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How Insurance Rates Are Determined

Many of the people that call us are always worried about using any benefits from their own insurance policy (ie, medpay, uninsured coverage, underinsured coverage). Bottom line: they are afraid their rates will go up. The following information is summarized from the N.C. Department of Insurance www.ncdoi.com.

When you apply for insurance, companies will evaluate your driving record and other factors (a process called underwriting) to determine what to charge you for said insurance. Here are a few of the factors they consider:

  • Driving Record: this has the largest impact on your premium. The State of North Carolina charges you “insurance points” if you are at-fault in causing an accident or convicted of a moving violation.
  • Residence: where you live will factor into your rates. Insurance companies look at vehicle and population density, road conditions, repair rates, medical costs and the amount of accidents in a particular area.
  • Type of Vehicle: the type of vehicle includes likelihood of theft, cost of repair or replacement and style of your vehicle.
  • Use of Vehicle: the more you drive your vehicle each day, the higher your premium.

The N.C. General Assembly enacted the N.C. Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) which rewards safe drivers with the lowest possible insurance rates. Unsafe drivers are charged with higher rates. N.C. has a system of points that are charged to an individual based on the nature of the conviction or at-fault accident.

Below is a copy of the SDIP chart listing out the various points:

This is how insurance points will affect your insurance rates:

As long as you were not at fault in the accident, and did not get convicted of a moving violation, your insurance rates will not be affected by using benefits under your own policy such as medpay or underinsured coverage. These are benefits that you are paying for in your premiums so you should make sure to use them. They are there to help protect you.

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