GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
How Does Your Credit Score Affect The Cost of Your Business Insurance?
Did you know that the cost of your insurance for your small business depends on how good or bad your credit score is? It’s true.
Study done show business owners with a high credit score file fewer claims than business owners with a bad credit score. Furthermore, and much more instinctively, quite a bit of the information in a person’s credit report has been shown to indicate if that company will even pay their monthly payments for their business insurance on schedule or ever!
Insurance companies regularly base the cost of their services on a person’s credit score since so many different researches have revealed that the way people manage their money, which is what a credit score shows, will accurately predict if they are more likely to file an insurance claim.
Statistics show that if someone has a bad credit score, they will probably be someone who files insurance claims too. Therefore this fact lets the insurance providers have a more accurate way to know what to charge someone based on how much of a risk they pose, and this helps prevent those insured people who don’t usually make a claim pay lower costs than the people they deem more likely to make a claim.
Due to that, federal law lets insurance companies see things in a person’s credit report. Business insurance providers don’t have to tell a customer they are using information from a credit report, and the majority of times people don’t even know it happened. It’s vital therefore for anyone who purchases insurance policies to understand what their insurance score is, and the ways it is different from their credit score, as well as how it pertains to getting insurance.
How Do Insurance Scores Get Calculated?
Insurance scores are many times called credit-based insurance scores. They are mathematical ratings determined by a multifaceted model derived from data from a person’s credit report. These insurance scoring models are proved to be able to statistically predict the chances a client will suffer a loss covered by their insurance. Lots of people with insurance use the scores along with additional factors to aid in underwriting and pricing policies lots more precisely. The higher the chances, the more costly their monthly payments will be.
Each insurance provider has a proprietary way of using the client’s credit data. FICO, a chief company which produces credit-based insurance scores, reports that about 95 percent of car insurance companies and 85 percent of homeowners insurance companies employ credit-based insurance scores in those US states that allow this type of underwriting or this kind of risk classification by law.
How Do Insurance Scores Work?
Insurance scores are linked to the amount of claims people make. The cause for the popularity of so many insurance companies adopting this method of using insurance scores to underwrite and rate people, is because the majority of they discovered a robust affiliation between a person’s insurance score and possible losses. When the score was low, they found there was a higher risk of a claim.
Insurance scores aid insurers in achieving these goals via the differing ways insurance companies use the insurance scores in various ways and varied extents. Characteristics which could be involved in your insurance score consist of unpaid debt, how long of a credit history you have, if you have paid creditors late, if any bill has gone into collections or you have filed for any bankruptcies, as well as how many new credit applications you’ve filed for, how many credit cards you have, the kind of credit accounts you have, and how much unused credit you have.
How is a Business Insurance Credit Score Used?
A business insurance rate is grounded on a small grouping of data from a person’s credit report, and the companies that sell business insurance can only use certain kinds of that data. That data is called an "insurance credit score."
Here you can see exactly what data from a person’s credit report can be used and what can’t.
Insurance credit scores came about precisely for insurance usage, but it’s not the score mortgage providers or someone selling you a car would be accessing. This kind of score is based on only the data from a person’s credit report that pertain to the insurance business.
A few of the things a business insurance provider will use from your credit report are:
- Number of credit cards the business has;
- Number of loans and additional money your business owes;
- If your business pays its bills on time;
- If any bills have gone into collections, along with
- Length of the business’ credit history.
On the positive side, it’s unlawful to reject someone from getting insurance based only on not having a long credit history.
Here are a few of the items insurance providers can’t use from a business’ insurance credit report:
- How much credit you can access.
- How many times your company has asked for new credit.
- What kind of credit history the business has
- Not a long enough credit history to have a score.
- The kinds of credit cards or other deb your business has.
The law states that you can see the report on your insurance credit score, just like you are allowed to access your regular credit report. It should be looked at on a regular basis so you know the data is correct. If any data is wrong, you can use the proper channels to fix it just like can be done when there are mistakes in a regular credit report.
An insurance credit score comprises items like the pattern of payment for bills owed every month, if there are any debt turned over to a collections agency, how many loans you may have as well as how many credit accounts you have.
If someone didn’t pay all their credit card bills, defaulted on a loan, etc., the insurance providers don’t know if you will pay your premiums on time either. If you have ever declared bankruptcy, it causes a severe problem with determining your insurance credit score, so you will likely pay higher business insurance premiums. However, once the bankruptcy drops off a person’s credit history in about 7 years, your rate for your business insurance premiums should go down.
It is vital to understand that according to the law, a person’s business insurance premium rates can’t go up just because there isn’t enough of a credit history to determine their credit score.
Credit Score vs Insurance Score
It is vital to understand credit and insurance scores are different. While your credit score and a credit-based insurance score both get determined based on the data in your credit report, both scores are totally different. Your credit-based insurance score forecasts the chances you will file a claim on your insurance, whereas your credit score gets used by creditors to forecast the likelihood you will pay back loans. Because the two scores forecast totally different kinds of risk, there’s no connection to one another.
The goal of scoring someone’s credit is to figure out the likelihood they will pay back money they borrowed in a timely fashion over a scheduled timeframe. Banks and creditors use things like income, your job history, etc., when figuring out your credit score, as that shows if you have good ability to pay back money you have borrowed.
