Your Daily Commute Affects More Than Your Schedule

Every day, millions of Americans begin their day with a commute to the office. In smaller towns across the country, that commute might only last thirty minutes or less. But as we all know here in California, commutes can often reach two hours, and cover many miles.

A long commute impacts your daily schedule and adds untold amounts of frustration to your life, but it also affects you in other ways: A long commute can actually jack up your car insurance rates!

That’s because the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in a car accident. So car insurance providers include daily miles driven in their risk formulas, which are used to determine your premiums. But how much does your mileage affect your rates? A recent study by InsuranceQuotes and Quadrant Information Services uncovered the facts.

  • Drivers who increased their annual mileage from 5,000 to 10,000 experienced a 7.1 percent increase in car insurance rates.
  • Drivers who increased their annual mileage from 5,000 to 15,000 experienced a 8.8 percent increase in car insurance rates.
  • Drivers who increased their annual mileage from 5,000 to 20,000 experienced a 9 percent increase in car insurance rates.

It’s important to remember that these figures are based upon nationwide averages, and can differ greatly from one state to another. For example, in North Carolina the increase from 5,000 to 20,000 miles driven did not impact car insurance premiums at all. Meanwhile, that same mileage difference bumped up rates by 26 percent here in California.

Of course, that also means that the opposite is true. If you could decrease your annual miles driven, you could potentially save quite a bit on your car insurance premiums.

Obviously, no one is going to quit their job or buy a home in a completely new town simply to save a few dollars per year on car insurance. But it is a factor to remember if you decide to investigate employment opportunities closer to home, you’re thinking of selling your home anyway, your boss is considering work-from-home days, or you’re looking into public transportation options.

If you do experience a decrease in your commute distance, remember to update your insurer on the change. It might lead to a reduction in your premiums.

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