5 Factors You Didn't Know Determined Your Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates can sometimes be a mystery. Why do you pay more for car insurance than your neighbor, and why does your cousin pay more than you do? Here are 5 factors other than your driving record that go into determining how much you will pay to be insured on the road. 


If you've ever had a teenage driver in your home, you are aware of this factor. People between the ages of 16 and 19 are more at risk than anyone else for getting into car accidents. These new drivers are still gaining experience and learning to interpret what other cars are doing on the road. They may also be easily distracted by friends, phones and other things going on around them. 

What might surprise most people is that older drivers tend to have lower car insurance premiums. Retired people over the age of 55 often see a drop in their rates. 


According to Forbes, men pay higher insurance rates than women do. This is because research has shown that women cause fewer accidents than men do. Women in general tend to speed less, not drive under the influence of alcohol and not drive aggressively. One study showed that more than 80 percent of fatal car accidents are caused by men. 

Your Credit History

Car insurance companies do take your credit history into account when determining your insurance rates. Your ability and willingness to pay your bills makes a statement about your level of responsibility. Insurance companies also want to be confident that you are going to pay your premiums on time and in full. 

Your Organization Memberships

Many car insurance companies will offer discounts based on organizations where you are a member. Ask you insurance provider for a list. Two common organizations that can save you money on insurance are AAA and AARP. Find out if a membership with these groups would be worth getting. 

Your Job

Your job also plays a role in your car insurance rates. Your career choice can indicate where on the risk assessment chart you fall. Sometimes these judgments seem to be logical. For example if you drive your car all day for your job, you are probably going to have a higher insurance rate. Other times the statistics have more unusual correlations. DMV.org states that nurses, teachers, artists, accountants, pilots and scientists tend to have better driving records than doctors, lawyers, real estate professionals, business owners, architects and salespeople. 

Determining the risk of getting into a car accident is tricky business. That's why car insurance companies collect mountains of statistics and hire professionals whose only job is to crunch those numbers. The next time you wonder why you pay what you do for auto insurance, keep these five factors in mind.