How Your Job Status Can Affect Car Insurance Rates
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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
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Your job status may affect your car insurance rates based on how that status affects other factors that play a part in setting your premiums. Simply being employed or unemployed by itself may not necessarily be a factor in the price of your premium, but how that status directly affects other aspects related to your driving and bill paying may indirectly affect your car insurance rates.
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Effects of Unemployment
Unemployment may play a part in lowering or raising your premium rates. If you are without work and are having trouble paying your bills on time, your credit score and report may be damaged. Credit scores are typically taken into account when an insurance company sets premiums, notes the Georgia Commissioner of Insurance Office.
Damaged credit and low credit scores may increase your premium because insurance companies can view such data as a reflection of your ability to pay your bills on time, or at all.
The greater the risk you pose to the insurance company, the higher your rates may be. Risk factors can include everything from a terrible driving record to a poor credit report. The Georgia Commissioner of Insurance warns very poor credit reports may even hamper your ability to secure an insurance policy at all from specific companies.
Another way unemployment can affect your car insurance rates is what it does to the use of your car. If you are unemployed and suddenly not driving your vehicle very frequently, your rates may go down based on the low mileage you are accruing. On the other hand, if unemployment results in you driving greater distances on a job hunt, your rates may be higher due to high mileage.
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Effects of Changing Jobs
Changing jobs may play a part on your car insurance rates for the same reasons unemployment can. If your new job has dramatically increased your commute, higher mileage may result in higher rates. Likewise, a closer job and shorter commute may bring your insurance rates down.
Location may be an additional factor, with different insurance rates offered in different states. High-crime areas that increase the risk of car vandalism, damage, or theft may boost your premiums.
The type of job you have may also affect your rates. A desk job that involves vehicle use only to get to and from work may be more likely to merit lower car insurance premiums that a job that involves heavy vehicle use.
Jobs that require your own vehicle use for deliveries, news assignments, house calls and other traveling are likely to bring a higher premium. The more you use your car throughout the day, the higher the risk of collisions and other vehicle accidents.
The type of use your vehicle endures can be a factor. Heavy deliveries or transporting passengers, animals or hazardous materials can help send a premium upwards. You can most likely bet a cab driver or tow truck owner will see higher rates than an accountant or other office-oriented profession.
Effects of Self-Employment
A job status of self-employed can work in a similar manner when it comes to your car insurance rates. Being self-employed and working from home may dramatically reduce your premiums if you no longer use your car to commute. If you still use your car for frequent road trips and pleasure drives, however, the overall mileage may not dip enough to earn you lower premiums.
Self-employment often typically comes with the need to use your personal vehicle for all business purposes. You can no longer hop in the company truck when you need to deliver heavy equipment or chase a news story. Once again, the type of work you do may play a part in your rates, as is the type of cargo and destinations it requires.
Ways to Keep Your Rates Lower
There are several measures that can help keep your insurance rates lower, regardless of your job type, location, and status. Using public transportation to get to work or to job hunt can cut down on overall mileage. Car-pooling is another idea if you know of others traveling to the same destination or even the same general direction.
Purchasing a separate vehicle for business purposes may require additional funds from the get-go, but it may also save you money on insurance.
If you frequently carry dirty or heavy loads for your work, for example, you may want to research buying a heavy duty yet used or inexpensive vehicle that can stand up to abuse more effectively than your family sedan.
Companies that produce cheaper vehicles usually have lower car insurance rates, as are older models. Such a move may save you money on car insurance as well as the need to replace your personal vehicle that can easily become damaged or worn down from a high-use occupation.
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