Did you know your credit history and score could have a tremendous impact on your ability to obtain insurance and how much you pay for it? Many consumers are not aware of this link and because of it they are often in for quite a surprise when the time comes to take out a new insurance policy.
Insurance carriers are becomingly increasingly aware that a tendency to pay other bills late may mean that you will pay your insurance premiums late as well. As a result, more and more carriers are opting to run your credit history before providing a quote. In some cases, a poor credit rating may mean you pay more for your insurance while in other cases it could mean you may not be able to obtain insurance at all.
Just how bad does your credit have to be to interfere with your ability to obtain insurance? It really depends on the guidelines used by that individual insurance company; however, in some cases, missing just as few as two credit card payments could mean you might have problems. In some instances, missing just two payments could mean you premium might be doubled.
You are not necessarily exempt from this type of problem even if you’ve been with the company for a long period of time or if you’ve had a good history in terms of losses, either. Some consumers have been rudely surprised to learn their policy has been cancelled due to credit score problems even though they had previously had a long relationship with their insurance carrier.
How can insurance companies do this, you might ask. As previously stated one reason is that many companies feel that you may have an increased tendency to pay your premiums late. Other companies justify the practice on the basis that if you’re irresponsible with money you may also be irresponsible with other aspects of your life. Some statistics serve to back up this theory, indicating the thought that individuals with poor money management skills also handle other areas of their life with less responsibility, such as driving or even taking care of their home.
Of course this doesn’t take into consideration the number of people who have a poor credit score due to the fact they have experienced financial difficulties rather than possess poor money management skills.
Is there anything you can do about this practice? Not really. If you have been with the company for a long period of time, you could try protesting it, but your chances of winning aren’t very good.
Ideally, it’s best to try to get your credit score in shape by running it yourself and making sure there are no errors on there to drag down your score. Then concentrate on raising it by paying down other debts and paying your bills on time. You may have to live with a higher premium for awhile but the good news is that when your credit score starts to rise your insurance premiums should go down.
Joe Kenny writes for CardGuide.co.uk, with the latest 0% balance transfers
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