As a college student, it can be difficult to pay for tuition—let alone normal day-to-day expenses like rent, groceries, and auto insurance. A quick comparison between your auto insurance premium and a few of your friends' and family members' premiums might leave you with even more questions, since insurance carriers use complex demographic data to determine rates and fees. Here are two strange factors that could be affecting your auto insurance premiums and what you can do to lower your monthly bill.
1. Your Employment Status
Your last job at the smoothie stand down the street might not seem like a pertinent detail to include on your auto insurance application, but leaving it out might create a gap in your employment history, which could affect your rates.
Insurance companies look at your employment history and your occupation to determine your risk level for getting into accidents. The more sporadic your employment history and the higher your chances are for changing jobs, the higher your premiums will be. For example, one consumer advocacy group studying insurance rates found that people who had a steady employment history and a higher education level enjoyed auto insurance premiums that were 68% lower than their counterparts without those beneficial factors.
Unfortunately, those employment characteristics aren't always completely indicative of your ability to avoid accidents. For example, if you are a college student who has recently relocated to attend school, you might take a job as a night teller at a convenience store because of the flooded job market in your college town. Although working your way through school is typically regarded as a responsible thing to do, this action might act as a red flag to your auto insurer.
To keep your auto insurance rates low, focus on keeping a steady job history. Instead of quitting your normal job when you go away to school, ask your employer if you can be marked as a "seasonal" employee while you are away. In addition to keeping your auto insurance rates in check, you might also be able to pick up a few extra shifts when you head home for the holidays.
2. How Much You Drive
Have you ever wondered why your auto insurance asks you if you are insuring your "primary vehicle"? Although you might assume that he or she is asking to determine ownership of the car, they actually might be asking to estimate how many miles you will put on the car every week to determine your monthly insurance premium.
The simple fact of the matter is that the more you are on the road, the higher your chances are for getting into an accident, which is why many insurance companies offer discounted rates to people who drive less. These insurance plans, commonly referred to as "pay as you go" plans, can be personalized depending on your driving habits, slashing your monthly auto insurance premium by as much as 50%.
To take advantage of low-mileage auto insurance plans, it is important to be familiar with the number of miles you put on your car weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Think about how much you drive when you are in school versus how much you drive when you head home for the summer. If you know that you typically park your car for the week during school and walk to campus every day, you might be well under the mileage limit to enjoy those discounts.
For more information about how to lower your car insurance premiums without affecting your coverage, contact an auto insurance carrier, such as Gateway Insurance, today to speak with an agent. You might be surprised to see how much you can save by taking a few extra steps.