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What Actions Raise Your Automobile Insurance in PA

It’s Complicated. As a Pennsylvania driver, your insurance premium is the product of a very complex calculation involving many, often hundreds, of factors. Determining exactly what single factor or combination of factors resulted in a higher premium for you can sometimes be difficult, but there are several common variables that you can look to first when trying to understand the reason for your premium increase and what actions raise your automobile insurance.

Across-the-Board Increases

Before we talk about your individual factors, it’s important to remember that rates can, and often do, go up even when you do not change anything: the weight that your insurer gives to any given variable can change over time, resulting in a potential premium increase for you. And very often, rate increases are implemented that affect all policyholders insured by a given underwriting company. Like many other goods and services, the cost of insurance will increase with the rising cost of living, and the rising cost of services that affect auto insurance directly, like healthcare, auto parts and repairs. Even trends in accidents and highway safety can impact the cost of insurance for all drivers in a given state or company.

14 Reasons Your Insurance May Have Gone Up

1) Change of address

Geography is a big factor for auto insurance. If you’ve moved recently to a zip code that your insurance company determines to represent a higher risk for drivers, that could be a potential reason for your premium increase. The new distance between your home and work (your commute) can also be a factor in rating your policy. The more miles you drive, the more exposure to risk you present.

2) Your age
Very young and very old drivers represent statistically riskier groups than other age cohorts. Premiums for very young drivers will typically decrease as they approach age 25, and premiums for older drivers will usually increase as they approach or surpass age 70, in keeping with changes in reaction times for that age cohort, and its associated risk of accidents. These factors will vary by carrier.

3) Recent violations
If you’ve gotten a ticket for a moving violation recently, your insurance premium will most likely be impacted negatively. Speeding, running a red light, distracted driving, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, or worse, a DUI, are just a few examples. A recently suspended license, resulting from any number of violation types, can also count against you and make your rate higher.

4) Recent insurance claims
If you’ve been in an accident resulting in a claim, or if you’ve made a car insurance claim for any other reason, your insurance will often go up as a result. Some carriers, however, do excuse some accidents, often through an “accident forgiveness” policy that may excuse your first accident. Your claims history will be a factor in determining your rate, whether or not a related accident was your fault.

5) Adding a driver
Have you added a driver to your policy recently? A newly licensed driver in your household or other recently added drivers who are covered under your policy will, all else being equal, drive up your premium. You should also remember that any change in motor vehicle violations history or other risk factors for any rated driver on your policy can affect your premium.

6) Adding or changing vehicles
You will pay more to insure any additional vehicles you’ve added, as there is more property and exposure to risk that will need to be insured. But even if you maintain the same number of vehicles on your policy, replacing any one of them with another make, model or model year (upgrading your 2015 Honda Civic to a 2018 Honda Civic, for instance) will potentially increase your premium if your new vehicles are rated differently by your carrier. Several factors can weigh into the cost to insure a given vehicle, including its likelihood to be stolen, its safety features, its value or purchase price and its cost to repair relative to other vehicles. If you’ve recently financed or leased a vehicle, your financing or leasing company will require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, in addition to the minimum required coverages like liability and medical payments. If you are buying additional coverage now because of a financing or leasing arrangement, this can add to your premium.

7) Changing how you use your vehicle
If you are going to use your vehicle for commercial purposes rather than exclusively for personal use, you are likely to pay more for your insurance. Most commercial uses will require you to carry commercial insurance, while occasional use for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft may require you to add a rideshare endorsement to your personal auto policy, depending on the carrier.

8) Your credit score has declined
Most states, including Pennsylvania, allow insurance companies to use credit as a factor in setting rates. While this may seem strange, credit has been shown to have strong predictive value for auto insurance risk.

9) You’ve selected higher limits or lower deductibles
If you’ve recently selected greater coverage, whether by choosing higher limits or lower deductibles, you should expect to pay more. If you are currently shopping around, be sure to compare quoted premiums across companies using the same coverages with the same limits and deductibles. This way you will be comparing apples to apples.

10) Your marital status has changed
Statistically speaking, a divorced, single or separated status represents a higher risk exposure than a married status. If you’ve moved from being married to divorced or separated, you should expect a premium increase, all other factors being equal.

11) Lapse in insurance coverage
If you have gone without coverage for any period of time, for whatever reason, your insurance premium will very likely increase even if nothing else on your policy has changed.

12) Temporary discounts
Many insurance companies will offer introductory discounts to new customers that will apply, typically, to your first policy term. When these discounts roll off, you may notice an increase in your premium. Check your declarations page (“dec page”) to see if any discounts have changed or no longer apply.

13) Your carrier did not run motor vehicle reports until after you purchased your policy
Though not common practice for most carriers, you may find that your premium increases when your policy is issued because your policy premium was calculated with incomplete information at the time you were quoted a price. If your agent binds your policy with incomplete motor vehicle information, your rate could be re-calculated within the first 60 days if you have motor vehicle violations that can weigh against you. To avoid this scenario, be sure to ask if your motor vehicle history has been applied to your rate before your policy is bound.

14) You dropped a bundled coverage and lost a discount
If your auto coverage was bundled with another policy, such as a homeowner policy, and you have recently un-bundled that policy to purchase it from a company other than your auto insurer, you can expect a higher premium. Also, if your premium was subject to a homeowner discount and you no longer own a home, your premium could be affected.

Don’t pay too much for your auto coverage. Get the facts, know about companies in PA, the discounts you may be eligible for and make a smart purchase. If you are looking for great value when it comes to affordable car insurance in PA, consider Plymouth Rock Assurance. Plymouth Rock offers quality auto, renters and homeowner coverage, great customer service and industry-leading claims service. Call Plymouth Rock today at 855-993-4470, get your free quote online or find a local agent.

Plymouth Rock Assurance is a marketing name used by a group of separate companies that write and manage property and casualty insurance in multiple states. Insurance in Pennsylvania is underwritten by Palisades Insurance Company, Palisades Property and Casualty Insurance Company and High Point Preferred Insurance Company.

Call 855-993-4470, get your free quote online, or find an agent to learn more about what actions raise your automobile insurance. Visit our contact us page if you need to call us with additional questions.