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Can What Time You Drive Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

raffic jam in the rush hour on highway.

Car insurance rates are calculated by looking at a lot of different factors. Insurance companies look at who you are, where you live, and (most importantly) how you drive. One factor that you may be surprised to learn that affects your rates is the time of day you drive.

Rush Hour

Not only can sitting in heavy traffic on the way to and from work cost you your patience, but it may also be costing you more money on your car insurance rates.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, more auto crashes result from a number of coincident forces, including more drivers on the road, particularly at rush hour (10 million more people employed in the last four years), bad weather, and distracted driving.

It can raise your rates because, like the Insurance Information Institute found, more crashes happen during these hours when more motorists are on the road. This means you are more likely to be involved in a collision, and therefore more likely to file an insurance claim.

In another study, they even found that there are more motorcycle fatalities at evening rush hour than any other time of day. This is why it’s not just important to be insured but to be aware at all times and drive safely.


Another time that may affect your rates is around busy holidays when people are traveling more than usual, like Thanksgiving. Things like speeding, alcohol, time of day, weather, and other factors that affect crashes all year are exaggerated during holidays.

Other Factors

The time of day that you are behind the wheel is not the only factor affecting your insurance rates. Higher up on this list is how you drive. Insurers see a driver’s past as an accurate predictor of their future driving behavior. If you’ve had other insurance claims, tickets, or license restrictions on your record, you are more likely to have higher rates.

If you don’t have much of a driving history because you are 25 years old or younger, then you can still expect higher rates because of your age. In the eyes of insurers, young drivers are inexperienced on the road and are therefore considered higher risks. They are also statistically more likely to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel and, sadly, more likely to be injured or killed in car accidents. In 2018, according to the CDC, almost 2,500 teens in the United States aged 13 to 19 were killed, and about 285,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.

Another often overlooked rating factor is your credit. In most states, insurers can use your credit-based insurance score to determine your premiums, which is not the same as your regular credit score. These scores are made up of factors like payment history, outstanding debt, credit history length, the pursuit of new credit, and the types of credit you have. However, not all states allow the use of credit-based insurance scores in determining premiums.

Whether you’re driving in rush hour or the middle of the night, you should always be protected. Make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance by getting a free auto insurance quote today. Call Freeway Insurance today at (800) 777-5620 to get a free car insurance quote.

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