Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Each car insurance carrier has set auto rates they file with states
  • Providers compete on premium prices by offering different car insurance discounts
  • As a consumer, it is always best to price compare to find the lowest rates and premium

Car insurance is one of those products that we all need. States require that, if we get behind the wheel of a car, that we are adequately insured. There are minimum limits that you need to have and certain coverages that have to be in place.

When shopping for car insurance, though, how much power do you have over the price that you are paying? Compare car insurance rates to make sure you aren’t overpaying. Enter your ZIP code above to get started.

Do you have the ability to negotiate car insurance rates with the insurance carrier that you are seeking out? If they give you a premium that you think is too high, what are some of the options that you have?

To get to a point where you understand whether or not you can negotiate car insurance premiums, you first need to know how they are calculated.

What Drives Car Insurance Premiums

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Two of the factors that drive car insurance premiums that you are going to pay are:

  • the driving record that you have
  • the vehicle that you are driving

Imagine that two drivers have the exact same driving record. If one driver is driving a $80,000 Porsche, while the other is driving around in an older, used Honda Accord, the Accord is going to be much cheaper to insure.

In the event that an accident occurs, the Accord can be fixed and replaced for much less.

The driving record that you have also had a significant impact. Two people that drive identical cars, one with a bad driving history with accidents and the other with a pristine one, will have very different premiums.

The risk that you pose to the insurer when you are behind the wheel of an automobile will impact what they charge you to be fully covered.

Outside of those two factors, the other big thing at play here is the driving habits that you have. How many miles to do you drive in any given year? The more miles that you drive, the higher your car insurance premium.

The same can be said for how you drive. Do you use your car to get to and from work every day, or is it more for pleasure to just get around town?

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Understanding Insurance Rates

Insurance rates are what will be the primary factor that gets you to the final premium amount that you pay. Car insurance carriers have rates that they have in place and file with each state that they do business in.

These rates are going to match up to people with individual driving records, certain cars, driving habits. A car insurance premium is quite formulaic in that they match you up with the rate that meets what you present to them as a risk, and a premium is calculated based on that.

Insurance carriers can have different rates, but within each carrier, it is just one set that they are going to be able to work with. What one carrier has for rates based on accidents in Massachusetts can vary from others.

Limited Negotiation

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Because auto insurance carriers cannot change their rates at will, there is not much negotiation that you can do as a customer with an insurance carrier.

The only negotiating factor that you have at play is what discounts you may be able to qualify for.

If you drive less than 10,000 miles annually, for example, you may have quality for a discount. You may get discounts for the following, as well:

  • being a student
  • being affiliated with certain organizations
  • having home insurance through the same carrier

None of these discounts changes the core rates used; it is a percentage off of the total dollar premium.

Finding a Lower Premium

The best way to find an exact lower premium for your car insurance policy is to shop around from one carrier to the next. Each carrier has their set of rates that they file with the states, as well as their discounts that they are going to be able to offer.

The more you shop around, the better your chances of finding a result premium that gets you the value you are seeking.

Your ability to negotiate with a particular insurance carrier may be limited, but that does not mean that you do not have plenty of options. The door is always open for you to shop around, compare prices from the various carriers.

Compare rates right here for free!