Getting Cheap Car Insurance After Divorce

  • Car Insurance

A divorce is one of the most traumatic things you can go through and the longer you have been with that person, the more traumatic it will be. When you share your life with someone for many years, it’s only natural that you’ll feel a sense of loss and uncertainty when they go. 

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You need to make some big changes to your everyday life, such as severing all financial ties with your ex, car insurance included. In this guide, we’ll provide you with some top tips for separating your car insurance policy following a divorce, helping you find the cheapest rates as a divorced driver.

Will Insurance Rates Increase Following a Divorce?

Car insurance companies offer cheaper rates to married homeowners. They also provide additional discounts if those policyholders purchase home insurance or renters insurance along with their car insurance.

Following a divorce, not only will your marital status change, but you may also lose those bundling discounts.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid paying high premiums after a split, including:

1. Stay on the Same Policy

If the separation was amicable, consider maintaining the same policy. Turning one policy into two will see you lose several key benefits and could mean much higher premiums for both of you. It’s much better, therefore, to stick with one policy.

Such an agreement probably isn’t possible if the split was hostile, in which case you have no other choice but to get separate policies.

2. Move to a Different Area

The cost of car insurance coverage differs greatly from state to state and even county to county. Your zip code has more of an impact on your rates than your marital status, and if you move from a state like Michigan to one like Maine or Vermont, you will experience a considerable drop in your insurance premiums.

Insurance companies look at the prevalence of weather damage, vandalism, thefts, car accidents, and more in your area, before using this data to determine your risk factor.

3. Get a Different Car

The stereotype of the divorced man is one of someone who immediately sells the family SUV and instead opts for a luxury sports car. This is a bad idea for many reasons.

Firstly, making an impractical choice like this will probably come back to bite you a few months down the line, when the gas bills hit your pocket hard and you realize you don’t have space for your kids, luggage or anything else.

Secondly, you’ll be hit with much higher car insurance rates. Underwriters look at safety ratings, anti-theft devices, safety features, and the cost of repairs, and in nearly all cases, a sensible and practical SUV will score much higher than a luxury sports car.

In some cases, you’ll pay two to three times as much to insure a luxury car, so if you want to save, opt for something a little more sensible.

4. Shop Smart

The best car insurance policy isn’t the one you have right now. There are always better options, and this is especially true when you go through a major change like a divorce.

Your insurance company may offer you competitive rates on a new policy, but you won’t know how good those rates actually are until you shop around and see what you can get elsewhere.

In our research, we got insurance quotes from over 20 providers and found a difference of 150% between the cheapest and the most expensive. All insurance providers were reputable, established brands and all quoted us a price for a middle-aged divorced male driver. 

You may get different quotes elsewhere based on your location, driving record, and vehicle, but you’ll likely experience just as much disparity.

Shop around, get as many quotes as possible, speak with insurance agents, and don’t settle until you get a price you’re sure is the cheapest.

5. Get Discounts

If you haven’t renewed your auto insurance policy in a while, you may be entitled to more discounts. This is especially true if you go with an insurer that offers options not available with your previous provider.

Car insurance discounts vary and you may not qualify for all of them, but it’s worth looking into them:

  • Good Student Discount: Not a discount that you or your former spouse will likely qualify for, but a substantial one, nonetheless. Often available to teen drivers, this discount is offered to policyholders who maintain a high grade point average.
  • Defensive Driving Course: Many providers and states offer these discounts to older and younger drivers, but only if they are taking these courses voluntarily.
  • Multi-Car Discount: If you have several cars, you can add them to the same policy to save.
  • Good Driver Discount: Maintain a clean, safe driving record to secure this discount.
  • Membership Clubs: If you are a member of an auto club you may be entitled to a small discount on your car insurance premiums.
  • Payment Discounts: Pay for your auto policy upfront or go paperless and you could receive a small discount.

Don’t Forget Other Insurance Policies

Even if one or both of you live in the same house as before, you will still need to inform your insurance company about the recent change in circumstances. When the divorce has been finalized and two turns into one, the policy may need to be redrafted entirely.

Not changing this policy could render it invalid when it comes time to make a claim, so it’s always worth keeping your insurance carrier in the loop.

As for life insurance, there’s a good chance your ex-spouse was listed as one of the beneficiaries, if not the sole beneficiary. Many divorced couples will immediately write their ex out of the policy, but this isn’t always the best thing to do.

If you have young children with your former partner, you should consider keeping your spouse as a beneficiary. By acting out of anger and removing them from the list of beneficiaries, you run the risk of there being no legal heirs at all. If this is the case and you die before adding another legitimate beneficiary, the money will go to your estate and a legal battle will ensue as your loved ones try to seize control.

Your children will still get the money eventually, but only after fighting for their share with other family members and debtors. 

If a death benefit is paid to your estate, all your creditors will be entitled to their share, and if you have a lot of debts, there may be nothing left by the time your children get their hands on it. 

Think about your kids before you act to spite your ex-husband or wife.

Bottom Line: Save Where Possible

One of the best things you can do following a divorce is to tighten your belt, try to think sensibly and logically, and don’t make any rash decisions.

There could be some expensive times ahead. You may be required to pay legal fees, child support, and alimony; you may lose time off work while gaining a whole heap of stress. The last thing you want on top of this is an expensive car insurance policy.

Buy the right cars, keep all insurance costs down, avoid spending frivolously, and continue to work on building a safe driving history. 

