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Auto Insurance Rates Based On More Than Just Your Driving Record

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Is it legal to charge different insurance rates to people based on things other than their driving record?

An Arkansas teenager drove himself to his driver's license test. When police were called because he drove there without a license, he fled and hit the patrol car chasing him, causing $6500 in damage. Taa daa!

And if you think his insurance rates are gonna be high, how about your rates if you're insuring a new driver?

You may not realize it, but rates are determined based on risk factors other than your driving record.

Age is a factor - the highest rates are charged to people between the ages of 16 and 25. And despite the bad woman driver stereotype, men pay an average of $15,000 more for car insurance over their lifetime than women.

Single people pay more than their married counterparts. And where you live matters - urban dwellers pay more than those in rural areas with fewer thefts and less traffic.

The reason it's legal is because studies have shown that, statistically, some groups of people in some areas have more accidents - even if the particular individual has a clean record.

Turns out that even after the Arkansas teen's parents pay for the criminal lawyer, they might be saving money in insurance costs because he won't be driving anytime soon.

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