Why Is My Car Insurance Going Up, Explained

When it comes to paying bills like car insurance, everyone likes to know what to expect. But like life, sometimes there are surprises that can catch you off guard. If you’re going through your car insurance paperwork and see a higher premium, you think, “Why did my car insurance go up?!” The answer may or may not be clear-cut as there are many factors that affect your car insurance rate. Here we break down the top reasons why your car insurance increased.

why did my car insurance go up

Same safe driver, different roads

If you have a safe driving record with no speeding tickets or accidents, it’s easy to lament and wonder why did my car insurance go up? But if you moved, that could be a telltale reason why your insurance rates spiked. If you move from a small town to a big city, there are naturally more cars on the road and higher population density. 

Even one neighborhood a few blocks over may have a very different risk profile than another one. For example, if there are narrow, crowded streets that are packed with cars or there’s a higher likelihood of car theft, your insurance rate could go up

All of that points to one thing — more risk. So while your driving behavior has stayed the same, the roads you’re driving on have changed and the added risk is reflected in your insurance rates. 

Additionally, in some states, where you garage your vehicle is one factor that is used to determine your car insurance rate. 

Same driver, new car

Perhaps your driving has stayed the same, but you bought yourself a new set of wheels. Maybe you’ve splurged on an electric vehicle or a new convertible to live out your dreams of feeling free on the road. 

In this case, your new car purchase could be the culprit behind your higher rates. Your car might have the latest onboard technology and safety features. While this is good for you, if it needs to be repaired in the future, it can be costlier for the insurer. Insurers have to prepare for that likelihood, hence the higher insurance premium. Additionally, if you have an SUV or truck your vehicle could cause more damage to other vehicles which could also increase your rate. Plus, if your new car is a hot ticket item for car thieves and more likely to be stolen, that could impact your rate as well.  

Same roads, new driver

If your driving record is still spotless, but you’ve added a new driver to your car insurance policy, it’s likely your car insurance went up due to the additional risk. This is especially true if you add your teenager to the policy

Young drivers are just learning how to drive and have higher chances of being in an accident. According to CDC data, teenage drivers between 16 and 19 have the highest risk of getting into a car crash. Given the data, it’s natural that insurance rates would go up during this time. 

An accident or traffic ticket

Trying to figure out why is my car insurance going up can be a mystery sometimes. But the most common reasons include getting into a fender bender or full-fledged accident or getting a speeding ticket

Depending on the type of infraction and if you’re found at fault, your car insurance premium may increase when it’s time to renew your policy. 

A change to your policy

Have you changed your insurance coverage in some way? Maybe you switched from liability only to a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive coverage, moved to a different neighborhood, or added a new driver. Any change you make to your car insurance policy can result in a price increase based on your risk profile. 

You qualified for a discount, but you don’t anymore

In certain circumstances, you may qualify for a discount and score a lower rate. You might not realize that the rate you have is based on the discount and because something in your life might have changed, you may no longer qualify for the discount. 

For example, if there’s a significant life change, such as a move or a divorce, your car insurance rate may go up. If you took a defensive driving course several years ago, you might be ineligible for that discount now. 

Changes at the state level

Each state regulates car insurance, and each state has its own coverage requirements. Sometimes there are particular things going on in your state that you have no control over that can impact your car insurance rates. 

Think of everything from natural disasters to insurance fraud and more, which could result in higher costs for insurers and may result in a higher rate as well. Each state also has minimum liability requirements and may have a no-fault policy or an at-fault policy when it comes to accidents. These variables can impact your car insurance rates. 

The bottom line 

Having your car insurance go up can be frustrating and annoying, especially if you’re unsure why. You might wonder why does my car insurance keep going up and think it’s something you did. But as you can see, even if you have a stellar and spotless driving record your car insurance can go up for many reasons that don’t have to do with you. Risk assessment and insurance are complex and it’s not as cut and dry as you might think. If you want a low car insurance rate and don’t drive that often, you can score competitive rates with pay-per-mile insurance with Metromile. Get a quote today to see about potential savings.