The decisions you make now could impact your finances for years to come, so plan carefully, execute sensibly, and don’t act on impulse.


Ameriprise Insurance Reviews

  • Car Insurance

Ameriprise Financial is a financial services company that was founded over 120 years ago and offers insurance products, as well as wealth management, estate planning, and other services. It is available in 33 states, including Washington D.C, and offers relatively cheap auto insurance and home insurance in all of them.

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Ameriprise Auto Insurance Coverage Options

Ameriprise doesn’t have the cheapest car insurance options for the majority of drivers. It struggles to match the likes of GEICO, State Farm, and Allstate in that area and will almost certainly not compare to the low rates offered to military members via USAA.

But Ameriprise insurance rates are competitive, nonetheless, and all the main coverage options are available, including:

  • Liability Coverage Insurance: Bodily injury and property damage cover are required in most states, with the exception of just a couple. With the Ameriprise insurance company, you can get the bare minimum cover that you need and extend this where required.
  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides a payout when you damage your vehicle and are not covered by standard liability insurance. Such is the case when you hit a wall, guardrail or tree.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage pays out if your vehicle is damaged by weather, vandalism, animal collisions, and many other issues not covered by collision insurance or liability insurance.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP insurance covers you for medical bills and lost earnings, as well as other expenses resulting from injuries sustained in a car accident.
  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage: When you’re hit by an uninsured driver or a driver that doesn’t have the full liability coverage required, this form of insurance will step in. 

Ameriprise Auto Insurance Policy Features

In addition to all of the aforementioned coverage options, Ameriprise policyholders may also be offered the following, depending on the optional extras they choose and the state in which they reside:

  • Accident Forgiveness: Your first accident will not impact your claims if you have been claim-free for at least three years. However, this feature is not available in California, North Carolina or Kansas.
  • Stolen Key Coverage: This feature is covered under Ameriprise’s comprehensive coverage plan. There is no deductible for a lost or stolen key if the claim is for less than $250.
  • Towing Coverage: A form of roadside assistance that covers you for towing expenses.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is being repaired or has been stolen, this coverage option will ensure you get back on the road quickly by paying for a rental car.
  • Travel Accident Cover: If you have an accident more than 100 miles from your home, Ameriprise will pay towards some of your expenses.
  • Glass Repair Waiver: If your windscreen needs to be replaced, a deductible will apply, but if it can be replaced then no deductible is required.

Ameriprise Car Insurance Discount

One of the best discounts offered by Ameriprise comes via wholesale club Costco. You can get a discount on your Ameriprise home insurance and auto insurance if you are a Costco member. That’s not all, either, as policyholders can also get all of the following discounts:

  • Garaging: A small discount offered to drivers who keep their cars locked in a secure garage overnight, as opposed to leaving it on the driveway. This can reduce the risk of thefts, vandalism, and weather damage.
  • Educational Discounts: Good student discounts are offered to young drivers who maintain a B grade average. There are also discounts available to students who live on campus.
  • Claims Free Discount: The longer you go without making a claim, the more you can save on your car insurance rates. Fewer at-fault accidents mean you’re a low-risk driver and a much more appealing prospect to all auto insurance companies.
  • Loyalty Discount: Stay with Ameriprise insurance for three years or more and you will be rewarded for your loyalty.
  • Defensive Driver Discount: Take a defensive driving course to improve your skills behind the wheel and prove yourself as a driver. In the process, you’ll get a slight discount on your Ameriprise insurance policy.
  • Safety Features Discount: Get a discount if your car has essential claim-reducing safety features such as seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, front-and-side airbags, trackers, alarms, and more. Anything that can reduce the threat of accidents, injuries, and theft can trigger big savings.
  • Accident Merit: As noted above, accident forgiveness isn’t offered in all states where Ameriprise is available. However, for the states where it’s not offered, drivers can still reduce premiums related to accident surcharges when they stay accident-free for a pre-determined period.
  • Bundling: Also known as a multi-policy discount, bundling is offered to policyholders who combine homeowners insurance and auto insurance.

Other Insurance Options

Ameriprise also provides homeowners insurance. One of the best features of this insurance option is replacement cost coverage, which means you’ll get the original value of any stolen items before deprecation is considered.

If you lose a $2,000 MacBook that’s over 6 months or a year old, you’ll still get cover for that $2,000, as opposed to the $1,500 or so that it might be worth now.

Ameriprise home insurance also provides identity theft protection (up to $5,000 in personal losses); food spoilage protection (up to $500 in lost food), and $100 in lock replacement cover.

Ameriprise Customer Satisfaction, Ratings, and Reviews

Ameriprise claims can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Policyholders can submit a claim online or over the phone and Ameriprise offers a very fast and streamlined process, giving drivers the chance to change details and review their cover via an online portal.

Ameriprise has a very high financial strength rating from AM Best and it also has the highest possible rating from JD Power. It has very good reviews from customers, but it has a poor rating from the Better Business Bureau, with numerous complaints and a low score overall.

Summary: Ameriprise Auto Insurance Review

Ameriprise is partnered with American Family Insurance, which means your policy may be underwritten by them if you go through Ameriprise. It’s one of the biggest auto insurance companies in the United States, offering extensive coverage, with relatively good reviews and ratings across the board.

As always, though, it’s important to get multiple insurance quotes before settling on any single one. Take a look at policies from providers like Progressive, Nationwide, GEICO, State Farm, and more, add as many discounts as you can, and make sure you’re getting the best possible deal before you sign.


