Effects of Changing Personal Insurance Details on Premiums

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Using Kanetix, an auto insurance comparison site, I decided to play around with the various driver characteristics to see what effect each one would have on my premiums. I chose Kanetix because it’ll give you multiple quotes and it had the easiest interface for you to change details about yourself, your plan, your vehicles (I’ve never used it to actually get insurance). This little unscientific study won’t tell you how much to expect your insurance premiums to go up if you do something bad but it should give you a relative idea of how “bad” certain offenses are with respect to premiums. As expected, insurance is all about dollars and percentages and the results, while unscientific, are pretty consistent with generally accepted thoughts.

Some interesting takeaways:

  1. Confirmation of some commonly held and time tested beliefs, getting married, becoming female, and growing older will always reduce your rates. If you’re considering any of those drastic measures for car insurance reasons, I recommend a psychiatrist because I’d avoid becoming all three as long as you can (for the women in the crowd, I mean that I would avoid going through the process of becoming female solely for the insurance benefits!).
  2. Education only has a minor and diminishing effect on rates as you become more educated.
  3. While not listed below, your job title doesn’t have much of an effect on rates either (I looked but saw no real changes).
  4. Reckless driving and fleeing from police violations are as bad as vehicular homicides!
  5. With accidents/claims, only the dollar amount of how much your previous insurer paid out seems to matter with claims, the details of the accident don’t seem to matter much at all.

Some hard numbers after the jump…

All quotes below are for six months and is the average of all the quotes listed. I didn’t put in my social security number so my credit isn’t a factor. Also, I didn’t alter coverage details and only changed one characteristic each time before asking for an online quote.

Benchmark – One car with one driver garaged in the zip code where I live in what can be classified as suburbia. I’m male, 26, single, own a home, Master degree, engineer, with current employer for 3 years, licensed since 16, never suspended or revoked, not been ordered to carry an SR-22, 0 violations, residential insurance policy, no defensive driving-type course. I own my 2003 Toyota Celica, I drive it to and from work (~10 miles, 5 days), putting on approximately 12k miles/yr.

The coverages I selected are $100k/$300k/$100k for Bodily Injury and Property Damage and the same for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists and UM/UIM Property Damage. Personal Injury Protection-Medical (and Funeral) Expenses set at $2500 Basic (everyone covered). $1000 deductible on both Comprehensive and Collision, yes to Towing and Rental coverages.

Benchmark Rates: 4 results, Average rate of $628.70.

Personal Details:

Changed Original Average
$ Diff % Diff
Age to 18 26 $2016.35 +$1387.65 +220.7%
Age to 21 26 $881.90 +$253.20 +40.3%
Married Single $490.90 -$137.80 -21.9%
Female Male $510.63 -$118.07 -18.8%
B.S., Ph.D, J.D. M.S. $628.7 $0 0%
High School M.S. $672.58 +$43.88 +6.9%
Revoked License* No $797.33 +$168.63 +26.8%
SR-22* No $809.50 +$180.80 +28.8%

*For the SR-22 and revoked license you were asked to specify the date of the revokation or when you were ordered to carry the SR-22, in both cases it doesn’t seem to matter when that date was if it was within the last five years. Also for the SR-22, it didn’t matter if it was once incident or multiple. And finally, I received four quotes each time I requested it except for these cases – only Esurance and Drive Insurance from Progressive agreed to supply quotes.

Violation Details (only one):

I’ve had no violations.

Changed Average
$ Diff % Diff
Speeding 1-29 MPH $792.13 +$163.43 +26%
Speeding In School Zone $809.85 +$181.15 +28.8%
Speeding 30+ MPH $944.25 +$315.55 +50.2%
Reckless Driving,
Vehicular Homicide,
Fleeing from Police
$1135.95 +$507.25 +80.7%
DUI $1000.05 +$371.35 +59.0%
Wrong Way $792.13 +$163.43 +26%

Claims History Details:

I’ve had no claims.

Changed Average
$ Diff % Diff
Vandalism $681.08 +$52.38 +8.3%
Full theft of vehicle
or belongings ($10k+)
$714.58 +$85.88 +13.7%
You struck a car (20k+) $962.50 +$333.8 +53.1%

For claims it’s assume there is no deductible and values in parenthesis is how much your former insurance company allegedly paid out in damages.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “Effects of Changing Personal Insurance Details on Premiums”

  1. Rob Carlson says:

    I recently changed some demographic details, presented in order of benefit (or not) to me.

    0. One at-fault property damage accident with $1100 payout (previously clean 10 yr record): +$350, diminishing each year until 60% recouped.

    1. Getting married: -$25.

    2. Aging one year: -$63.

    3. Having enough in the bank to pay annually instead of monthly: -$69.

  2. anon says:

    nice affiliate link. that should help your financial situation;)

  3. Miller says:

    Just FYI, my at-fault accident costing around $5k to my insurance company (Geico) has raised my rates ~$180 every 6 months. Also, I have a friend who is getting 10% off his car insurance for being a lawyer — 5% for actually being a lawyer and another 5% for signing something saying he won’t sue them (I am dead serious). Pretty amusing…

  4. jim says:

    anon – It pays the bills to keep the lights on here. 🙂

    miller – what % is that?

  5. Beth says:

    Good story, but you should also take into account most insurance companies use your insurance score to give you a base rate. Start watching your credit score when you are young.

  6. jim says:

    That’s right Beth, your credit score will affect your auto insurance rates but in this particular article I was looking at the effects of changes on a relative level. I’m assuming that if my credit score meant my rates would be lower by 5% (or higher), then it’d be that way for me + a car accident or me + 5 years. The value in the numbers is in their relatively differences.

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