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Getting to the whole truth about car insurance

Consumer Reports' investigates how car insurance policies and rates are determined

Published: July 30, 2015 10:00 AM

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This month Consumer Reports looks past the friendly facade of car insurance ads to get to the heart of how the companies determine your rates. The results of our investigation, which we believe to be the most extensive study of car insurance pricing in the U.S., will surprise you—and spur you to action.

We began our examination of insurance companies’ undercover and sometimes unfair pricing practices back in 2013. More than 2 billion price quotes later, our data plainly reveals that you’re being charged—and sometimes penalized—based on factors you might find objectionable.

For instance, our report shows that a poor driving record may not affect your premium as much as a less-than-stellar credit history. Some insurance carriers may be closely scrutinizing the credit cards you use to shop. And discounts you thought you could count on, such as student driver safety courses, don’t routinely deliver the savings consumers have come to expect.

We believe all consumers have the right to know what’s behind the going rates for products and services so that they’re not subjected to unfair or potentially discriminatory tactics. That’s why we’re pressuring regulators and policymakers to take a hard look at the car insurance marketplace.

Make your voice be heard. Sign the online petition at the bottom of "The Truth About Car Insurance." We’ll bring hundreds of thousands of signatures to the nation’s insurance commissioners to demand reform.

—Marta L. Tellado, President and CEO

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the September 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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