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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Having a child affects pretty much every aspect of your life.
When you welcome a bundle of joy to your home, the way that you spend your time and your money will change. You’ll have less time to yourself and more expenses to consider as you’re budgeting. One of the last bills that you’d think would change would be your auto insurance payment.
While being a parent isn’t necessarily a factor that directly affects your auto insurance rates, after a major life event like having a baby some of the common changes that take place can impact your insurance bill.
If you’re trying to learn how you can expect your car insurance rates to change after you become a parent, here’s a guide to help you:
Understanding How Auto Insurance Companies Set Rates
Knowing what to expect when you’re getting quotes or making changes to your existing insurance is extremely important.
When you don’t know what to expect, rate increases can take you by surprise. What many consumers don’t understand is that the primary reason that you’re given a high quote or your rates are raised is because you’re considered more likely than the average driver to file a claim.
After an insurance company sets its base rate, they use several different personal rating factors to help calculate personalized premiums for each of their applicants. Each factor is believed to affect the driver’s risk group. Some of the most common rating factors that can change your risk group and your premiums include:
- Vehicle type and safety grade
- Driving record
- Licensing experience
- Claims record
- Credit rating
- Vehicle usage
- Annual miles driven
Will the insurance company change your rates when you become a parent?
When you’re getting quotes, it might feel like you’re being asked an endless amount of questions that have nothing to do with car insurance. While some of the subjects might not be directly related to insuring your car, they are in some way relevant.
You will notice, however, that the agent won’t ask you if you have young children in the home.
Some applications ask about teens ages 14 and over, but no company asks if you have an infant, toddler, or adolescent in the home. In this way, parenthood won’t impact your insurance rates because raising rates strictly for deciding to have a child would be considered a discriminatory practice in the industry.
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Upgrading to a Safer Vehicle Can Help Lower Your Rates
One of the first things new parents do when they find out that they are going to be responsible for another life is buying a safe car.
A two-door hatchback or a compact sports car is not longer acceptable or functional when you’re transporting your pride and joy. Making the upgrade could actually downgrade the cost of your auto insurance.
If you do your research and find a vehicle with excellent crash test ratings through a reliable agency like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it could lower your Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Medical Payments, and Uninsured Motorist Protection premiums. Buying a car with a
Buying a car with a good ISO rating can even lower your rates for physical damage coverage.
A Change in Your Vehicle Usage Can Change Your Rates
If you decide to take a long leave from work to bond with your child, you can change your vehicle usage from commute to pleasure.
This change leaves you less likely to have a loss and that’s why your rates will go down, but as soon as you start to drive your child to school you need to change usage back to commute.
Commute usage doesn’t always mean that you’re going to and from work. If you’re attending school or you’re taking your child to school, this is classified as commute usage as well. Out of the three usage classifications, pleasure carries the lowest rates and commute carries a higher rate.
If You Buy a Home, Let Your Auto Insurer Know
Some people choose to buy a home before they have children and others don’t envision becoming homeowners until they have a toddler running around. Buying a home can affect your rates in a number of different ways.
Here are some of the affects home ownership can have on your auto insurance:
- Some companies will give discounts to policyholders who own homes
- If your credit rating goes up, your insurance score goes up. This will bring your rates down
- If you buy property insurance through the same carrier, you’ll receive a multi-line discount
- If you change zip codes, your rates could change
- You need higher limits of liability to protect your assets
The Teenage Years Are the Scariest
Being a parent to a teen can be scary in several ways. It’s not until your baby is a full-fledged teen that having a child will directly affect your car insurance. When your teen has a permit, your rates will stay low. It’s when they become licensed that your rates can double by adding them to your policy.
It’s always best when you know what to expect. While there are a lot of surprises that come with parenthood, insurance doesn’t have to be one of them. Be sure to get several different quotes online when you’re making changes to your portfolio. This is the only way to really save money fast.