Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • The safer a driver you are, the less you will pay for your insurance
  • If a driver has received numerous traffic violations, they are seen as a higher risk
  • If you have a DUI on your record, some states require that it stay on your driving record forever

Car insurance is one of those necessary evils.

It seems like wasted money out of your pocket every month, but if you are ever in an accident or your car is stolen, you will be thankful that you have it.

Fortunately, if you are a safe driver, you will pay less for your car insurance premiums than other drivers.

When figuring out how much to charge for car insurance rates, car insurance companies consider many factors. Being a safe driver and having a good driving record is one of the biggest things that companies look for.

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What factors do car insurance companies look at when giving an insurance quote?

Car insurance companies look at several things when they are determining what to charge for car insurance. They look at the age of the driver as well as the gender.

They also consider what you are using the vehicle for, whether it is for fun, work, or commuting, as well as how many miles you drive your car on an annual basis.

The other factors include:

  • Marital status
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Credit rating
  • Where you live
  • Theft and safety features of your car
  • How many years of experience you have driving

The most important factors relate to the safety of the driver, including the number and types of driving violations and accident claims.

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How do driving violations affect car insurance rates?

When car insurance companies create a quote for a driver, they determine how much of a risk the driver is. The insurance company itself is taking a chance when it insures a driver.

If the driver is a good, safe driver and does not cause any accidents or file any claims, the insurance company makes money off the driver because all of the premiums he or she is paying are never used by that particular driver.

If they are a high-risk driver, the car insurance company assumes that there is a higher chance that the driver will be in an accident and file a claim with the insurance company.

Accidents cost car insurance companies a lot of money, so they try to avoid this from happening. To help cover their losses, insurance companies charge high-risk drivers higher insurance premiums.

How can a driver become a safer driver?

If you have a less than a stellar driving record, there are things that you can do to become a more reliable driver.

Not only will this be beneficial to you and others on the road, but your car insurance premiums will also start to decrease and will continue to do so the longer you have a safe driving record.

If you have had some traffic violations or accidents in your past, you may want to consider taking a safe driving, or defensive driving course.

Once you take a safe driving course, and you begin to practice these tips on the road, you will probably notice that your speeding tickets and accidents will decrease or disappear.

Depending on the severity of your traffic violations, they will stay on your driving record for a certain amount of time.

Is being a safe driver the only way to get cheap insurance rates?

Being a safe driver is the best thing you can do to ensure low car insurance rates because the insurance companies will reward you for being a careful driver and want to encourage you to continue to drive safely.

Other factors will help lower your insurance rates, but not as much as having a safe driving record.

Many insurance companies offer discounts for things such as:

  • Vehicle safety features
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Multiple policies
  • Loyalty discounts

Car insurance discounts can help you save a lot of money on your insurance. However, every provider has a different set of discounts available and qualifications for eligibility.

Do some research and always compare several car insurance quotes before committing to a policy for your new or used car.

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