So what exactly is happening that is making your insurance go up? Well, the big one today is the increase in distracted drivers causing accidents. With texting while driving being illegal now in the state of Mississippi, you can bet your insurance will go up if you’re ticketed for it. The second reason insurance is increasing is due to something called insurance steering. I’m not going to get into this, but if you’re in an accident and your agent or claim adjuster recommends a particular shop for the repairs, they have committed a crime in Mississippi. The last factor in the increase in costs that I will touch on is the fact that gas prices are so low. Yes, low gas prices costs you more in insurance premiums! The reasoning behind that is simple, lower gas prices mean more people are driving more often than when prices are high. This means more accidents.
So now that we have some reasons as to why prices are going up, let’s look at some other factors in your premiums. First let’s touch on what information actually determines your premium. Of course everyone understands that if you have tickets or accidents then you’re going to be paying more and rightly so. Another big factor to the mysterious equation is age. The younger you are, the more you pay. The “magic” number for most companies is 26 years old. This is when you start saving on your insurance because of your age. Under that, and expect big premiums. The other factors that determine the premium is where you live (zipcode), marital status, if you have prior insurance coverage, and what type of license you have. These factors are almost always considered in rating your premium.
The other side of determining your premium is what discounts you qualify for. The larger insurance companies like Progressive and State Farm want to attract the safest risks while avoiding the bad ones. They do this by offering discounts. Common discounts you may be aware of are mutli-car, multi-policy, good driver, safe driver, homeowner, paperless billing, and if you’re willing to have your payment automatically drafted each month. People can save a lot if they qualify for these discounts. However, there are other little known discounts that can really add up! Companies are now giving discounts if you’ve owned your current car for an extended amount of time, discounts depending on your occupation, shopping your insurance around before your current insurance expires, and loyalty discounts for staying with your company for longer than 5 years. Again, these can really add up when you look at the bottom line. You should always check with your agent and make sure you are getting all of the discounts you qualify for. Many people are missing out on these opportunities.
So, insurance is a mess, not only in Mississippi, but across the whole nation. The best way to ensure you are getting the lowest rates is to make sure your insurance agent is working for you and not for themselves. Insurance agents are paid on a commission basis. This means the lower your premium, the less money they make! Rest assure though that there are some honest agents out there who want to do what’s best for you and not themselves. At Freeman Insurance, that is our bread and butter! Call us today and get your free quote and make sure your payments are as low as possible. We certainly don’t always come in the lowest, but we are honest when it is your best interest to shop around elsewhere and will point you in the right direction.