Insurify’s Researcher and Insurance Expert Discuss Auto Insurance

Car lights on dark highway

MP recently chatted with Emily Leff, a researcher at Insurify, and Tanveen Vohra, an insurance expert at Insurify to learn more about Insurify’s cost projections report and more related to insurance.

What is Insurify, and why is it unique?

TV: Insurify is a digital insurance agent and insurance quote comparison platform that helps users make smarter choices about their car insurance. Insurify’s patented AI technology matches users with the best car insurance deals tailored to their specific profile, allowing them to compare up to 20 personalized car insurance quotes and buy a policy all in one place.

What is Insurify’s auto insurance cost projections report, and how is the information obtained?

EL: Insurify’s Insuring the American Driver report is an annual investigation into the unique 2021 car insurance landscape, identifying and analyzing the factors that have most significantly affected insurance costs. To compile the report, Insurify’s data science and research team analyzed quoting data from over 40 million auto insurance premiums. Insurance cost projections for 2022 were calculated by projections modeled from historical premium trends from Insurify’s proprietary database that more strongly weighted recent fluctuations.

Auto insurance rates have been rising as of late. Why is this the case?

TV: Recent rises in auto insurance rates are a combination of inflation as well as consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates of reckless driving behaviors on American roads have increased following some of the lockdown measures early in 2020. For example, driving-related fatalities per mile driven increased 26% in the period between March and May 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, which is only 3% lower than 2020 highs. Additionally, according to a survey of over 1,000 drivers carried out by Insurify, 44% drivers witnessed more aggressive driving on the roads in 2021. It’s not out of the question that these increased levels of reckless driving behavior and fatality rates may be contributing to the surge in auto insurance rates.

Generally, which factors are considered when calculating auto insurance?

TV: It’s tough to rank factors in terms of importance, as each insurance provider weighs them differently when calculating rates.

In no particular order:

Your driving record

Moving violations like a speeding ticket, DUI, or at-fault accident increase your premium.

The vehicle you’re driving

This comes down to how hard it is to replace your car parts in the event of a claim.

Your location

City, state, down to your ZIP code.

Your credit score

This practice is banned in some states.

Your age

Drivers under 25 are considered higher risk than other age groups because they lack experience on the road and are more likely to file a claim, leading to higher insurance premiums.

Your profession

What are the most common ways to reduce auto insurance policy rates?

TV: The number one way to reduce your car insurance premium is to compare quotes before buying a policy. Insurance providers vary in how they weigh risk—therefore they vary in how much they charge you for car insurance. By comparing quotes, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.

  1. Bundle your auto insurance policy with your home or renter’s insurance.
  2. Insure multiple vehicles on the same policy.
  3. Keep a clean driving record.
  4. Improve your credit score (if you live in a state where credit is used as a rate-setting factor).
  5. Apply for discounts.

Most auto insurance companies provide safe driving, good student, clean driving record, program membership, and other discounts. Are there discounts available on personal insurance plans for owning or leading a business?

TV: Insurance companies sometimes factor in your profession when setting your car insurance rates. Typically, drivers in professions that require you to drive odd hours or use your car more than the average driver will have a higher car insurance premium.

Driving rates, aggressive driving, fatality rates, and more have been shifting over the last six months. Could you shed some light on what these statistics currently are and why they might be trending in their current direction?

EL: Americans drove 32% more miles during spring in 2021 than they did over the same period in 2020. Though overall driving rates are returning to pre-pandemic levels, the heightened collision fatality that marked the earlier days of the pandemic has remained elevated.

Despite the return to normality in traffic levels, an Insurify survey found that 44% of drivers reported still witnessing more aggressive driving behavior on the roads in 2021 than before the pandemic. Though miles driven has increased by a third, the fatality rate has remained flat at levels 26% higher than in 2019.

This combination of high pandemic fatality rates with pre-pandemic levels of driving has correlated with a surge in claims payouts from auto insurance companies.