If you aren't getting tickets or getting into accidents, car insurance premiums generally go down over time as your insurer rewards you for both your loyalty and for your increased experience as a driver. However, it's also possible that your insurance will go up. You may be able to reverse the increase, however. In some cases, you can get the insurer to change its mind. In others, you can change the insurer.
Fighting an Increase
Call your insurer and ask why the rate was increased. Some premium increases are in reaction to an increase in insurance rates approved by your state's insurance commissioner. It's hard to get around those. Others come from a change in your insurance status. If you get a ticket or are ruled at-fault in an accident, your rates will probably go up. Your rates may also go up for other reasons, including a change in your credit score.
Provide information to your insurer to prove that the increase was based on false information. For instance, if your rate goes up for a ticket that is subsequently overturned, you may be able to get back in your insurer's good graces by submitting documentation of this fact. Your insurer will tell you what is necessary, but usually a court document or an updated driving record printout will suffice. Providing an updated driving record can be important since many insurers don't pull driving records very often. If they pull a record with a ticket, it could be years until they see a correction.
Supply a corrected credit report to your insurer, or have the credit bureau send a notification of changes to your report. When your insurance rates go up because of derogatory information on your credit report, your insurer will notify and give you the right to pull a free report. Once you provide evidence to the credit bureau that the negative information is incorrect and it gets removed from your report, you can have the credit bureau notify any recipient of the erroneous report of the correction.
Give evidence of any other changes or mistakes to your insurer.
Contact your state's insurance commissioner if you think that your insurer isn't being responsive to your requests to fix a premium increase that is based on bad information. While the commissioner may not always be able to help you, it is another resource that you can leverage.
Switch insurers. If you are with an insurer that specializes in drivers with a blemish-free record and you get in an accident, for instance, you may end up finding a lower rate from a company that works with drivers with imperfect driving histories.
Other Ways to Reduce Premiums
Drop unnecessary coverage. If you drive an older car with little value, your collision and comprehensive coverage may not be worth carrying. Medical payment coverage might duplicate your existing health insurance, as well.
Increase your car insurance deductibles for collision and comprehensive. While increasing your deductible means that you'll have to pay more if you get into an accident or your car gets stolen, it also means that your premium will be less.
Ask your insurer what discounts are available. For instance, if your insurer offers a good student discount and you aren't receiving it, sending in your transcript could reduce your premium.
- Esurance: Your Credit Score Doesn't Affect Your Rate
- CarsDirect.com: Why Do Auto Insurance Rates Increase Despite No Accidents or Violations
- The Law Dictionary: Why Did Geico Increase My Auto Insurance Rate for No Reason?
- Time: Got Caught Speeding? Your Insurer Might Never Find Out
- Federal Trade Commission: Disputing Errors on Credit Reports
- Texas Department of Insurance: Helping You with Your Insurance Complaint
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.