7 ways to drive car insurance up or down

Changing credit score
4 of 8
Changing credit score

Not only does your credit score determine your fitness for credit and your interest rate, it also affects your car insurance premium.

Hungelmann says it makes sense to shop around because different insurance companies treat the good-credit/bad-credit issue differently.

"Some companies give you 50 percent off for good credit and others 10 percent," he says.

Insurance companies figure that if someone has trouble paying other bills, paying premiums also may be difficult, Hungelmann says. Moreover, financially strapped customers who are hard-pressed for cash will be more likely to file claims.

Typically, once your policy is in effect, the insurer doesn't monitor your credit. "But most companies automatically run drivers' records. If that reveals negative information, it could trigger a credit check," Hungelmann says.




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