Insurance companies use broadly the same factors to determine the rate they charge customers, even if each company gives more or less weight to each factor. They also have historical statistics that will influence the rate setting. Generally, these factors are:

  • Age and gender: Typically younger drivers pay higher premiums, while women pay lower rates;
  • Location: Within the state, your ZIP code will tell insurers if you live in a more populous or higher crime zone, influencing the risks of accidents and theft;
  • Driving record and claims history: Your 3 to 5 year history will have a significant impact on premiums charged. Older history is seldom taken into account;
  • Vehicle type: The year, make and model of your car affects the rates you pay. Some cars are safer than others, get stolen more often or are expensive to repair;
  • Driving patterns: Your mileage per day or per year, commuting or long distance, the way your car is used influences the risks of accident.