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Location

Last updated: June 17, 2016

By , Insure.com

Location

Insurers typically start by asking for your ZIP code because where you live is the start of most base rates. If you live in a highly populated, urban area, then congestion, accidents and insurance claims are more prevalent. Living and driving in a metro area will make your rates higher than if you live in a rural area, where having an auto accident due to these factors is less likely.

From your ZIP code, car insurance companies can tell the rate of stolen cars in your area, cases of vandalism, amount of claims (and fraudulent claims), as well as damaging weather. All of this helps them to discern the risks associated with insuring you and your car in that ZIP code.

Not all states allow your location to be a major rating factor. For example, California law requires that car insurance companies calculate rates based on your driving record, annual miles driven and years of experience before considering your geographic location.

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