Comprehensive and Collision Insurance

  • Car Insurance

In most states, you are required to have liability insurance, which covers you for claims made by the other driver. You may also be required to purchase personal injury protection insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

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These are some great coverage options to have even when they are not mandatory, but they’re not the only ones. You can also add collision coverage and comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy. Although they are not required in any state, adding these options to your car insurance policy will cover you for more eventualities and ensure you’re not left with major out-of-pocket expenses following an accident.

In this guide, we’ll see what these two options cover, how much they cost in every state, and how you can get full coverage car insurance without paying thousands of dollars a year.

What is Collision Insurance?

While liability insurance pays for the damage done to other vehicles, collision insurance covers the damage done to yours. It will also cover you for all of the following:

  • Hitting a Tree
  • Hitting a Telephone Pole
  • A Flip or Rollover
  • Running a Curb
  • Hitting a Pothole
  • ​Backing into a Wall
  • Backing into Another Car
  • Hitting a Building

As with all types of insurance, collision coverage comes with a deductible. The deductible amount can range from a few hundred dollars to $1,000, on average. The higher it is, the lower the premiums will be.

Because of this deductible, and the increased premiums that can result from an insurance claim, you may want to think twice about making a claim following a ding or scratch.

By all means, claim if you hit another vehicle and do serious damage. But if you scrape the building when doing through a drive-thru or suffer some other minor damage that doesn’t involve another car, it may be cheaper in the long-run if you just pay the repair costs yourself.

What is Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers you for many things not covered by collision insurance, including:

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Glass damage
  • Damage from floods, hailstorms, and winds
  • Civil disturbances
  • Fire
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters
  • Animal collisions

Surprisingly, animal collisions are covered by comprehensive coverage and not collision coverage. The irony here, however, is that collision insurance will cover you if you swerve to avoid the animal but hit a wall. If you break quickly, brace for impact, and don’t swerve, as many experts recommend, you’ll only be covered if you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

State by State Cost of Collision Insurance and Comprehensive Insurance

The national average for collision insurance is between $500 and $600 while comprehensive insurance falls somewhere between $150 and $250. But depending on where you live, you could find yourself paying a lot less and even a lot more.

Car insurance premiums differ considerably from state to state, as underwriters consider everything from the number of car accidents and thefts in your area to the number of cars on the road and the likelihood of floods, storms, and animal collisions.

Take a look at the state average below to better understand how much these two coverage options cost in your area.

  • Alabama: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $160; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $570.
  • Alaska: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $630.
  • Arizona: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $160; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $500.
  • Arkansas: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $250; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $580.
  • California: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $150; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $1,000.
  • Colorado: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $240; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $510.
  • Connecticut: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $120; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $690.
  • D.C.: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $170; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $650.
  • Delaware: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $530.
  • Florida: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $160; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $490.
  • Georgia: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $160; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $550.
  • Hawaii: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $560.
  • Idaho: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $430.
  • Illinois: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $120; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $480.
  • Indiana: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $150; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $520.
  • Iowa: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $250; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $390.
  • Kansas: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $430; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $470.
  • Kentucky: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $290; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $570.
  • Louisiana: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $250; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $670.
  • Maine: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $80; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $410.
  • Maryland: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $580.
  • Massachusetts: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $170; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $555.
  • Michigan: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $250; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $920.
  • Minnesota: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $230; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $390.
  • Mississippi: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $220; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $490.
  • Missouri: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $300; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $480.
  • Montana: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $330; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $540.
  • Nebraska: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $350; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $410.
  • Nevada: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $150; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $600.
  • New Hampshire: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $90; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $480.
  • New Jersey: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $450.
  • New Mexico: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $200; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $460.
  • New York: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $700.
  • North Carolina: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $120; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $415.
  • North Dakota: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $340; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $430.
  • Ohio: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $400.
  • Oklahoma: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $380; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $540.
  • Oregon: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $440.
  • Pennsylvania: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $150; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $620.
  • Rhode Island: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $120; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $730.
  • South Carolina: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $310; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $610.
  • South Dakota: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $460; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $420.
  • Tennessee: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $505.
  • Texas: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $230; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $530.
  • Utah: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $420.
  • Vermont: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $140; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $465.
  • Virginia: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $100; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $380.
  • Washington: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $90; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $380.
  • West Virginia: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $180; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $465.
  • Wisconsin: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $220; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $460.
  • Wyoming: Average Cost of Comprehensive Coverage = $350; Average Cost of Collision Coverage = $650.

How to Save on Collision and Comprehensive Insurance Cover

Michigan-based drivers could find themselves paying over $1,300 for these two additional coverage options, and that’s just the average. If you’re a young driver with several speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and other high-risk factors, and you account for liability coverage, the costs will spiral and could leave you seriously out of pocket.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can save, bringing the cost of collision and comprehensive auto insurance down to a respectable and affordable level.

Bundle Your Insurance Policies

Bundling is the act of buying multiple insurance policies from the same company. Many insurers will give you a discount of up to 30% if you purchase home insurance and auto insurance through them, and most auto insurers will offer you discounts if you add multiple cars onto a single policy.

Fix Your Credit Score

Everyone understands the importance of a good credit score when it comes to home loans, car loans, and credit cards, but this three-digit number is also important when applying for auto insurance policies.

Underwriters know that bad credit drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents and to make claims. As a result, they give good credit drivers much lower rates.

