5 Unusual Things that Raise Your Car Insurance Rates

Something as natural as growing older can cause your insurance rates to rise. See more car safety pictures.

If life were a boxing match, a car accident would be a one-two punch. The collision, of course, is the first part. Once you've made sure everyone's OK and taken care of all of the insurance details, you probably just want to put it all behind you. And that's when the second blow hits you: In addition to being on the hook for the necessary vehicle repairs, your car insurance premium is now going to rise.

Most consumers are aware that certain things will cause their auto insurance rates to take a hike -- causing an accident, getting a speeding ticket or two, and adding a young, male driver to the household are just a few of the more obvious examples. But there are times when opening your insurance bill and seeing a new, higher premium staring back may surprise you. You drive cautiously, have never been in even a minor fender-bender and have no teens at home. What gives?

There are actually quite a lot of reasons why your car insurance rates may rise. But your agent may have neglected to inform you of these reasons when you first signed up, or you may have forgotten them over the years. The next few pages discuss five not-so-common reasons for rate hikes, and what you can do to prevent them. If, unfortunately, they're unavoidable, at least you'll know they're coming.