Your street address may cost you dearly in car insurance

Car accidentCar accident

Insurance companies use a variety of criteria to estimate car insurance. One of the criteria is the car owner’s address, and there may be large differences at the street level.


‘Where you live will actually affect the price of insurance’ said Christian Haraldsen, communications manager at Gjensidige Insurance Company.

Some insurance companies operate 30 different criteria for setting an insurance price. These could be anything from how far one drives in a year, the age of the car, the driver’s age, to what kind of engine the car has.

But also the area in which the owner lives, and the actual street address itself have an impact on the price.

‘We base our estimates on statistics that show how insurable one is dependent upon different factors, and your street address is one such factor,’ said Haraldsen.

Differences from street to street

Insurance companies keep their own statistics on claims. Thus, if a company finds that they receive many cases of accidents from people living in a particular area or street, then the insurance price will also increase for everyone who lives in that area or street who is insured by that company.

So if there are a lot of car crashes among those living on one street, but none for the next street down, the price will be cheaper where there is no registry entry.

‘Where you live actually speaks volumes,’ said Simen Rudi, communications adviser at Sparebank 1 insurance.

Over NOK 2000 difference

A small sample taken by NRK news has shown that in some insurance companies, over 2,000 kroner differences can be distinguished between one place and another. And these may be differences right down to the street level.

‘We don’t know exactly where you will be driving, but we know the area you live in. With that, we can determine something about which routes you travel. If you live in a big city like Oslo or Bergen, we know something about the traffic picture there, and the parking situation’, explained Rudi.

But the companies don’t cooperate between each other with the statistics, meaning they make their own assessments from their own statistics.

‘If you live more rurally, there may be dirt roads, narrow roads, and tight turns. These may be causative factors. We have statistics on all of these and there are quite big differences. So where you live can have quite an affect’, said Rudi.

Is the system fair?

‘It’s true that most people think they should pay a little less or earn a little more. But we believe we create the right prices based on the information we possess concerning accident and injury risk,’ said Haraldsen in a tone of unassuageable finality.



© NRK / Norway Today