Having a long commute to work can cost you more than the extra gasoline you’ll use. Commuters need to carefully consider the impact their daily driving habits will have on their car insurance rates.
HOW RATES ARE CALCULATED
When shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand how insurance companies decide how much your policy premiums will be.
- While the insurance companies consider a number of variables that will determine your rate, they’re ultimately trying to see how much risk they’re assuming by insuring you and your car.
- How risky your policy is depends on many factors such as your driving history, how safe your vehicle is, and how expensive your vehicle would be to repair or replace.
But, one factor people don’t often associate with affecting their rates is their daily commute.
WHY COMMUTING MATTERS
Individuals who drive longer distances to and from their place of employment spend more time on the road which means they are more likely to be in an accident or get a traffic ticket. These individuals can expect higher insurance rates because their commute makes them riskier in the eyes of insurance companies.
Your commute into work may raise your risk factor in ways you haven’t thought about. If you work in an urban area and park in an unsecured parking lot every day, your car is more likely to be vandalized or stolen. Even if you live in a safe, suburban neighborhood and park your car in a garage every night, your commute is increasing the risk factor associated with your insurance policy.
HOW MUCH WILL YOUR COMMUTE COST?
While your commute makes you riskier to insure, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get cheap car insurance.
- Each insurance company determines their own guidelines regarding how mileage will affect your premium.
- It’s important to do your research and compare different insurers to find out how much they’ll charge you for your extra miles.
- In some cases, your long commute may raise your premiums $20 or more per month, while other commuters may only see a $5 per month increase.
WAYS TO SAVE IF YOU COMMUTE
If you love your job and you don’t want to move from where you currently live, there isn’t much you can do to decrease the distance between home and work. However, there are some things you can do to get cheap insurance despite your daily commute:
- Shop Around- Comparison shopping can dramatically affect your premium costs because some companies charge more for higher-mileage drivers than others.
- Use Public Transportation- While this isn’t an option for many drivers, some can significantly decrease their annual mileage by utilizing public transportation at least some of the time.
- Carpool- If you have coworkers who live near you, consider starting a carpool. This will likely mean cheap car insurance rates for everyone who participates, and, as an added bonus, you’ll all spend less on gas.