Auto Insurance

Which Behavioral Factor Would Influence The Premiums Of Auto Insurance

Which Behavioral Factors Would Influence The Premiums of Auto Insurance

Auto insurance premiums are determined by a variety of factors, including the driver’s age, driving record, and the type of vehicle being insured. However, there are also behavioral factors that can significantly impact the cost of auto insurance. Insurance companies analyze these factors to assess the risk associated with insuring a particular individual, and adjust premiums accordingly. In this article, we will explore some of the key behavioral factors that influence auto insurance premiums, backed by research, examples, and statistics.

1. Driving Habits

One of the most influential behavioral factors that affect auto insurance premiums is driving habits. Insurance companies consider factors such as the number of miles driven annually, the purpose of the vehicle (personal or business use), and the frequency of driving. Research has shown that individuals who drive more frequently are more likely to be involved in accidents, leading to higher insurance premiums.

For example, a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that drivers who commute long distances to work have a higher likelihood of being involved in accidents compared to those who have shorter commutes. As a result, insurance companies may charge higher premiums for individuals with longer commutes.

2. Speeding and Traffic Violations

Another significant behavioral factor that affects auto insurance premiums is a driver’s history of speeding and traffic violations. Insurance companies view drivers with a history of traffic violations as higher risk, as they are more likely to be involved in accidents. Therefore, individuals with a clean driving record typically enjoy lower insurance premiums.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal crashes in the United States. Insurance companies take this statistic into account when determining premiums, as speeding increases the likelihood of accidents and the severity of resulting injuries.

3. Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that significantly impacts auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider DUI convictions as a strong indicator of risky behavior and increased accident potential. As a result, individuals with a DUI conviction can expect to face substantially higher insurance premiums.

For instance, a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that drivers with a DUI conviction were more than four times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash compared to drivers without a DUI conviction. This increased risk translates into higher insurance premiums for those individuals.

4. Age and Gender

Age and gender are two demographic factors that play a significant role in determining auto insurance premiums. Younger drivers, especially teenagers, are considered higher risk due to their lack of driving experience and higher likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. As a result, insurance premiums for young drivers are typically higher compared to older, more experienced drivers.

Additionally, gender also influences auto insurance premiums. Statistically, young male drivers have been found to be involved in more accidents compared to young female drivers. However, as drivers age, the difference in accident rates between genders diminishes, and insurance premiums tend to equalize.

5. Credit Score

Surprisingly, credit score is another behavioral factor that can impact auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies have found a correlation between creditworthiness and the likelihood of filing insurance claims. Individuals with lower credit scores are considered higher risk and may face higher insurance premiums as a result.

A study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that credit-based insurance scores are effective predictors of risk. The study revealed that individuals with lower credit-based insurance scores tend to file more claims and have higher claim costs. Consequently, insurance companies use credit scores as a factor in determining premiums.

6. Vehicle Usage and Storage

The way a vehicle is used and stored can also influence auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider factors such as whether the vehicle is used for personal or business purposes, where it is parked overnight, and whether it is stored in a garage or on the street.

For example, individuals who use their vehicles for business purposes, such as delivery drivers or rideshare drivers, may face higher insurance premiums due to the increased mileage and exposure to potential accidents. Similarly, parking a vehicle on the street instead of in a secure garage can increase the risk of theft or damage, leading to higher insurance premiums.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • 1. Can my auto insurance premium increase if I receive a speeding ticket?
  • Yes, insurance companies often increase premiums for drivers with speeding tickets, as it indicates a higher risk of accidents.

  • 2. Will my auto insurance premium be affected if I have a clean driving record?
  • Having a clean driving record can lead to lower insurance premiums, as it demonstrates responsible driving behavior and a lower risk of accidents.

  • 3. How long does a DUI conviction affect auto insurance premiums?
  • A DUI conviction can significantly impact auto insurance premiums for several years, typically ranging from three to five years.

  • 4. Can my credit score affect my auto insurance premium?
  • Yes, insurance companies may consider credit scores when determining premiums, as individuals with lower credit scores are perceived as higher risk.

  • 5. Do auto insurance premiums vary based on the type of vehicle?
  • Yes, the type of vehicle being insured can influence premiums. Factors such as the vehicle’s safety features, cost of repairs, and likelihood of theft are taken into account.

  • 6. How can I lower my auto insurance premium?
  • There are several ways to potentially lower auto insurance premiums, including maintaining a clean driving record, taking defensive driving courses, and bundling multiple insurance policies with the same provider.


Auto insurance premiums are influenced by various behavioral factors that reflect an individual’s driving habits, history, and risk profile. Factors such as driving habits, speeding and traffic violations, DUI convictions, age and gender, credit score, and vehicle usage and storage all play a role in determining insurance premiums. Understanding these factors and their impact can help individuals make informed decisions to potentially lower their auto insurance costs. By practicing safe driving habits, maintaining a clean driving record, and being mindful of how their behavior affects their risk profile, individuals can work towards obtaining more affordable auto insurance premiums.