Under the Hood of Auto Insurance Scores

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Under the Hood of Auto Insurance Scores

A credit score is a mysterious thing, but we all know they exist. What you may not know is that you also have an auto insurance score lurking out there. Yep - whether or not you're buying a car or in the market for insurance, you probably still have one.

In a nutshell, your auto insurance score represents an estimate of your auto insurance risk. Credit-based auto insurance scores are used in nearly every state (a handful of states severely restrict or prohibit their use). Many auto insurance companies use these scores to help price premiums and determine rates for their customers.

If auto insurance scores are still a mystery to you, read on and take a peek behind the curtain.

What credit report factors go into an auto insurance score?

If you've been doing your research, this is going to sound pretty familiar to you. Your auto insurance score is generally calculated using the following information from your credit report:

The credit-based insurance score itself won't be based on information that isn't on your credit report, like your driving record, but insurance companies do still consider non-credit factors as part of their overall insurance risk evaluations.

Insurance companies may use their own proprietary models or scoring models from other providers like FICO or a credit bureau. So while the factors I listed earlier are commonly used, they could be weighed differently or different factors could also be included depending on the source determining the score.

Why should I care about my auto insurance score?

We're talking dollars here. You could be charged a higher or lower premium because of your auto insurance score. Of course, it's only one aspect that your insurer will dissect when deciding your rate. They'll consider other factors too, like your claims history, driving record and traffic tickets. Still, many insurers rely in significant part on scores, and studies show that they get the job done. A 2007 Federal Trade Commission study found that auto insurance scores are effective at predicting auto insurance risk. This means that your auto insurance score has real weight with most prospective insurers.

These scores don't only come into play when you're shopping around for rates. If you have an existing policy that's expiring, your company may review your score again and change your rates. Just like you would regularly monitor your credit scores and reports in the hopes of purchasing a home, you should keep an eye on your credit health with your auto insurance plan in mind.

If you're in the market for a new auto insurance plan, keep an eye on your credit to try to prevent possibly paying out more. However, like I mentioned earlier, insurance companies take more into consideration than just your score. Your insurance score isn't necessarily going to make or break your premium, so keep your credit in check and enjoy the open road.

About the Author: is the Communications Coordinator at Credit Karma. When she isn't writing her way through life, you can find her reading about the latest in entertainment and watching television almost every night of the week. Say "hi" @noodlemaine!

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All Comments

Results 1-10 of 55Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 6   Previous | Next
1 Contribution
41 People Helped

Helpful to 41 out of 47 people

My credit score is 776. My auto insurance score is very low 815. I wrote  CK support and I am not getting real answer as to why.

In fact I do not think the CK rep even read my message.

From everythimg I read the auto insurance score is based on the credit score. ( my driving record is clean) I called Trans Union and they claim that they do not do auto insurance score.  If anyone can help I would appreciate it.

Reply by
colincody

1 Contribution
30 People Helped
Helpful to 30 out of 44 people

My credit score is "Excellent" @ 769 and my Auto Insurance Score is a "low Good" @ 870.

My Vantage Score is the max 990.  My Home Insurance Score is near the max @ 927.

I have only $10K outstanding on revolving debt out of $242K available. i have no clue how they determine the Auto Insurance Score to be so low.

Reply by
zoogarah

1 Contribution
36 People Helped
Helpful to 36 out of 46 people

I am dealing with the same problem as colincody. I have excellent scores across the board except for my auto insurance which is at fair. My driving record is clean. I don't understand this at all. 

Reply by
jaguarbleu

1 Contribution
5 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 6 people

I concur with your message. I also sent a note to CK as both my Auto and H/O insurance scores took a steep dip recently for no known reason.  I contacted Transunion and they stated they had no idea how CK conducted their Data but that my T/U score was the highest. I had to pay T/U for my score which turned out to be 990/990 along with a copy of my report.C/K response as of this reading was elusive and vague and offered no insight into why my policies took a dip. 

Reply by
saul2059

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

My score is 760 and and my auto score is 818 I don't think its accurate

Reply by
ELLOBO55

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I agree, they don't care to reply because it really has no logic to it.  Fortunately, I live in one of the states where the score cannot be used.  My insurance rates are unbelievably low because they are based only upon our driving records.  Funny, nothing has changed in my life, credit, debt etc and my score fell 21 pts overnight.   

Reply by
odumonarch

2 Contributions
39 People Helped
Helpful to 36 out of 45 people

Just a thought. Ask your agent to obtain your Clue report or Lexis-Nexis or both and comb through them. Some factors indicate who lives or has lived at your address and may be likely to use your vehicle. If that is the case and you find falso or wrong information you can appeal to those reports to change it or correct it. I had to do exclusions on my college age kids who were across the country and never came home or drove my vehicles. But their home address through the university was mine! So once the xclusions were done then they were not figuring in to my rate any longer. They have their own vehicles and policies!

Reply by
5656565

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Enter Your Reply  Lexis Nexis has for free the auto insurance claim history, and the basic info the auto insurance score is based on. A complaint can be filed to contest any false information. Hope this helps you this is a starting point anyway.

