Not just your driving record and type of car you drive can affect your insurance rates.
Consumer Reports has found that insurance companies are now using bill paying and loan data collected from major credit companies to determine what your monthly payment will be, in some cases raising rates as much as 25-47%.
Even though the data from which these scores are derived is often out-dated and inaccurate, most states allow insurance companies to use it for credit scoring purposes. Consumer advocates are trying to get legislatures to ban this sort of scoring, but so far they have been unsuccessful. Lobbyists for the insurance industry, on the other hand, have succeeded in stopping such legislation in Colorado, Delaware, and Minnesota.
Consumer Reports offers the following tips to those shopping for the best insurance rate:
- Shop around. Each insurer calculates their rates differently, so the more options you have the better you’ll be.
- Ask about your score. Some insurers will give you details if you ask.
- Ask about exceptions. Some insurers may rescore you if your score was adversely affected by divorce, Hurricane Katrina, job loss, death of a family member, or serious illness.
Resource: Consumer Union report about the case for banning credit information in insurance.