater risk. If your driving record prevents you from obtaining a policy in the non-standard market, your agent or broker will contact the Automobile Insurance Plan on your behalf.
More than 55 years ago, the Washington State Legislature created this plan to provide auto insurance coverage to high-risk drivers who are unable to find coverage. Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner Marital status Statistically, married couples have fewer accidents than singles and generally pay lower rates.
Generally, the more expensive your vehicle, the more you will pay for comprehensive and collision coverage. Also, because sports cars and high performance cars are involved in more accidents, cost more to repair, and are stolen more often, they cost more to insure.
A higher number of accidents in a highly populated area will raise both liability and collision premiums. Higher crime rates in urban areas can also raise premiums for comprehensive coverage. The law also allows companies to base your rates on your address (where you keep your car), even though you may drive to a more urban or rural area.
he number of miles you drive per year can increase your rates. For example, if you drive a total of 7,000 miles in a year, you will normally pay lower rates than if you drive 15,000 miles in a year. Insurance companies consider the distance you commute to work as additional miles you add to your non-commuting, “pleasure” miles.
Driving record and claims history:
Most companies apply a surcharge to drivers involved in an accident or convicted of traffic violations. Likewise, the more claims you file, the more likely your rates will increase. Credit history Under federal law (Fair Credit Reporting Act), insurance companies can use credit history as one factor that impacts your auto rate. They may assign you an insurance score based on your credit history. They use your score as one factor to decide whether to accept or decline your coverage, or how much to charge you. A Washington state law limits the use of certain information in credit scoring.