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Most drivers pay higher insurance rates due to others' bad driving

Nearly 63 percent of drivers are unaware that they're paying higher insurance rates due to the bad driving of others. The study by Progressive Insurance, which was published in April 2013, made the following conclusions:

Men are less likely than women to think bad drivers affect everyone's rates.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
  • Men were less likely than women to think bad drivers affect everyone's rates
  • At 30 percent, young consumers (ages 18-34) had the lowest awareness of any age group
  • 89 percent of respondents said they would be upset if they found out they're paying more to offset the costs of underpriced drivers

The Ohio-based insurer surveyed 500 consumers earlier this year and released their findings on Monday. Jeff Charney, Progressive's chief marketing officer stated, "We all probably know somebody we're subsidizing . . . . [Good] driving can reduce the impact other drivers have on their rate."

Consumers should check quotes from multiple insurance companies in order to save money, according to Quote Wizard, which is one of several Internet portals that offer an online tool for drivers to compare insurance rates across multiple carriers.

Most insurers use similar technologies and databases which enable them to compare drivers' background info, criminal record, past accidents, age, and driving habits. However, their ranking factors may result in significantly varying quotes for good drivers and bad ones. Some insurers offer more favorable prices for those with a perfect record than others. And vice versa.

An article by the Detroit Free Press shows that in one Detroit-area zip code, "annual car insurance rates quoted by six national carriers ranged from $3,059 to $8,403 annually". Detroit has the highest insurance rates in the state of Michigan. We can infer from the study that good drivers in Michigan are providing significant subsidies to those with bad driving records.

How much do you pay for auto insurance? Is it too high?

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