After getting into a car crash in Virginia, a driver can see big increases in their monthly premiums. Sometimes this happens even when they are not to blame for the accident, though so many insurance companies claim they do not do this. Other factors that are outside of a person’s control may also cause increases, such as age, marital status and gender. 

MarketWatch reports that insurance companies often charge younger men higher insurance premiums. However, new research finds that older women often pay higher premiums too. Some states banned this practice of basing auto insurance on gender, so individuals who live in these states may see more equal pricing. For some people who have flexible living choices and fall into the high-premium bracket, it might be worth the move. 

A much simpler way to find lower insurance premiums is to shop around. Get quotes from multiple insurance companies before choosing to work with one. Also, individuals should look beyond the price to see what it covers. Note that sometimes a lower premium equals less coverage, which may come back to haunt them in the long run if they get into an accident. 

Along with paying for adequate coverage, many people consider paying for accident forgiveness now to avoid the potential rate hikes later. NerdWallet estimates that accident-free drivers enjoy insurance at 44% cheaper rates on average than drivers with even just one at-fault accident on their record. So, it sounds like a great perk to have. However, accident forgiveness adds up to 9% to the cost of insurance. 

This may sound like a steal compared to the 44% but that might mean paying up to 9% for years for something that might never even happen. Note that at-fault accidents may only affect an individual’s driving record for three to five years. So, for people looking to lower their insurance coverage, they might also want to reconsider this add-on. Some states have actually banned it because it tends to benefit insurance companies more than drivers.