Car Insurance: What Commuting Really Costs You
When you get a car insurance quote, the auto insurance agent may ask you about your commute. The answer that they are looking for is the distance that you drive to work or to school, one-way not round-trip. Insurers use surcharge pricing tiers based on how far your commute is, and no surprise, the exact distance charge is dependent on the insurance company as well. The tier system is as follows:
Pleasure driving – If you drive 3 miles or less a day to your office or school, it is considered as pleasure driving and does not add a surcharge to your insurance premium. Your rates are not affected in pleasure driving.
- Tier 1 If you drive between four to nine miles to your destination, you’ll likely see a few extra dollars added into your monthly California auto insurance rate.
- Tier 2 Your monthly car insurance quote would increase up to five dollars extra of additional fees for ten to fifteen miles of commuting.
- Tier 3 This third tier is for those who drive fifteen to twenty miles daily. This could add up to eight dollars of additional commuting charges to your California auto insurance premium.
- Tier 4 Lastly, if you are driving twenty miles or more, the highest surcharge you would get for commuting is an extra ten dollars a month.
The charges don’t sound all that much, but it does add up in a year and over a length of time. You could be saving over a hundred dollars annually if you’re able to find a job or school that is close to home, or at least shorten the commute by moving closer. Of course, the exact fee would depend on your California auto insurance company.
When you get a car insurance quote, the auto insurance company is looking at the distance you drive; it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to drive that distance. To the company, the longer you are on the road, the more chances you have of getting into a car accident.
If you are looking for ways to avoid the higher end of additional commuting fees, here are a few suggestions:
• Use public transportation
• Commute 3 times or less per week
• Find a closer living situation
Commuting a far distance daily brings on more costs than it may be worth. It is more likely that you’ll need to get towing coverage and rental car coverage on top of your basic auto insurance coverage. On the bright side, commuting surcharges may be the least expensive. Other things that may cause your premium to go higher are type of car, drivers’ age, driving history including tickets and accidents, and also where you live is a factor when determining car insurance rates.
Ask your agent what your options are for lowering your rates and what factors are increasing your auto insurance premium. Also, make sure you answer those occasional surveys they send out… your premium could go up or down depending on what you answer.
Do you plan on commuting less? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below