Money Power: Five things that can hike your insurance premium
BY KIMBERLY LANKFORD Money Power
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 5:18 AM
Actuaries at insurance companies spend their careers looking for statistical nuances that can justify higher premiums.
Some of the criteria are surprising. Each insurer has its own rules, so it's important to shop around before buying.
1. Your credit score: Auto insurance companies have found that people with low credit scores are more likely to get into accidents, so they charge them more when they can.
2. Your home's claims history: Insurers share information on homeowners claims for up to seven years through the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE.
3. Your car's horsepower: You'd expect a Porsche to cost more to insure than a Toyota Camry. But even a six-cylinder Camry is more expensive to insure than the four-cylinder model.
4. Your driving record: Your record of moving violations can affect your rates for life and health insurance, in addition to car insurance.
5. Your colleagues: Your health insurance at work is based on the average risk of the employee group. If your colleagues tend to be older and prone to illness, your premiums will generally be higher.
Original Print Headline: Five things that can hike your insurance premium
Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the author of "Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions" (Kaplan, $18.95). To send her a question or comment, go to tulsaworld.com/kiplingerfeedback.