By making a few small changes to your finances, including increasing your credit limits, paying off as much of your debt as you can, and avoiding any new credit applications, you can make quick and noticeable changes to your credit score, and these can improve your chances of getting cheap car insurance coverage.

Pay a Higher Deductible

As noted already, when you pay a higher deductible, your premiums will drop as it decreases the insurer’s outgoings. It will mean you’ll pay more in the event of a claim, but it’ll also reduce your payments and you’ll be much better off in the long run if you avoid making any claims.

Choose Your Car Carefully

The age and value of your vehicle have a big impact on the types of coverage that you need, as well as the coverage limits. A new car has a high cash value, may cost more to repair, and simply cannot be written off following a catastrophic crash. 

If you have a new car, you’ll want to have full coverage and can expect to pay high car insurance rates as a result. You’ll also lose a lot of money on the car purchase itself, as brand-new vehicles depreciate rapidly, losing as much as 20% in the first year and 10% per year thereafter.

By purchasing a car that is a few years old, you’ll still get something that is relatively new, but you won’t pay through the nose for it and you can think twice about getting extensive and costly cover. If it has a high safety rating and lots of important safety features, you will save even more.

Job-Based Discounts

Car insurance companies may offer cheaper insurance quotes if you are employed in one of the following professions:

  • Doctors and Nurses
  • Scientists
  • Law Enforcement
  • Certified Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Teachers
  • Military Personnel
  • First Responders

Ask the insurance company if you can qualify for any of these discounts as many of them won’t offer them outright.

Remove Unnecessary Optional Coverage

Insurance companies will offer you optional extras like rental car cover, roadside assistance, and pet injury cover. Some of these will be bundled into your comprehensive injury coverage and are definitely worth having when that is the case. But if you’re paying extra for them and adding them willingly, you might want to think twice.

This is especially true for roadside assistance, which is often charged as an added extra but is also offered everywhere from auto clubs to premium credit cards.

Get Usage-Based Discounts

Most of the industry’s biggest insurers offer usage-based discounts. They will install telematics devices in your car and track your driving habits, recording everything from the time of day that you drive to the amount of time you spend looking at your phone, and more. They offer discounts just for signing up to these programs and many also promise that your rates won’t increase, so you have nothing to lose.

If you don’t drive that many miles and are a safe and responsible driver, these apps could save you a lot of money.

Drop Coverage Options

If your auto insurance coverage options are persistently high, and you can’t find reasonable and affordable rates no matter how many insurers you compare, it could be time to reduce liability limits and coverage options.

If your state doesn’t require it, you don’t have an expensive car, and there aren’t many uninsured motorists in your state, do you need uninsured motorist cover? If you don’t have many assets, do you really need to get more than the minimum bodily injury and property damage liability cover?

These are the questions that you need to ask yourself and, if possible, you should ask them before you purchase your car. Many drivers, especially those getting behind the wheel for the first time, will spend all their money on a new car and only then start looking for insurance.

Once they do, they realize they have made a mistake. By doing this research in advance, the reality of the situation will sink in before you make that decision and you can get a more suitable car.


How are Auto Insurance Rates Determined?

  • Car Insurance

Auto insurance rates, like all insurance rates, are carefully considered calculations based on statistical probabilities and strict underwriting techniques. Insurers don’t throw random numbers at you in the hope that something sticks and, contrary to what you might think, they don’t charge as much as they think they can get away with.

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In this guide, we’ll look at all the things that go into setting your car insurance premiums, from the ones you’d expect to the ones you definitely wouldn’t.

This is how auto insurance rates are determined.


Your age is one of the biggest factors in determining your auto insurance rates. Car insurance companies have a wealth of data concerning the ages you are most likely and least likely to be involved in an accident.

A 16-year-old driver is three to four times more likely to crash than a driver in their early 20s. That’s a difference of just four years, but in the eyes of the insurer, it’s the difference between a high-risk driver and a moderate-risk driver.

In fact, the risk is so disproportionately great for 16- and 17-year olds that they are nearly twice as likely to be involved in an accident than 18- and 19-year olds. They are also more likely to get speeding tickets and receive violations for racing and reckless driving.

We’ve all been there. If you weren’t that reckless kid who wanted to put the pedal to the metal and impress your friends, you knew someone who was. Thankfully, most drivers mature very quickly, the risk plummets, and insurers are able to reward them with lower rates.


Young men are more dangerous than young women behind the wheel. One of the highest risk demographics is a 16-year old male driver. By virtue of their age and their gender alone, their insurance quotes will likely be higher than at any other point in their life, even if they later make a claim for an at-fault accident or get convicted of a DUI.

It seems unfair, especially if you consider yourself to be a responsible, careful, young male driver, but insurers aren’t interested in promises. They focus purely on the statistics and for teenage boys, those statistics don’t look good.

Young female drivers are still considered to be a greater risk than older females, but they can expect to pay less than males on average.

There are a few caveats here that need to be addressed.

Firstly, while young men are charged more than young women, the same can’t be said for older drivers. In older drivers, the accident rate is higher in women than it is in men and some insurance quotes will reflect this.

Secondly, a handful of states have outlawed the practice of discriminating based on gender. These states include Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Montana, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Homeowner and Marital Status

Married drivers are safer than single drivers. It seems like a strange statement to make as there is no direct and obvious reason, and what’s even stranger is that the difference is considerable.

