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Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: Your Record Counts

In California, whether you live in the city or the country won't matter more than your driving record does.

What's more crucial in determining your car-insurance costs: how you drive or where you live? You might be surprised to learn how important your address is. But a recent state-court ruling in California ensures that your zip code won't matter more than your safety record, daily travel distance or driving experience. Prior to the change, for example, a woman who had driven for 22 years with no accidents or traffic violations could pay up to $1,700 more per year just by changing her address. Insurers say that they charge more in some areas because the risk is greater there, and that rural drivers could now see their rates rise 10% to 30% to subsidize their city counterparts. Expect other states to tackle the territory issue now.