Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
When it comes to the price you pay for auto insurance every month, mileage really does matter!
According to a new InsuranceQuotes.com study, drivers who increase their annual miles from 5,000 to 20,000 see an average rate increase of 9%.
Read more: Best and worst auto insurance companies
How mileage and location affect car insurance rates
“When determining rates, auto insurers typically use mileage as a major factor. But the amount varies considerably depending on where you live. Consumers who live in states with the biggest hikes have more opportunity to save by driving less,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com. “In California, increasing your mileage from 5,000 to 20,000 causes a premium increase over 25%.”
Following California, drivers in Alabama, Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia had the highest rate increases. The lowest were in North Carolina, Rhode Island, Georgia, Texas and Oregon.
This chart illustrates how increased mileage affects annual auto insurance premiums in all 50 states:
The bottom line for drivers is that you should let your insurer know when your driving habits change — such as a different commute, working from home, retirement, etc.
“Regardless of the financial impact, drivers should always be honest about their mileage, otherwise you risk having a claim denied,” Adams said.
Since mileage is a major factor in determining your auto insurance rate, it’s important to shop around at least every three years.
Money expert Clark Howard suggests calling up a few of the best insurers to see which one provides the best coverage for the best price. Here’s a list of the top auto insurance companies.