In one study, researchers found that single drivers were twice as likely to be involved in a car accident when all other parameters were accounted for. In other words, a 25-year-old driver with a clean driving history is twice as likely to crash than a 25-year old married driver with the same driving history.

You could pay as much as 15% less on your auto insurance premiums just because you tied the knot!

While there is no obvious reasoning behind this, it seems plausible to suggest that married drivers are safer because they have more responsibility and more to lose. Getting married also requires making a very big commitment, and such commitments are more likely to be made by people who are responsible and grounded.

Of course, that’s not to say that you’re irresponsible if you’re not married or that you’re responsible if you are. We’re talking about averages.

By the same token, homeowners can secure lower premiums than renters. Not only are they deemed a lower risk, but they are also a better prospect to the insurer, as they have more money, are more financially responsible, and can purchase a homeowners insurance policy along with their car insurance policy.

In this sense, a homeowner can save money in two ways, making homeowner status one of the biggest determining factors in acquiring cheap car insurance.


Car insurance quotes differ considerably from state to state. Drivers in rural areas may pay less than those in built-up areas, but that’s not always the case.

Underwriters will look at the level of car crime (theft, vandalism) and car accidents in your area, before using this information to set your rates. Weather and animal collisions will also be considered.

Credit History

Credit scores are checked in most states and higher premiums are charged to drivers with bad credit and no credit as there is a higher chance (statistically speaking) they will make an insurance claim.

Your credit score is an essential component of your financial life, something you need to nurture carefully and check at least once a year. 

35% of your credit score is based on your payment history, and there is no quick and easy way to improve it. The same applies to the smaller parts of your score that are based on account age. The only way to improve these aspects of your score is to keep making payments, avoid too many applications and new accounts, and prioritize all debt payments.

30% of your score is based on your credit utilization ratio and this can be changed following a few simple improvements. Credit utilization looks at your total available credit (credit limits) and your total used credit (debt). By increasing your limits and paying off as much debt as possible, you can improve this aspect of your score.

Claims History

Insurance companies will check your claims history before setting your premiums and may charge you more if you have any at-fault claims in your recent history.

It’s a different story if you have comprehensive claims and accidents that weren’t your fault, but generally, the more you cost your current insurers and previous insurers, the higher your premiums will be.

Driving Record

Your driving history is one of the biggest things affecting your car insurance rates. The more moving violations you have on your record, the more likely you are to be hit with high rates.

Even a speeding ticket can increase your rates by between 15% and 30%, while DUI/DWI convictions and reckless driving/racing charges could bump your costs by as much as 70%.

Type of Vehicle

One of the biggest mistakes that young drivers make is to purchase a flash, fast car that looks great but is far from practical. No 16-year-old boy dreams of buying a used Honda; they want sports cars, luxury cars, something they can show off to their friends.

Underwriters look at the likelihood of the vehicle being stolen (based on national and local statistics) and account for anti-theft devices, safety features, and the cost of repairs. The fewer features it has and the harder it is to find affordable and suitable parts, the higher your auto insurance quotes will be.

Instead, look for a vehicle that is a few years old but has a high safety rating, lots of safety features (front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes) and is not targeted by thieves. The difference between some luxury German cars compared to cheaper Honda and Toyota cars can be over 200%.


How much you drive isn’t as important as you would expect. The difference between a driver who does 5,000 miles a year and one who does 15,000 is often just a couple of percent. It doesn’t make much sense at first, because surely the driver who does 15,000 miles is three times as likely to be involved in an accident as one who does 5,000.

But, as always, it comes down to statistics. 

Statistically speaking, the more miles you do, the more experienced you are, and this experience pays off. People who limit their driving to just a few thousand miles may do so because they don’t like driving in the dark or refuse to drive too far from their homes or on busy roads. They may not be confident behind the wheel.

Of course, that only applies to a small percentage of them, but that’s enough to skew the statistics and to balance things out. 

Lower mileage drivers will still be quoted less, but because of these factors, the difference won’t be as impressive as you might have thought.

Driving habits are just as important, with the underwriters looking at where you do those miles, how busy the roads are, what time you drive, and how common car accidents are in that area.

Bottom Line: You Won’t Always Pay More

In all of the above cases, we looked at risk and how it can impact car insurance rates. However, you won’t always receive higher insurance rates based on some of the factors we discussed. You will certainly be deemed a higher risk, but many states don’t allow insurers to discriminate in some of these areas.

As noted above, in some states, California included, it is illegal for insurance companies to charge higher rates based on gender. Make sure you check with your local authorities and insurance providers to better understand what is and isn’t considered when determining your auto insurance rates.


How Auto Claims Affect Auto Insurance Rates

  • Car Insurance

Insurance rates are based on risk and liability. If you are a young male and have accumulated multiple traffic violations, you will fall into that high-risk category and will be quoted much higher rates as a result.

Find your best rate on Car Insurance!

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Compare free personalized quotes from the nation’s top providers.

But one of the biggest things affecting your premiums is whether or not you have any insurance claims, including at-fault accidents. Any time the insurer is required to make a payout, your value as a policyholder decreases and your insurance costs will increase.

The question is, how big will those increases be, what sort of claims affect them, and are there any ways to offset them?

Average Auto Insurance Rates After a Car Accident

Car insurance rates vary significantly from state to state, taking everything from the number of uninsured drivers to the level of car crime into account. In lieu of an accident forgiveness program, your premiums will increase in all states following an insurance claim, but the rate of this increase can range from just 15% to as much as 85%.

