Why do my car insurance quotes keep changing?

18th June 2018

Red and blue car side by side in car park

When taking time to find the best policy, you’ll soon realise that insurance companies are crazy about statistics. Instead of trying to battle with numbers you don’t quite understand, we’ve delved into the reasons that insurance companies vary their rates so much and so often.

Insurance premiums can differ tremendously between companies because of the rating factors that they use, the statistics that they look at, their own experience with claims, and the overall cost of doing business. These are the factors that we’ll look into in more detail as accurately as possible.

The risk you pose to the insurance company

Each insurance company uses its own unique formula in order to assess risk and determine how much policyholders pay. They will base your rate on a number of variables, meaning that no two companies will end up having the same result.

The risk that you pose to the insurer is one of the main deciding factors when it comes to the price you’ll pay. The company needs to take time to determine how likely you are to experience an accident, and they will do this by looking at the following:

  • Your age
    Through years of experience, insurance companies have found that young and elderly (over 70) drivers are a greater risk and more likely to cause an accident behind the wheel.
  • The make and model of your car
    The type of car you drive affects your rates. No matter how unfair this may seem, if an insurer’s data says that a driver with the same make and model vehicle as you has been in more accidents or filed more claims, then your insurance will go up too.
  • If you store your car in a safe place (i.e. a garage)
    If you park your car on a public street then it is more likely to be at risk of damage and theft, causing you to make an insurance claim. Storing it in a garage, therefore, can help to lower the cost of your premium.
  • Your driving record/driving convictions
    Demonstrating that you are a safe driver is incredibly important to your insurance company as your behaviour on the road directly affects your insurer. Drivers with a clean history are more likely to be rewarded with lower premiums.
  • Your claims history
    Claims that you’ve made with previous insurers can affect your future quotes. At-fault claims will likely mean that you’ll be matched with a higher quote.
  • Your credit rating
    Research shows that those with lower credit scores are likely to file more claims or commit insurance fraud. This may also affect how the insurance company allows you to pay for your chosen policy.

For example, if you are a driver under 25 who has a history of claims, you will pose a higher risk and should expect to pay more for your insurance than a 50-year-old driver who has never made a claim since they started driving.

Although these are the most common factors, many insurance providers also look at your location, how many miles you drive annually, your marital status, your previous insurance coverage, and whether or not you have any medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive. Each factor is weighed differently, with something such as marital status carrying less weight than where you’re based.

Insurance companies don’t have anything against you. In fact, they assess millions of drivers every year so that they can identify who is more likely to file claims that would cost the company money. Insurers will, therefore, group you with others of the same age, gender, occupation and driving experience and calculate prices accordingly.

The rate of future claims costs

Understandably, there’s no way that insurance companies can know what’s going to happen in the future. That’s why they must plan ahead, looking at past experiences to try and determine future losses. Of course, every insurance company will have different experiences with different groups of people, so the rates they charge for an insurance policy will always differ.

The cost of doing business

Every business, regardless of whether they’re in the insurance industry or not, must take into account their income and outgoings so that they can achieve their financial goals. This is different for every company, resulting in various prices.

Find the best car insurance quote by comparing rates

Now that we understand how car insurance companies calculate their rates, it makes perfect sense that to find the best rate you must complete a thorough car insurance comparison. It’s important to remember that thinking cheap isn’t always the best approach to take. This generally tends to mean that you’ll be receiving less cover and a lack of benefits. Switch your mindset to value instead and consider the following:

  • What do you need from your insurance?

    As we know by now, choosing insurance is more than considering the price. How much would you be willing to pay out in the event of a claim? Do you have any particular cars that you need to be insured (classic cars, for example)? What other features does the policy offer? With fully comprehensive cover, for example, you’re likely to be given the option to choose a number of add-ons such as breakdown cover, insurance for driving abroad, and contents cover. These extras may sound tempting, but they could add pounds onto the overall cost. Make sure you read the small print and take off anything you know you won’t need.

  • Have you been honest?

    Enter your personal details completely and honestly so that you know you’ll be getting a price that’s right for you. Failing to provide the correct information on your insurance application can mean your cover is invalid if you’re ever involved in an accident. However, one of the things to watch out for is the way that you describe your occupation. Research has found that those who tweak their title a little can sometimes benefit from a cheaper deal. Saying that you’re a builder rather than a bricklayer, for example, could see you save some pennies.

  • How does it compare to your existing cover?

    The most important consideration is how does your new policy compare to your existing policy? If you’re going to be paying less for your new policy – is this intentional? You’d be surprised at how many people are caught out by focusing too much on low prices and foregoing some important element of their cover. While it’s your goal to pay a little less next time around, make sure that you’re not compromising on what you’re covered for.

Contact Call Wiser for support

As one of the UK’s leading comparison sites, Call Wiser gives you the chance to assess a number of insurance companies to say goodbye to higher premiums and hello to insurance costs that suit your wallet. With an expert team on hand to help, we’ll help you lower your rate because, at the end of the day, no one wants to break the bank with their car insurance quotes.


Call Wiser is a trading name of Be Wiser Insurance Services Ltd. Registered in England No. 6097813. Be Wiser Insurance Services Ltd are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 465471

Call Wiser, Riverside House, 35-37 Bridge St, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 1BE, 0333 003 3270, general@callwiser.co.uk