Learn about the 4 main factors and what you can do to lower your bills

Did you get a bit of a shock when you saw your last car insurance bill? You’re certainly not the only one, as rates keep rising. According to a new report, they are actually 20 percent higher than they were just seven years ago. And some states have seen increases of more than 60 percent.

Right now, the average yearly rate across the country is $1,427. In Florida, it’s significantly higher. At $1,878, the Sunshine State has the fifth highest premiums in the U.S. So, what gives? Several factors come into play when insurance companies calculate their rates, including:

Credit scores

For better or worse, your credit score has a big impact on many things in your life. If you have a good one, not only does this give you better buying opportunities, it usually means you won’t have to pay as much. People with credit scores below 600 will pay more – perhaps as much as $1,400 more – than those with credit scores above 800.

Extra cars on the roads

If you do a lot of driving, you may have noticed more people on the roads with you. One reason for this could be due to lower gas prices, which is encouraging longer and more frequent trips. And because employment is up, workers need to get to and from their jobs. While both are good, with extra vehicles out and about, this means a higher rate of accidents, especially in urban settings. When the number of accidents goes up, so do insurance premiums.

Better technology

Standard, no-frills autos are hard to come by these days. Most newer cars now have tech features like backup cameras and automatic emergency braking. And while great for safety, this often isn’t so good for insurance rates. For one thing, these features usually make a car more expensive. They may also be costly to fix or replace.

More distractions

In addition to the technology built into cars, more drivers are now bringing their own tech along every time they go for a ride. Distractions related to smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are now one of the main causes of accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 almost 400,000 people were hurt in accidents due to distractions. In 2016, nearly 3,500 people were killed. Because there are more accidents, the cost of insurance has gone up. And if you’re wondering how much your premiums will rise if you get caught texting or doing something else with your phone while driving, the increase may be as high as 40 percent.

3 ways to lower your rates

Just because rates are going up doesn’t mean you can’t do something about them. These tactics can be a big help:

Bundle up

Chances are you’re insuring more than just your car. If you bundle your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with your auto policy, this could save you a lot of money.

Raise your credit score

As mentioned, a low credit score will cost you. Actively working to raise it will almost certainly result in more money in your pocket.

See what other companies are offering

You may like your insurance company, but don’t assume they’re giving you the best rates. To find potentially better deals, be sure to see what other companies are offering on a regular basis.

If you’re not happy with your current insurance rates, get in touch with Avante. We’ll give you a quick free quote and let you know how much we could save you. To speak with an insurance pro, you can call us at 305-648-7070.