Understanding How To Find The Right Car Insurance To Fit Your Budget

When shopping around for the best rates of car insurance, there are a lot of factors that influence the price of the insurance policy, which impacts how much coverage you may have and at what cost. Factors that may impact your insurance costs include:

  • Car make and model
  • Age of the driver
  • Driving record
  • Car insurance history
  • Zip Code
  • Coverage options and deductibles

Understanding what influences the cost of your car insurance will help you navigate the process of selecting the correct type of coverage for you. That said, there are ways to lower your car insurance costs, such as comparison shopping, finding discounts, considering changes to coverage and deductibles, and bundling different insurance options like auto, home, and life.

Car Make And Model


One of the primary considerations that insurance agencies consider is the year, make, and model of the insured car. The newer the vehicle, the greater the likelihood that insurance policies will be more expensive. The reason for this is two-fold. 

First, the more expensive the car, the greater the cost of repairing it due to resale and trade-in values and thus, requiring higher insurance coverage. Secondly, most lien-holders with rights to the title, such as a bank, require more coverage than older cars with a bit of left on the loan. Again, resale and trade-in values are significant in determining the level of coverage and price of insurance. 

Age Of The Driver

Insurers have data over the years showing trends and risks associated with every type of driver and at every age. However, these data points are formulaic as far as insurers are concerned with determining a price range for coverage. In other words, at different ages, insurance coverage could vary.

Driving Record

In addition to the driver’s age, other risk factors such as previous driving history are considered in price determinations. For example, a driver with multiple traffic violations is regarded as a higher risk than an older driver who has never had any traffic violations or accidents. But, risks of older drivers, such as night vision or highway hypnosis, are part of the evaluation.

What is highway hypnosis, you may ask? The concept of highway hypnosis is when you drive for a period of time and long distances and become tired. Additionally, DUI/DWI sentences can make people looking for insurance have to pay premium costs or might be uninsurable altogether. 

Car Insurance History

Another factor in determining the price of insurance is the owner’s car insurance history. If there are gaps in coverage or a lack of insurance history, it may lead to higher prices. This is because insurers see gaps or a lack of history in coverage as a potential risk, and those risks increase potential coverage costs. 

Zip Code

The city and area you live in may impact your car insurance prices. For example, there can be weather concerns, higher theft rates, vandalism, or accidents. Additionally, your car usage becomes a consideration as the farther you drive, the more wear and tear on the vehicle, leading to potential mechanical malfunctions that could increase the risk of accidents. 

Coverage Options And Deductibles

Choosing different coverage options – such as liability, uninsured motorist coverage, and medical expense coverage – may raise or lower the cost of coverage. Another critical factor in determining the overall cost of your car insurance is the level of deductibles included in the policy. 

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. However, this means that the threshold is on the owner, and not the insurer, to pay for repairs in case of accident or damage. Conversely, the lower the deductible, the owner would pay less toward repairs, but that trade-off comes with higher premiums. 

Price Comparisons

Shop around between car insurance brokers to find a policy that meets your needs, and at a cost that you can afford. There are discount brokers that offer bare minimum coverage and don’t require long-term contracts that may suit your short-term needs. 

Utilizing a contract-free policy may buy you added time to find a coverage plan that fits your budget, especially if you’ve had some adverse credit and driving history that may be coming off your record soon. 

Most states require some level of car insurance. Finding the right plan at a price that makes sense for your budget takes a little research, but in the end, that research will pay off. 

Show More