Vehicle risk assessment for insurance underwriting


I’ve had GEICO for almost 50 years counting my mother’s policy. They have always been fair with estimates and repairs. My daughter caused a 4-car wreck with some bodily injury and they didn’t drop us. In repairing her car, the first body shop didn’t replace a damaged front wheel bearing. She was at school out of state and drove home with the failing bearing. She had no idea that it was failing. We took it to a local shop and they confirmed the problem. GEICO had a conference call with the shop there and the one here and covered the wheel bearing.


I had a surprising experience when I replaced my 1991 Camry with a new 2005 Corolla… my insurance went down. The reason according to USAA? The Corolla had more safety features than the old Camry. Go figure.


Found this, , a lot of companies I have never heard of.

@common_sense_answer I have been looking for such broker in my neighborhood and couldn’t find any. Everyone represents one or two companies. I would love to work with a broker that can compare a few handful of companies, just to see how much it varies.
Auto Owners that you mention, a guy who had Auto Owners of NJ scratched/danged my car with his hanging bumper and they settled the case literally within 5 working days. I was impressed, but there is no such company in NY that I am aware of.

@the_same_mountainbik Totally makes sense, pretty much the same story in my case. I am assuming at this rate. next year, I will be paying more for Sentra than Forester.


I agree with you OP, it is sort of surprising the 11 year old Sentra insurance nearly matches the insurance fee for the 3 year old Forester. Especially since only the Forester presumably gets hit with the $105 at-fault surcharge. One idea to reduce the cost for the Sentra by nearlyf $400, drop the collision & comprehensive coverage. $100k property liability damage seems excessive, but I suppose you could run the car into a Ferrari or Rolls Royce or a building or something and cause that amount of damage. Seems unlikely to happen , talk to your agent to see if it makes sense to reduce that for the Sentra or even for both cars. Another thing to ask your agent about, there’s often an assumption on how many miles per year you drive. Make sure that matches up to what you drive the Sentra. Since it is your second car maybe you don’t drive it as many miles as the insurance company think, so a discount for low mileage might be available. I get a low mileage discount for my truck for example. Finally check to make sure you’re being given all the available discounts. There’s a host of them, multi-car, insuring other property like your house with the same company, good driver discount, long term customer discount, if a student driver is on the policy, a good student discount (for getting good grades), etc. …


Two at fault accidents? When I was with AAA, three meant they threw you into the high risk insurance pool and wouldn’t write the policy with the auto club. I think 1968 was the last time I had a minor at fault collision. I’ve had other act of Gods like hitting deer, hail, and never had a problem with State Farm in Minnesota.


@GeorgeSanJose I admit, I am not very well versed with the insurance. I thought of dropping comprehensive a few times but was always told, if you can’t live without your car, don’t drop it. But now I am thinking even if I keep it, it is unlikely, they will work on the car and just total it, giving me a couple of thousands at the max.

Property liability damage, I will look into it. Thanks for pointing out.

We don’t drive much. I asked the agent to keep annual mileage less than 6000 but least Erie can have is 8500 so thats already included. We have driven Sentra for ~28000 miles in 7 years and Forester ~17000 in 3 years.
All those discounts you mentioned are already applied.


Some states regulate insurance so the cost is going to be the same no matter what insurance you use. Even in states where insurance isn’t regulated you probably won’t see a huge difference among the big carriers.

Cost is only one part of the equation. How they treat you when you have an accident is another. Check with friends and relatives to get their opinion on how their insurance company handled their claims.

You also can’t compare insurance premiums from one area to another. When I moved to NH from upstate NY my insurance TRIPPLED. I had the same insurance company and actually LESS coverage. Insurance in southern NH and Boston is very high. There’s a $200/year difference between southern NH and northern NH. And rates in Boston are even higher (almost double what I pay).


I’ve been with Progressive for about 8 years now. The premiums have been pretty fair and I’ve had no issues with them.

I used to be with an OK based insurance company only licensed to do business in OK. Suddenly they were licensed to do business in TX and KS and my rates went through the roof simply based on that. M homeowners policy went up about 275% over 3 or 4 years with no claims. Auto insurance quadrupled.

The agent for the OK based company then took on a Progressive franchise so to speak and steered me away from the OK company. Progressive is about 25% of what the OK based company was charging.


I pay around $900 a year for a full coverage on my 2016 Mustang GT, liability on my 1997 F-150, and an agreed upon value on my 1974 TR6. Assuming you’ve got a clean driving record, are middle aged, and have decent credit, I think you’re paying way too much.


@FoDaddy, how do you account for the difference in where you and @Noelm live? They live in the NYC metro area, and that could put the rates through the roof compared to Central VA.


Yes, we fit in this profile, except DW who had 2 at fault crashes, one in 2010 and one in 2015, but as @jtsanders said, we live very close to NYC and I can assure you, we will take the crown anywhere in the world for impatient driving. The places excluding the tristate area I have driven, I have never found drivers so impatient. That definitely increases chances of crashes and hence premium for everyone.

As I said earlier, this post was not abt the cost of insurance per se by why the cost of insuring 11 year old Sentra should be higher than 3 years old Subaru. I got enough pointers from the fellow members. Next week, I am going to cast a wide net to see if different insurers give me different quotes to figure out if Erie’s algorithm is pretty much same as others for the risk assessment.


Ah, that would certainly make a difference.


I have Erie as well. For me they were just about the cheapest option as I have my homeowner’s insurance through them as well.


Insurance actuaries take a long string of variables into consideration, including age, experience, driving record, vehicle, mileage driven, vehicle use, type of coverage, number of authorized drivers, their records, their experience, their ages, where the vehicle is housed at night (street? Driveway? garage? Parking garage?) and a whole bunch of other things. The same vehicle in the next town over with all other variables seemingly the same can be paying a dramatically different rate than you.

With insurance rates, there’s just no tellin’.


Credit ratings are another variable.

I found out my company was using zip codes for home owners insurance rates while other companies were using GPS coordinates. It makes a difference because they factor in loss incidents of regions and distance to fire departments (that have different ratings).

I’m ten miles from the nearest jerk-water town that is actually a drinking village with a fishing problem. However, I have a little township fire station (high rating) only 2 miles from me and a dry hydrant only 1/10 of a mile from me! The zip code puts me in a higher premium rate area than would the GPS location.

Ain’t that the truth! I asked how my car insurance rates were figured because I feel like a little kid when I have a rate question about a possible car purchase and I have to ask the agency. They won’t talk. In fact, my agent doesn’t even know. The company has some proprietary formula they use.


I have ameriprise through costco with a new driver and us. It has always beaten any other quote I have gotten even when I combine home & auto. Bad thing we are in a brush fire area and they would not insure our house.
Now I have been with them for more than 10 yrs. But every time I refer friends/co-workers for a quote, theirs is not cheaper than what they currently have, go figure.


The only thing I’ll add is that you need to have your cars and house/renters policy with the same company in order to get an umbrella policy. Who needs one? Anyone with any current or future assets/income. It doesn’t take much anymore for a million or two liability claim, plus just as important you get free lawyers.


I have my car, house, and rental property all insured with the same company, and I have the umbrella policy mentioned

I hope I never need it, but you never know . . .


Not necessarily. My home and umbrella is with one company and auto with another. You just have to make sure the coverage is right.