Historically, drivers living in rural areas have paid much less for car insurance than their urban counterparts. In fact, one of the biggest ways policy holders scam insurance companies is by using a rural address to register their city car and reaping the discounts that come along with a safer location. But how fair is this discrepancy? More and more research has emerged about how dangerous rural roads actually are, and many country areas have higher accident rates than cities. A recent study by road safety organization Brake found that 44 percent of men and 24 percent of women admit to speeding in rural areas, and a large percentage admit to illegal passing and even drunk driving on more isolated roads. Is a rural address the key to low insurance? Or will you driving habits ruin your chance for a deal? There are advantages and disadvantages.
Why Rural Insurance is Cheaper
Most of the reasons why getting insured in the country is not as costly as city insurance are obvious. There’s not as much traffic. The lack of congested roads mean there’s much less chance of an accident, but that’s only the beginning of an insurance company’s considerations. Rural areas also have less vandalism and theft, leading to fewer comprehensive claims. Even when rural residents do file car insurance claims, they usually cost less because of a reduced cost of labor, cheaper parts, and lower medical expenses. And best of all, country residents simply drive less – shorter commutes and easier access to local businesses mean an overall reduction in vehicle use, which always results in insurance discounts.
How Rural Drivers Could End Up Paying More
There are several factors that can negate or lessen the amount that rural residents save on car insurance, starting with the fact that many of them may drive higher-priced vehicles. Pickup trucks and SUVs can be more expensive to insure because their parts cost more to replace and they can cause extensive damage to smaller vehicles. There are also an increasing number of studies that show rural driving can be more dangerous. With less access to public transportation, there are a high number of younger drivers who take risks on the road. There is less adherence to seat belt laws and speed limits, and there’s a 2.5 higher chance of fatality in an auto accident, though that’s also a result of longer response times from emergency services who may be coming from the city. The threat of weather-related accidents, wild animals, and small, winding roads is ever-present.
What Drivers Should Know
How and why your zip code affects your car insurance rate can depend on the company and the area, and moving to the suburbs isn’t a guarantee for paying less. Insurance companies stress that your driving record is the number one thing that determines how much you pay, along with your credit score, age, gender, and vehicle make and model. Even if your rates go down based on a move, it’s important to remember every rural area is not created equally. Some have a high propensity for deer accidents, and others might have higher rates of insurance fraud – there are many factors that go into determining an average premium. Plus, with the advent of the internet, it’s possible to compare quite a few companies and end up with wildly different quotes.
Is it better to drive in the country or the city? It all depends on you and your car. Auto insurance is the single biggest transportation cost families can face after gasoline, with the average low-income family paying nearly $1,000 per year. It can be tempting to break down these costs to every little variable, but no matter where you call home, it’s always about the big picture.
Deanna Ford bought her last policy at Car Insurance, Louisville Ky World Climate after comparing several sites.