Take a look at the list below to see how much your insurance premiums can increase following an at-fault accident. We have taken quotes from several major insurance companies to show both minimum coverage options (as required by the state) and full coverage (including comprehensive coverage and collision coverage), before noting the average increase when adding an at-fault claim.

However, these insurance quotes are just averages based on our own research and there is no guarantee that you will get the same results.

  • Alabama – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,400; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $550; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 35%.
  • Alaska – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $450; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.
  • Arizona – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,400; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $600; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 25%.
  • Arkansas – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,450; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $550; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 30%.  
  • California – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,650; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 70%.
  • Colorado – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,600; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 32%. 
  • Connecticut – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,700; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $850; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 32%.
  • Delaware – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,550; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $850; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 40%.
  • D.C. – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,550; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $750; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 30%.
  • Florida – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $2,350; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,100; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 35%.
  • Georgia – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,600; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $700; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 42%. 
  • Hawaii – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $500; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 14%.
  • Idaho – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $950; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $350; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 28%. 
  • Illinois – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,150; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $450; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 30%. 
  • Indiana – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.
  • Iowa – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $300; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 40%.
  • Kansas – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $450; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 23%. 
  • Kentucky – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $2,150; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,000; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.  
  • Louisiana – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $3,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,150; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 50%.
  • Maine – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $900; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $350; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.
  • Maryland – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,600; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $800; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 40%.
  • Massachusetts – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $550; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 18%.
  • Michigan – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $2,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,300; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 49%.  
  • Minnesota – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $550; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 85%.
  • Mississippi – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,400; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $500; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 25%.
  • Missouri – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $500; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 25%. 
  • Montana – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 19%. 
  • Nebraska – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 28%.
  • Nevada – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,900; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $900; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 35%. 
  • New Hampshire – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,050; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 30%. 
  • New Jersey – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,800; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,000; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%. 
  • New Mexico – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $500; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 25%.
  • New York – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $2,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $1,000; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 14%.
  • North Carolina –Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,100; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 42%.
  • North Dakota – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.
  • Ohio – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,050; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $450; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 24%. 
  • Oklahoma – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,600; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $600; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 22%.
  • Oregon – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 38%.
  • Pennsylvania – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,150; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 28%.
  • Rhode Island – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,700; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $800; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 30%.
  • South Carolina –Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,450; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 15%.
  • South Dakota –Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $300; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 32%.
  • Tennessee – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 32%.
  • Texas – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,500; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 40%.
  • Utah – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $600; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 40%.
  • Vermont – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $300; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 20%.
  • Virginia – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $400; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 28%.
  • Washington – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,250; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $650; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 35%.
  • West Virginia – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,300; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $500; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 32%.
  • Wisconsin – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,000; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $350; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 35%.  
  • Wyoming – Insurance Rates for Full Coverage = $1,200; Insurance Rates for Minimum Coverage = $350; Potential Increase with One At-Fault Accident = 25%.

When to File a Claim

If you don’t report an incident to your insurance company, it won’t affect your rates. But you’re insured for a reason, and the goal is to save money and stay protected, not to keep your insurance provider happy. Deciding when to file and when not to file will come down to the severity of the incident and whether or not you have an alternative solution.

For instance:

You Damage Someone’s Car

You should always contact your insurance company if you cause an accident with a driver you don’t know and, therefore, can’t trust.

They may offer to settle the issue personally, asking for payment so they can get the car repaired. But what’s stopping them from taking your money and asking for more at a later date? What happens if they take the car to a mechanic they know and they both decide to take you for a ride?

Advise that they make a claim and then tell your insurance company about the incident. 

If it’s minor, your auto insurance premiums shouldn’t increase by that much, if at all. 

If it’s major, it doesn’t really matter as you have no choice but to inform them. A major accident could lead to extensive property damage and bodily injury—that’s what car insurance is for.

You Damage Your Own Car Hitting a Wall

If you damage your own vehicle hitting a wall, tree or other object, you can choose to deal with the issue yourself or contact your insurer. If you don’t have collision coverage, you don’t have a choice as you won’t be covered for an accident like this.

Even if you do have it, there’s a good chance the deductible will be higher than the cost of the repairs, so you may want to assess the damage, get a quote, and only contact your insurer if the repairs are extensive.

Your Car is Vandalized or Damaged by Weather

Again, it all comes down to whether or not the damage is extensive enough to warrant making a claim. You will also need to have comprehensive coverage, as this covers you for weather damage (floods, hail, winds) and vandalism, whereas standard liability coverage and collision coverage does not.

You Hit an Animal

If you have collision coverage, you may not be covered for an animal collision. One of the strange quirks of collision insurance is that you’re only covered if you swerve to avoid the animal and hit a guardrail or tree. If you actually collide with the animal and it causes damage, you will only be covered if you have comprehensive insurance.

Will a Car Insurance Claim Always Trigger a Rate Increase?

​Anytime you are deemed to be a higher risk, there’s a chance your car insurance premiums will increase. However, that doesn’t mean they will automatically jump-up just because you make a claim.

​Car insurance companies will look at the following information to evaluate your rates:

  • ​Your Complete Driving Record
  • ​The Number of Claims Made In the Past
  • ​The Size of Payouts Following Previous Claims

They will also consider whether or not you are part of a forgiveness program, which can forgive comprehensive claims and accidents.

If your rates do change, you will receive an updated car insurance policy before it is due for renewal.