Reply by
vsaade69

2 Contributions
26 People Helped

This insurance score is a joke, They charge what they, thats why they use there own scoring,Just like gas charge what they want.Enter Your Reply

1 Contribution
31 People Helped

Helpful to 31 out of 34 people

I think Auto Insurance is one big scam.. It all depends on what part of the country you live in. It's a shame we good drivers have to pay for the bad ones. That's the rule of thumb that hasn't changed for years now.

Reply by
evajean880

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 4 people

Enter Your Replyare these scores actually affecting your insurance rates?  If so perhaps your agent can answer these troubling questions. Please keep us posted. 

Reply by
retro714alana

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 7 people

Enter Your Reply

If you live in NJ or PA there is an insurance company calleed CURE that does not care about your credit score.  CURE stand fpr "Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange."

Reply by
Camarotime

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

I think the Auto Credit Score is not a very good system, my credit is not so good, but I've NEVER had an accident and I've NEVER had a ticket. So saying that someone with low credit scores is more likely to file an Auto claim is stupid. What does a credit rating have to do with the way a person drives?  I think Auto insurance is also a scam, I'm paying for other peoples accidents. And the thing about it, if you do get into an accident, they raise your rates, or drop you,  well what have they been doing with all the plan payments I've made for years? And never filed a claim. I think if any type of insurance needed to be regulated it Auto insurance. 

1 Contribution
15 People Helped

Helpful to 15 out of 16 people

For the record, and having worked in insurance, auto insurance rates are impacted significantly by insurance codes for the area in which you live. Higher traffic areas have higher rate codes because those areas experience more accidents. Your rate is determined by the combined safety, or lack of it, of all drivers in your area, together with the number of cars on the road in your area. Even if you have never had any accidents, but the guy behind you may have had several. His record, unfortunately, affects your rates, regardless of what the insurance company TV commercials may advertise.

Reply by
Paulsaxson

2 Contributions
7 People Helped
Helpful to 6 out of 6 people

So in order to beat this you have to find a zip code with the lowest reported accidents in the nation! that's not fair to all us clean record drivers, not every one can live in that special zip code it's not right this insurance codes thing I guess the insurance industray is on board with the whole sins of your kin thing. it's your fault your nighbour had three accidents last year what a scam.

Reply by
docdogdotcom

2 Contributions
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 5 people

That makes more sense than blaming CK. Still that is a very unfair way to do things. You can't blame and penalize everyone for the mistakes of a few. As is the case with nearly all types of insurance, it's all a huge rip-off, backed by total greed.

Reply by
religcal56

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Auto, Home and Health Insurance is a "scam" of business. They don't care how good your financial health or credit score is, they only care about making money, period. You can be a safe driver with good credit score and in health and they still rip you off. It should be a merit / reward system in which your premium does not increase if you have no issues. Don't "punish" the good ones to make up for the bad ones. Insurance is necessary but the system is crooked like a lot of other industries like banking and finance companies. Good luck everyone.   Enter Your Reply

1 Contribution
21 People Helped

Helpful to 21 out of 23 people

The auto insurance score makes no sense.  I have a clean driving record and haven't had a claim on my insurance for over 15 years. Plus, if the scale goes from 150 to 950, how is 832 considered on the low side of "fair"? Maybe I should call my insurance company to ask them about this.

Top Contributor

Reply by
ernestf01

116 Contributions
1312 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 11 people

same with with me apply and paying new credit on time has dropped my auto credit 30 point yet my over all credit score has went up 86 point this year

2 Contributions
22 People Helped

Helpful to 22 out of 30 people

Credit Karma Should Answer All of The Above Questions About Why The Auto Ins Scores Are Low When The Credit Scores Are GOOD  ?????   I'm In The Same Boat As All of The Above People !    Please Answer WHY !!!!!    

1 Contribution
14 People Helped

Helpful to 14 out of 14 people

My Credit Score has gone up, nearly 60 points in the last couple months, and my auto insurance score just DROPPED 41 points. How/why did this happen? I am so confused. Same situation regarding most comments here; no tickets, no accidents, been insured since i started driving. I have been bundled into insurance plans through family and my husband, would that for some reason not be recognized by the credit bureau?

1 Contribution
18 People Helped

Helpful to 18 out of 22 people

Perfect score for years. Even going up every few months. But my auto score goes down. Something is wrong with this!!!!!

Reply by
WeekiWacheeRon

2 Contributions
7 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

Enter Your Reply  I too have the same problem! Even though my credit score is high my auto insurance rating is low! What gives?  Any answers?

1 Contribution
11 People Helped

Helpful to 11 out of 12 people

With the Auto Insurance Score being so out of whack in relation my other scores, it makes me glad I live in a state that protects me from such predatory overpricing.

1 Contribution
8 People Helped

Helpful to 8 out of 10 people

Obviously, since so many of us have the same issue; great credit scores and low auto insurance score, this has to do with the auto insurence companies and there justified method to charge higher premiums. It is an insurance scam that should be fully investigated by the AG.

1 Contribution
5 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

Auto Insurance Score is going down... I have no idea why.

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