Car Insurance and Your Driver Type: Why It Matters

Updated: January 2022

Your car insurance rates are calculated based on several factors considered relevant to your risk level as a driver, whether that’s your age, your gender, your location, or your driving history. Using these factors, carriers can place drivers into specific driver type categories and charge them higher or lower rates accordingly -- certain driver types are considered lower risk and pay less as a result, while other driver types pay more.

Although most drivers do not fit cleanly into only one driver type category, knowing which driver type(s) best match you can give you insight on how much you can expect to pay for insurance and what strategies you should consider when looking for a new policy. Here are the four major driver types:

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Young Drivers

This category encompasses all drivers under 26, including teen drivers. As this group is typically less experienced when it comes to driving and is statistically more likely to get into an accident, they often pay higher rates for car insurance. Drivers under 18 in particular pay high premiums. Check out our guide to getting insurance for young drivers to learn more.

Senior Drivers

This includes all drivers over 65. As drivers age into their senior years, accident rates tend to go up, and as a result, insurance rates do as well. Many carriers offer senior discounts, however, which can help even costs out. If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve created a guide to saving on insurance for senior drivers.

Safe Drivers

If you’re a safe driver, congratulations – you're likely eligible for some of the lowest rates on car insurance available. To be considered a safe driver, you’ll need a clean driving record for the past several years, as well as a consistent insurance history. Some carriers are even asking to temporarily track their customers’ driving habits in order to determine whether they’re a safe driver or not -- this is called usage-based insurance. To read more about how you can save more on insurance, check out our safe driver guide.

Drivers With a Bad Driving Record

Drivers with DUIs, accidents, or tickets on their driving record over the past few years fit into this category. Based on their driving history, carriers usually charge these drivers some of the highest rates -- though there are certain insurers that may offer lower rates as they prefer insuring this group of drivers. For more information on how high-risk drivers can save on insurance, read our guide to insurance for drivers with incidents on record.

Savings Opportunities for All Drivers

No matter what type of driver you are, there are certain ways for all drivers to save on car insurance -- even if you’re in one of the driver type groups that typically pays high rates. By shopping smart, you can get a policy that fits into your budget. Here are some key practices to keep in mind the next time you’re considering switching carriers:

  • Take Advantage of Discounts: Before you accept a new policy from any carrier, ask about discounts. While all insurers are unique in the coverage and perks they might offer, almost all of them have a variety of discounts available. These can be car-based, policy-based, or driver-based, and can have a significant effect on how much you pay for insurance.
  • Work Towards Switching Driver Types: Are you not considered a safe driver by your carrier? It’ll take some time, but that can change if you want it to. Focus on implementing safer driving habits, such as not speeding, braking carefully, and driving at night less, and your driving record should gradually clear up. Once past accidents, DUIs, or tickets are off your record, you’ll most likely find yourself paying a lot less for insurance.
  • Take the Time to Shop Around: If you’ve had the same insurer for years, it’s time to look at your options. In most cases, drivers that stay with the same policy eventually end up paying more. Making the effort to at least look at quotes from other carriers once a year can lead to significant savings.

Regardless of your driver type, your shopping strategy is key. The effort you put in will be worth the savings you earn. Our site makes it easy to compare carriers and get the best quotes available, so you can pay less for better coverage. Try us out today to start saving.

No matter what type of driver you are, you could save up to $744*/year by using our site to shop car insurance -- just type in your zip code and see your affordable rates today!

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