Reduce Cost of Car Insurance Coverage After a Claim

If you’re being offered much higher car insurance quotes because you have a claim, speeding ticket or DUI on your record, it’s not the end of the world. There are multiple ways you can secure a lower rate, including:

1. Shop Around

Don’t accept your renewal rate and assume you’re being offered the best price just because you’ve been with that company for several years.

You can almost certainly get cheaper rates elsewhere.

Shop around, see what other insurance companies will offer you. Get quotes from big providers like GEICO, Allstate, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual; look into Esurance and The General, and don’t forget about smaller and more localized providers.

2. Try Usage-Based Car Insurance

Usage-based programs are offered by most major providers. They will install a telematics device in your car, and this will connect to your smartphone to give you real-time data concerning your driving habits.

If your current insurer doesn’t offer one of these programs, look elsewhere. Many insurers promise that your rates won’t increase if it’s found that you have dangerous driving habits and they’ll also give you rate discounts just for signing up.

Not only are these programs a great way to save, but they can also encourage you to drive safely and adopt responsible habits, which will help to build a clean driving record going forward.

3. Improve Your Credit Score

Poor credit leads to higher rates. Your credit history is not as important as your driving history but it still plays a role and it is crucial, therefore, to improve your score as much as possible.

We have multiple articles to help you with this, including guides on how to improve your credit score in just a few months.

4. Increase Your Deductible

Adding a few hundred dollars to your deductible could decrease your rates by as much as 15%. You will pay more if you are involved in another accident and make another claim, but if you’re a safe driver and are confident in your abilities, or you have a car that isn’t worth a great deal, you can take the chance.

5. Look into Car Insurance Discounts

We have discussed car insurance discounts extensively in the past, so we won’t get into them again here (click the link for more information). However, it’s worth reiterating that by taking defensive driver courses, going paperless, paying upfront, and buying a car with multiple safety features you can save a small fortune on your car insurance premiums.

Bottom Line: Getting Help

If you’re not confident in your abilities to find the best and cheapest car insurance; you’re a little confused by discounts and you don’t understand the coverage options, we recommend going through an insurance agent.

They can help you with all this and ensure you get the best auto policy at the lowest price. You can also find a wealth of guides on car insurance right here on this website.

Our expert writers have penned hundreds of thousands of words on this subject and covered every possible niche and every conceivable question, ensuring that no stone is left unturned. Whatever you need to know about car insurance, you can find it at PocketYourDollars.


Car Insurance: Liability vs. Full Coverage

December 31, 2018 &• 5 min read by Taylor Cenicola Comments 0 Comments

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Most people need car insurance in order to drive legally. Car insurance has two main categories: liability and full coverage.

The two types of car insurance will cover you in different circumstances. They also come at two very different prices. This article will cover the difference between the two types of car insurance coverage.

Liability Coverage 

Liability car insurance is simply insurance that covers your liability. In other words, liability coverage will pay for any damage to other property or people. You must pay out of pocket for your own damage though.

Liability coverage has two other subcategories as well.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury coverage is exactly what it sounds like. This type of coverage covers medical expenses for the other party in the event you have an accident. Without bodily injury protection, you have to pay their medical expenses.

You can choose the amount of bodily injury coverage that you want to purchase. Keep in mind that most states require drivers to have bodily injury liability insurance to legally drive a vehicle.

Property Damage

Property damage coverage is also exactly what it sounds like. This covers physical damage to property, which usually means a vehicle. It may cover other property damage too, but this depends on the coverage.

Full Coverage

Full coverage car insurance is likely what most people think of when they search for auto insurance. Full coverage insurance will cover your vehicle in the event of an accident.

It may also cover your vehicle for than just an accident too, but this depends on the terms of the policy. Some policies cover acts of God, which means you will have coverage for natural disasters and other natural events. Some examples include the following:

  • Falling objects
  • Flooding
  • Theft
  • Other unforeseen circumstances

Legally Required Coverage

The coverage required by law varies depending on the state. Forty-seven states require liability insurance. The amount varies depending on the state. However, if you use a loan to purchase to a vehicle, then your loan provider will require you to purchase full coverage insurance. Lenders do this so they can receive money if you have an accident, or the car gets damaged.

Do I Need Full Coverage?

The decision to get full coverage or liability coverage is one that depends on a wide range of factors and your risk tolerance. This section will cover all the factors you should consider before deciding what insurance to choose. However, this section will not recommend a policy type for you to purchase. Simply consider the factors listed below when shopping for auto insurance.

Things to Consider

The following are a few considerations to make when deciding the level of insurance coverage you will need:

Your Ability to Purchase a Vehicle: one of the most important things to consider is your ability to purchase a new vehicle in the event of an accident. Remember, if you total a vehicle, then you will likely need a rental car for a few days while you search for a new car.

Also, you might have money at the moment, but if you’re in a money crunch and wreck your car, then you might have a problem purchasing a vehicle. Make sure to keep your ability to purchase a new vehicle in mind before dropping full coverage.

Vehicle Resale Value: another important factor is the resale of your vehicle. For instance, if you have a junk car, then paying for full coverage might not be worth it. Your insurance company will most likely total the car in the event of even the most minor accident because the cost of repairs exceeds the total loss in value of the vehicle. The car’s value might not even exceed the deductible, which means you might have to pay out of pocket!

