Car insurance companies don't like guessing games. When you ask for a quote, they want to know who you are and what you've been up to. Fortunately for insurers, there are a lot of companies willing to help them.
Here are the most common reports used by car insurance companies to help determine whether they want to insure you and at what price. Some reports you can get yourself, and others you'll never see.
1. Insurance score
Your credit history is important to car insurance companies because it's a predictor of how likely you are to pay on time and make a claim. There are exceptions: If you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts, auto insurers can't use credit information to set rates.
A credit score typically takes into account your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit.
Insurers often pull a report called a FICO insurance score. You can't get your own insurance score, but your credit score generally mirrors your insurance score as it moves up or down. Therefore, monitoring your credit is important, because bad credit can bump you to a more expensive rate class for insurance.
Sites like WisePiggy.com (a sister site of CarInsurance.com) offer free credit score reports so that you can monitor your status.
2. Attract score
Another credit-based score comes from LexisNexis, a provider of risk and data information services. This is called the Attract Insurance Score and helps insurers judge your risk. Unlike a FICO insurance score, you can get your own Attract score from LexisNexis for a modest cost.
3. Disclosure report
Did you give 100 percent accurate information to your car insurance company? If not, it will find out. LexisNexis offers insurers a report called RiskView that promises to provide a comprehensive view into a person's financial health. Not only does it determine your creditworthiness, but the report also confirms some of the information you have provided.