The goal of a credit-based insurance score is to figure out the likelihood someone will file a claim that the insurance policy will have to pay them to settle. Importance is put on factors connected to how the person manages their credit, as certain things show more of an insurance risk, like unpaid bills, how long they’ve had a credit history, if they pay bills late, if they have filed for bankruptcy or if a bill has gone into collections, as well as if they have tried to get new credit cards or loans. Finally, insurance scores may significantly affect how high your monthly insurance payments will be.
Factors Affecting Your Insurance Score
An insurance score is determined largely on a person’s overall credit rating. The final insurance score that’s determined comes from a mix of a person’s credit score and their past history of previous insurance claims.
Statistics show that people who have low credit scores are quite a bit more expected to put in a claim on their insurance than someone with a high credit score. Similarly, people who have what is called a “perfect” insurance score are considered as those with the least likely chance of putting in a claim their insurance will have to pay.
Hardly anyone though has this perfect insurance score. But it isn’t impossible to earn it. But, its quite conceivable you can get a great insurance score, and then you’ll have lower monthly payments for your insurance.
Data used to determine an insurance score consists of unpaid debt, credit history length, if you’ve paid creditors late, number of new credit account applications, whether you pay your bills on time, if you have past due bills, and things that show up in your public records.
Credit investigations by insurance providers, along with credit investigations started by somebody besides you won’t be used as a factor in determining your insurance score. Things not used in determining an insurance score also include a person’s income, their race, national origin, as well as how old they are, their gender, if they are married and their address..
There are numerous companies which produce credit-based insurance score reports used by insurance providers. For instance, FICO delivers these characteristics to insurance providers when they are asked for someone’s insurance credit score:
- Payment History- 40 percent
- Unpaid Bills – 30 percent
- Length of Credit History – 15 percent
- Amount of New Credit Requests- 10 percent
- The mix of credit accounts, i.e. kinds of loans, type of credit cards, revolving debts, etc. – five percent
Top Hints For Improving an Insurance Score
Here are some hints on how to raise your insurance score:
- Never pay your bills late.
- Don’t use up more than 25 percent of your accessible credit.
- Don’t apply for a lot of new loans or credit cards.
- Have a low amount of credit accounts or cards.
- Study your credit report every year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets everyone get one credit report free every year via the three scoring sites. These are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- You don’t have to get them all at once, so can check your credit every few months if desired.
Stay away from “fast” ways to “fix” your credit. It’s better to build it up over a period of time.
- Develop and maintain a plan to start paying off old debt and not acquiring new bills.
- Try not to acquire new bills.
- Build your credit history by establishing credit, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better, as this helps to raise the insurance score.
- Negotiate with creditors. Settle any bills you owe prior to letting them get given to collection agencies.
How Can I Lower the Cost of My Insurance?
A few things can be done to get a better insurance score, which could help lower your insurance bill.
Insurance scores which are grounded on the ways people manage their credit don’t affect your insurance score much if you’ve only filed a single claim over the years. And your insurance score will rise if you use credit responsibly, especially during the past year of usage. So, if you want a higher insurance score, then you reliably pay bills on time, make sure your credit card bills are low, as well as the amounts owed on revolving credit accounts, and don’t ask for new credit unless you really need it.
One method of raising your insurance score encompasses raising your credit score and improving your credit history. After that, make sure you always pay bills on time, and lower the amount of what you owe on your credit cards and other accounts. Plus, if you file less or best case scenario, no claims against your insurance, it also should help to raise your insurance score.
Of course you can’t control everything, like not having a long credit history, but you can usually raise an insurance score if you do things like pay loans or home mortgage bills when due, keep all credit accounts up to date and don’t ask for a lot of new credit cards in a short timeframe.
Likewise, keep close watch on how much of your credit is still available as if you are mostly maxed out, it is held against you.
Satisfactory credit data will get someone lower payments. Since they evaluate above average as well as below average characteristics, there’s still a chance to earn a rate that nets you lower payments, despite having a few bad things in your credit information.
Reasons your score could go up:
- Credit history is lengthy
- Most of your open credit accounts payments are up to date
- There are no accounts with late payments or past due notices
- Have not maxed out available credit
Reasons your score could go down:
- Accounts have gone into collections
- Lots of payments are past due
- Maxed out on available credit
- Have requested several new credit accounts recently
These things may quickly change, therefore, if you have high premiums this year, which was a year where you perhaps bought a new car or maxed out your credit cards due to medical bills, which showed you were using a lot of your available credit and asking for new accounts, it could be that if you don’t do the same thing in the next several months, your insurance score could go back up.
An insurance score, also known as credit-based insurance score, is a mathematical rating determined by a multifaceted model derived from data in a credit report. These insurance scoring models have been proven to be able to statistically predict the chances a customer will claim a loss covered by their insurance.
Many people are worried and ask, what is a great insurance score? To answer that question the insurance company takes the history of the claims you have filed along with your credit score and mix them to determine the insurance score. This score ranges between 200 and 997. If your score is 770 or above, that’s a great score.
All US states don’t permit the insurance companies to use a person’s credit score to determine the amount of their monthly payments. A few let credit scores be used in determining cost of property insurance. Some permit it for determining any kind of insurance premiums. You should ask your state’s insurance department what is permitted in your state.