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(Car) Insurance Rates

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Established Contributor

(Car) Insurance Rates

Does anyone know how often insurance companies check your credit?  I think my credit is WAY better than when I signed on with Progressive 2.5 years ago.  I'd like to get a better rate and was curious if anyone could say. 

 

Do I just call up and speak to an agent and tell them that?  To run my credit (which I am assuming is a soft pull)...

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Super Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

That's a really interesting question.  Just for clarity, when you say "talk to an agent" I am assuming you mean talking to an agent at Progressive.  Right?  You are not at this point talking about shopping for quotes at other places -- you just want to see if your existing insurer might give you a better rate.

 

Another way to ask your question is: How often does one's current auto insurer pull your credit?  Do they do it every six months (i.e. when they give you a new quote)?  Is the answer that this varies widely from insurer to insurer?  (State Farm might only check once, Geico checks every time, etc.)

 

One thing you may want to be aware of is that few auto insurers actually pull your FICO score.  Instead they rely on a score that was created for the auto insurance industry.  This scoring model is based solely on your credit report, but it has different factors and concerns than does FICO.  (Some of the concerns are the same -- in both models for example, late payments are bad, collections are bad, high CC utilization is bad, etc.)

 

There are two main scoring models that are used.  One is an auto insurance score made by TransUnion.  The other is an auto insurance score made by Lexis Nexis.  The TU score is free via Credit Karma.  It is squirreled away in an obscure portion of their site but you can get it.

 

The LN score costs you money each time you ask for it and you have to go through LN.

 

If I were you I would start by taking a look at the free score via Karma.  Just remember it is not the big TU score that you see as soon as you sign in.  You have to navigate to the right place.

 

Contributor Thomas Thumb knows a lot about the auto insurance scores.  Hopefully he'll see your post and will tell you more if you like.

 

 

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Established Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

I have my CK scores in addition to having my ACTUAL scores via MyFico.

 

And yes, I meant talking to a Prog agent not shopping for new ...

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New Member

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

My insurance is REALLY expensive because of speeding tickets. My score increased over 150 points and I called and it was reduced by almost $90 a month. They soft pulled my Transunion. I'm very friendly with my agent and he said that we should not just let our insurance renew automatically but call to get a new quote before the policy expires.
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Super Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates


@juniebrunner wrote:

I have my CK scores in addition to having my ACTUAL scores via MyFico.

 

And yes, I meant talking to a Prog agent not shopping for new ...


The CK scores you are talking about (see blue text above) are probably the big Vantage Scores (one for TU and the other for EQ) that you see first thing when you log onto Credit Karma.

 

These are not the scores I am talking about.  I am talking about a very specialized score that was made solely for the auto insurance industry.  You can find it by first logging on to Karma with your username and password.  Then, after you have done that, click here:

 

https://www.creditkarma.com/myfinances/scores/insurance#auto

 

I encourage you to read again that overview I gave you of how these scores might be very different from Vantage and FICO.  For one thing, they have a different range.  Here's what the different ranges mean for the TU Auto Score, translated into the letter grades we all got when we were in high school:

 

A = 900-950

B = 850-900

C = 800-850

D = 650-800

F = Under 650

 

Your TU Auto Score might be different from your Lexis Nexis Auto Score... but at least the TU score is free.

 

If you have had Credit Karma for a long time, you will be able to see what your auto score has been like for the last few years.  If you can see that it has gone up a lot, then it may make sense to give your insurer a shout and ask them when is the last time they pulled it.

 

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Valued Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

@CreditGuyInDixie, I learn something new every day. Thank you.

 

DW has TU FICO 800 and Insurance 833, so is only a C.

Now I have to check what can she do to increase the score to B at least.

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Super Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

Thom Thumb and I are both interested in gathering data that might made recomendations meaningful.  The insurance scores do care about some of the same things that FICO and Vantage care about: no derogs, low utilization, etc.  So the first step for anyone is to work on improving his or her basic FICO score.  Additionally, however, the insurance models have some things they care about especially.

 

For example, the insurance models don't like it if you have any auto accounts (e.g. Pep Boys, Autozone, etc.) or Store Cards (Macy's, JC Penneys, etc.) or finance company accounts (Rooms To Go, etc.). 

 

They also like it when your average credit limit on major credit cards is high (over $10,600 I think).

 

They are hyper sensitive to a person opening any new accounts -- which is probably what has got my TU insurance score at 850.  (Pretty low, given my FICO is very high.)

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Valued Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

DW has JCPenney card and the limits are below 10k. So there still work to do. 

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Super Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

Your DW would be (in my opinion) a really helpful case study for us.  I was thinking about this late last night.

 

She has a TU FICO 8 of 800 (extremely high) and a TU Auto Insurance Score of 833 (not even a C+ rating).  What seems to clearly imply is that she is doing badly on the factors that are in the Insurance model but not in FICO 8 (or have a substantially different weight).

 

Would you or she be willing to answer some questions about her profile?  If so, it might help us identify what it is about the TU insurance model that penalizes a person (but doesn't in FICO 8). 

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Valued Contributor

Re: (Car) Insurance Rates

Yes, we can answer some questions. Here is some more information about her profile:

- clean reports, started early 2014, first TU score 720, lowest 705 most recent 800

- never a car insurance in the USA until mid 2015

- car loan mid 2015, TU FICO 740 (from aproval), TU auto insurance 800 (CK historical information)

- car loan at 75% this month

- in the garden since December 2015

- highest util on a card 39% (BT until mid 2017), second at 14% that will be paid in January (0% promo ends), the rest below 5% or 0%

- several AU on my cards

- only store card JCPenney

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