Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Let me shed some insight on all this. My explanation is 100% true here in CA, but I won't say that it's 100% true in all other states. But insurance is insurance. In a previous post here, I mentioned that I have been an agent and insurance underwriter for a little over 4 yrs now, including AAA and State Farm, and one other general agency. Tons and tons of misconceptions unfortunately! Being under 25 is not as important a factor as you may think. Or being principal or occasional driver.
Age confusion: I am 29 and I pay less than other 29'ers with same vehicles. The factor here is how long I've been licensed. I got my license at 16. Friends of mine waited until maybe 17-19. I will always pay less premium on the same exact car because I will always have more "driving experience" which is what insurance companies look at. I have had 40 yr old's call and get quotes, and barely got licensed maybe 10 yrs ago, and guess what? They are paying teenager rates! But there are agents and underwriters that can "manipulate" those factors to help you out, lol!!
Princ - Occas driver: One common problem I see everyday, is that "yes" you can be listed or be told by your ins co that you are being rated as an "occasional" driver! But the reality is that behind the scenes, you are being rated with principal rates anyway. Your parents are being rated with cheaper rates again because of experience. You can be a teenager or a young 20's and still be rated as principal because the younger you are, the more "risk" you pose as an inexperienced driver and of course most companies won't disclose that.
Lastly: This is for all those young drivers on here. If you are on your parents policy and they have high limits such as maybe 100/300/100, or 250/500/250, because they are homeowners? And you are listed on there, guess what? You are held to those same limits even though is not "your" policy per say. Basically, you are being charged for high limits right along with your parents. Sometimes still cheaper than branching out on your own, but please keep that in mind. And of course higher deductibles of at least 500 save you at least some kind of money in the long run.
So, I will add that this is CA guidelines, I am not stating that this is insurance guidelines across the U.S., but working with AAA and State Farm, and customers transferring in, there really hasn't been much difference.
Ok, I'm done...sorry!