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Understanding Insurance Variables: The Insured Party

Toying with different levels or types of coverage is just one way that a person can exercise control over their policy's overall cost; however, many people do not realize the litany of personal factors (things unrelated to your policy's limits, levels, and liabilities) they can manage in order to ensure that the best rates are afforded to them upon renewal or switching providers. Some of these factors are passive, meaning you cannot expect to control them but you can certainly plan around them, whereas others are directly correlated to your personal choices, such as driving history or interactions with previous policies. This section discusses both of these classes as they relate to the insured party or, put another way, the individual who "owns" the policy.

Knowledge is most certainly power in either case, and it behooves all car insurance shoppers to educate themselves about their personal profile when the time comes to consider new policies. Pick any of the articles we have prepared on each major personal factor from the list below to learn about what your personal characteristics say about your ability to get a cost-effective policy.

Passive Personal Factors

Personal qualities, such as age and gender, are beyond a person's control and thus will not translate directly into better personal choices when it comes to controlling the cost or quality of a future policy. In cases such as these, it would benefit you to know what's coming down the pike (e.g. understanding that a policy will become less expensive once you reach a certain age) in order that you may plan for the change when you renew.

The Gender Battle: Male Drivers vs. Female Drivers

Men may be from Mars, but do they take it in the shorts when it comes to paying for a policy? Are women given better rates because they are thought to be better drivers? Does gender actually matter at all?

» How Your Gender Impacts Your Policy

Another Day, A Different Driver?

There are many suspicions that permeate the car insurance zeitgeist concerning the topic of age, such as the much beloved insurance premium drop at the age of 25. Does this actually occur? Are there other milestone ages which weigh heavily on price?

» How Your Age Impacts Your Policy

Direct Personal Factors

Classic examples of things you would be able to control include your driving record, timeliness or frequency of previous renewals, how often you switch carriers, your current level of education or occupation, and your physical location. These are usually factors most people do not consider themselves to control directly and, because of this assumption, they will either forget or fail to realize such choices (such as moving or frequently switching carriers) can adversely impact their rate.

Single Policy vs. Joint or Family Policies

Should you go it alone or combine your policy when insuring your family? What about your child - when does it make sense to add them? Are there other circumstances under which you can share one policy amongst multiple drivers? Is the addition of multiple drivers onto one policy even a good idea?

» When to Combine Policies

Driving Habits and Your Official Record

We all know that driving carefully is the safest way to travel - and to guarantee a low rate - but what happens when you make a bad choice and get busted? What about two? Or three? What other sorts of historical driving indicators will change the cost of your policy?

» How Risky Driving Practices Change Your Rates

Does Your Job or Your Level of Education Level Change Your Rates?

You stay out of trouble with the law. You pay your bills on-time. You drive an economy car. But yet, somehow, you still hear other people with more infractions or fancier cars paying less for their insurance than you do. Then it dawns on you: maybe their occupation or education are playing a part in their premium?

» How Your Job & Your Education Affect Your Rates

Gettin' Hitched: Why Marriage Changes Your Rates

There are many benefits to marriage, one of which is a sometimes-sizeable reduction in your car insurance rate. Why does this happen? Why ought not single people qualify? Are all married couples guaranteed to experience a reduction? Learn more about how tying the knot can save you a lot here.

» Why Your Rates Go Down When You Get Married

Driving Outside of the USA

If you are one of the many drivers who travel outside the country or abroad from time to time, it is important to understand international vehicle insurance rules and regulations to protect yourself in the event of an incident. Learn more about international insurance policies and procedures.

» International Drivers and Driving Abroad