Auto insurance companies look at multiple factors to determine your auto insurance rates. Many of these variables are out of your control. A key uncontrollable variable that impacts your premiums is the crime rate in your area. The crime rate is calculated by dividing the overall number of reported crimes by the total population.
Here’s a look at how staying in a high-crime area may impact your insurance rates.
Dangers of High Population Areas
Many auto insurance companies believe that the crime rate in your area has a direct correlation to your level of risk. Generally, higher theft rates, vandalism, and accidents occur in highly populated urban areas compared to rural areas. Therefore, urban residents generally pay higher auto insurance premiums compared to people who stay in rural areas.
While you don’t have much control over staying in a densely populated area with high crime levels, it will factor into the increased cost of your auto insurance premium. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reveals that four of the most common areas for auto theft were in California. Other states with a high volume of auto theft include New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Kansas, and Missouri.
Look for Discounts
While you may be alarmed at your insurance rates, be aware that you may qualify for multiple discounts that will lower your auto insurance policy rates. Installing enhanced safety features such as alarm systems and steering wheel locks can help you qualify for a discount even if you reside in a high-crime area. Installing new safety features makes your car harder to steal while decreasing the possibilities of vandalism and break-ins, so auto insurance companies might decrease your premiums because they don’t have to spend often for claims.
Many of the newer vehicle models are equipped with built-in security features, such as cut-off engine systems. Other popular anti-theft features on new vehicles include smart keys, fuel disablers, brake locks, audible alarms, fuse cut-offs, window etching, ignition authentication, and identification markers on vehicles. Having these features can help you enjoy substantial savings on your auto insurance premiums.
Where You Park Matters
Parking locations are another variable that auto insurance carriers analyze when figuring out your premiums. Parking your car on the street with a lot of activity increases the risks associated with your car, causing insurance carriers to increase your premium. Some insurance companies provide discounts to drivers who park their cars in a garage or a safe facility. Parking your car in a garage drastically reduces its chances of being stolen. It’s recommended that you check with your insurance agent to figure out the conditions for your car being classified as garaged.
You may be required to keep your car in the garage for an extended period before qualifying for a discount. Also, consider learning about the differences in advantages of parking your car in different garages. For example, parking in a multi-level garage or detached garage may offer fewer savings compared to parking in an attached garage. Insurers may also offer you a different discount based on whether your car is parked in a public garage or a private garage.
Consult with Humble & Davenport Insurance Brokers, Inc.
While the local crime rate does have an impact on your auto insurance policy, installing new safety features can help offset a potential increase in premiums. If you have any questions about your auto insurance policy, you can contact us here at Humble & Davenport Insurance Brokers, Inc. Our team will assist you in creating a personalized insurance plan for all your needs.