On the other hand, if you have a very expensive vehicle, then full coverage will mean your wallet will not hurt as much in the event you wreck your vehicle. Your insurance company may even pay to fix the vehicle rather than writing it off. This just depends on the cost of the repairs and the total value of your car.

Policy Cost: the price difference between a liability insurance policy and a full coverage insurance policy will vary depending on a lot of factors such as your driving record, type of vehicle, zip code, and even the color of your car. It will also depend on your credit score!

Despite all those factors, sometimes only a marginal difference in price between the two policies exists. If the price difference is small enough, then it might make more sense to purchase the comprehensive coverage.

Risk Tolerance: one of the more critical factors in deciding the type of coverage you want is your risk tolerance. Insurance, by definition, is merely paying to transfer your risk to another party. You will have to analyze all the factors and determine the amount of risk you want to have.

Loan: if you have a loan on your vehicle, then you will have to purchase full coverage insurance for the amount of your loan. You might have the ability to lower the total coverage to your loan amount though. You will have to contact your lender to check.

Final Thoughts

The difference between liability insurance and full coverage insurance is a very large one in a legal sense and a benefit sense. It can also make a financial difference. You want to know exactly what type of coverage you purchase before signing a contract.

Make sure to fully review the policy and understand exactly what it covers and does not cover. This understanding is especially important for a full coverage plan since they tend to be very large.

More importantly, understand exactly what type of insurance fits your needs. Sometimes purchasing a liability plan make more sense for you and sometimes purchasing full coverage makes more sense for you. The above checklist should help you find the right type of insurance for your needs.

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The Top Secondary MSAs for CRE Investment

Which metro areas have performed best during the coronavirus pandemic?

COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on commercial real estate in top-tier metropolitan areas — particularly the gateway markets, many of which were forced to completely shut down businesses in an effort to control the pandemic. Most secondary markets suffered the same fate, but according to a recent report by data firm Trepp LLC, some fared better than others.

Trepp analyzed the performance of 21 secondary MSAs and created a list of the top 10 areas based on their commercial real estate investment potential. Here are the top five:

1.  Austin-Round Rock, Texas. Austin ranked first due to a high rate of population growth, a low unemployment rate, a strong influx of high-tech and warehousing jobs and an increase in new CMBS issuance.

2.  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California. San Jose has strong employment and population growth, low CMBS delinquency rates and a high average occupancy rate.

3.  Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado. Denver saw the largest growth in the total outstanding CMBS balance as well as a low delinquency rate and limited exposure for retail and lodging loans.

4.  San Antonio-New Braunfels Texas. The MSA has had strong population growth and a minimal increase in its unemployment rate. The CMBS delinquency rate is low even though retail accounts for the largest balance.

5.  Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California. The MSA ranks relatively high due to its average occupancy rate and low CMBS delinquency rate.

Wondering which MSAs didn’t perform as well? The lowest-ranking secondary metros were Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wisc. Both MSAs had high delinquency and unemployment rates.

For more information, click here or use the contact information below.


Working Together as a Team: Negotiating with Commercial Tenants During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread mandatory closures of all types of commercial properties. These closures, along with reduced consumer spending, have hampered business operations and created challenges for many businesses that lease office and industrial properties – some of which have asked their landlords for assistance in the form of rent abatements or deferrals.

Landlords facing this issue should refer to a research brief issued by the NAIOP Research Foundation that identifies best practices for triaging office and industrial tenant requests, offering reasonable accommodations to those tenants who need short-term assistance and responding to affected tenants.

Based on input from brokers and building owners as well as NAIOP data, the brief identified these common practices:

  • Rent relief. Building owners are generally willing to offer tenants reasonable rent relief to help them weather short-term disruptions due to COVID-19. The most common practice is to offer tenants a few months of deferred – not forgiven – rent that can be repaid over the remainder of the lease. Some landlords also agree to rent abatements, but only in exchange for a longer lease term.
  • Due diligence. Owners commonly request tenant financials to confirm that the request for relief is due to COVID-19 and to determine if the tenant is able to fulfill the lease terms.
  • Lender assistance. Many owners seek assistance from their own lenders to help them pay for property maintenance, taxes and insurance during periods when tenants are deferring rent payments. Lenders have been amenable to borrowers deferring principal payments as long as they can demonstrate need and maintain the property.


Update on the Multifamily Market

Thinking about an apartment investment? Despite reports of slowdowns and an oversupply in some markets around the country, a new national report from Yardi Matrix portrays remarkable consistency in the U.S. multifamily industry. Rents increased by $5 in April 2019 as robust job creation continues to drive absorption of about 300,000 new units per year.

Yardi’s latest Multifamily National Report is based on a survey of 127 major U.S. real estate markets and concludes that “there seems to be no reason to think the multifamily juggernaut is going to hit the pause button.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • The average rent in April was $1,436.
  • Year-over-year rent leaders were Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta. Tech hubs such as Raleigh, Charlotte, Austin and Tampa also showed strong growth.
  • The occupancy rate dipped only about 10 basis points despite the new supply coming online. The national occupancy rate for stable properties is 94.8 percent.
  • Rents increased in all of the top 30 markets over the past year. At 0.6 percent, Houston was the only market with a gain of less than 1.4 percent.
  • The apartment market is being driven by the strong economy, which is pumping out 200,000 or so jobs each month, encouraging household formation by young workers. It’s also being driven by a slowing of homeownership; the homeownership rate dropped 60 basis points in the quarter.

All of these factors bode well for the apartment market, at least in the short term – and for investors.