Many personal auto insurance companies consider your credit information when determining how much premium to charge for your insurance. So if you are calling around for new insurance, keep in mind that many insurers are looking at your credit history. I hope that we will be able to let you know why and how they do this.
The reason that some insurance companies use credit information is because they feel there is a direct correlation between consumer's credit history behaviors and expected claims that may occur. Therefore, they feel that people with better credit behavior are less likely to severe insurance losses.
Many insurance companies still use your age, driving history, type of vehicle, where you live in determining how much you should pay for your insurance. Therefore, if you have not established a credit history yet, companies that use credit history may not be best for you. They may not allow you to be eligible for certain discounts, which could result in higher premiums.
The companies that do use credit scoring will still use other factors in determining your premium. They will also use your age, driving history, type of vehicle, where you live in determining how much you should pay for your insurance.
Is it fair for an insurance company even look at my credit information without my permission? The answer is yes. The Federal Fair credit-reporting act says "Reasonable procedures. It is purpose of this title to require that consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner which is fair and equitable to consumer, with regard to confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with requirements of this title." This can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra.htm
If you feel that your credit history is better then insurer can find, make sure insurer has your correct name, address, social security number, and date of birth.
Some insurance companies will look directly at your actual credit reports when determining your rate, however most will use what is called an "insurance credit score." An insurance credit score is developed by using statistical techniques and methods to predict likelihood a consumer will have a higher than anticipated losses. These are similar to what lenders use to predict reliability of an applicant repaying a loan.
Insurance companies use many factors in determining your credit score. Here are some examples of those factors:
. Public records: bankruptcy, collections, foreclosures, liens, charge-offs, etc. . Past payment history: number and frequency of late payments and days between due date and late payment date. . Length of credit history: amount of time you have been in credit system. . Inquiries for credit: number of times you have recently applied for new credit, including mortgage loans, utility accounts, and credit card accounts. . Number of open lines of credit: number of credit cards, whether you use them or not. . Type of credit in use: major credit cards, store credit cards, finance company loans, etc. . Unused credit: how much you owe compared to how much credit is available to you.