Car Insurance Rates by Occupation

Certain occupations directly affect your car insurance rates. Lawyers and doctors submit more claims than scientists and artists, so their rates are higher.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2021

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Your occupation may have a direct impact on your car insurance rates. You already know that if you own a vehicle and want to drive it on a public road, then you are going to have to purchase insurance for that car. The simple fact is that this is the law in every state with the sole exception of New Hampshire.

You can get FREE auto insurance quotes right now by entering your ZIP code in the box above!

What you may not know is that what you do for a living may be affecting how much you pay for your insurance, even if you aren’t using your vehicle for your work.

This idea may seem absurd, but there are proven connections between the stress levels for different types of occupations and a number of car accidents the drivers from those occupations have.


The problem is, many people view this type of rate selection as something akin to racial profiling. If the police aren’t allowed to assume that every Hispanic person in a largely Caucasian neighborhood is looking for trouble, are car insurance companies allowed to assume that every CEO is going to be a high-risk driver?

The bottom line is that the answer is yes. Insurance companies are allowed to make assumptions about a group of drivers based on the statistics that only represent some of those drivers.

Teen drivers, for example, are unilaterally presented with rates at least twice as high as those for adult drivers because, statistically speaking, teens cause the most accidents that result in high damage levels and death.

What insurance companies aren’t allowed to do is make that determination based on race.

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The Careers That Cost You the Most in Car Insurance

Before we get into who pays the highest insurance rates based on their occupation, it is important to note that this information was gathered from several large, well-known car insurance companies. However, this doesn’t, by any means, represent every insurance company in the country.

What’s more, the decision to start considering occupations for rate levels is a more recent development in the auto insurance world.

This practice began about ten years ago, after years of data showed that people with certain occupations were making the most claims.

The occupations that pay the most for their auto insurance rates:

  • Lawyers
  • Judges
  • Doctors
  • Executives
  • Business Owners

All of these jobs are considered to be high-stress jobs that require a lot of attention, long hours and whose success depends on the outcome of each case or business venture, meaning that the stress is ongoing. Most of these occupation types take their work and/or stress home with them and on the road with them.

These aren’t the only careers that pay more for their insurance rates. Recently added to this list of high-stress jobs are real estate brokers and social workers. Both of these careers have, in recent years, had an increase in stress due to the poor economy.

Real estate brokers because of the housing crash and social workers because more and more people are going into the system because of job losses. Plus, states aren’t hiring more workers because they don’t have the money.

In the UK, neither lawyers nor judges are considered to be high-risk drivers. In fact, they are on the other end of the spectrum being considered more responsible and having the fewest amounts of claims of all of the drivers.

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The Careers That Cost You the Least in Car Insurance

The careers that cost you the least amount of money are careers in science, with the exception of medical doctors, which find themselves on the highest paying list.


According to various insurance companies, scientists pay the least amount of money because they tend to take the least amount of risks in their everyday life. They are more analytical and take their time in making decisions. Regarding driving, this translates to less impulsiveness and the unwillingness to place themselves at risk.


Surprisingly, another group in the low paying category are artisans, which is surprising because actors/actress fall under this category. The justification behind this is that these men and women will be more likely to take public transportation because they live in larger cities. Hopefully, someone will share this information with Lindsey Lohan.


Another group that tends to pay less for auto insurance is pilots. The reason for this is that they could easily find themselves out of a job if they have a lot of auto accidents. Also, this group of individuals is the least likely to drive while inebriated, because that is a one-way ticket to the unemployment line.

Home Businesses

What’s interesting is that if you are a business owner who does business from home rather than commuting to an office, then you will pay less for your insurance than someone who owns their own business but has to commute.

The exception here is if you are on the road a lot for sales meetings and such, then your rates will still be higher regardless of the fact that your office is at home.

The Downsides to This Rating Practice

There are clearly downsides to the practice of providing starting rates based on the career you have chosen. A major one is that you may be one of the millions of doctors or lawyers that have never been in an auto accident.

Rates that Stay High

Some car insurance companies simply start these groups out at higher rates than other people in “safer” occupations, and those rates never come down, despite excellent driving records. You are assuming the risk of other drivers who have the same or similar occupation.

Field Variations Don’t Matter

Another downside is that this practice doesn’t take into considering the type of work that you do in your field. For example, a family doctor with a patient load of 100 a week will have far less stress than a surgeon who performs 100 surgeries a week.

There are no differentiating factors between these two groups with insurance companies, despite the fact that one form of this occupation is clearly more stress than the other.

The same thing applies to other occupations. For example, a lawyer that specializes in tax law should, based on an occupation casting, have higher rates during tax season than any other time of the year as this is the time where they are expected to put in longer hours and handle more cases.

The bottom line is that using a career type as a basis for personal auto insurance rates doesn’t always make sense, which is especially true of someone who has a long history as a great driver who then makes a career change.

Does it make sense that this person will suddenly become a bad driver or a high-risk driver because they make the move from a nurse to a doctor once they have finished school?

Also, there is no way for an insurance company to determine how much a job will affect you personally. For example, a bank teller may feel more stress in their job and worry all day and night that they have made a mistake, which may lead to poor driving on the road; however, this person will pay less for their insurance than a doctor will.

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The Upsides to This Rating Practice

Obviously, the people who benefit most from this practice are the ones who have careers that fit into the lowest prices on the scale. For these individuals, however, the tables can be turned rather quickly.

If you are a biologist that has had several auto accidents, then your rates will be just as high as anyone else’s. You are assuming your own risk as a driver at that point and what you do for a living will no longer impact your rates.

However, a driver who falls under the category of having a career that doesn’t create much stress or that usually utilizes people who are overall safer does have the benefit of the doubt when it comes time to buy insurance for a car, even if they have no driving experience at all.

It is up to you, if you fall under this category, to keep your driving record clean so that you can continue to benefit from the lower rates offered to those who have made a “safe” career choice.

Saving Money on Car Insurance Other Ways

In addition to using the free car insurance quote comparison tool on this page, you should also ensure that you choose car insurance companies that offer other discounts that you can take advantage of.

It is important to note that some insurance companies offer more discounts than others and often those discounts aren’t reflected in your initial quote rate.

For this reason, when you use a quote tool, you may want to call two or three of the insurance agencies that had the lowest rates and asked about any discounts they offer to their drivers.

The good news is that if you use the quote tool and link to an insurance company that offers discounts, once you finish filling out their additional information, those discounts will be applied to your account.

You aren’t going to miss out on anything because you used a comparison tool to find the lowest rates.

Some discounts are more common than others are; for example:

  • Passive safety equipment discount
  • Multiple policies discounts
  • Safety features discount
  • Good driver discounts
  • Good credit discounts
  • College grad discount
  • Marriage discount
  • Loyalty discounts

Other, less common discounts are:

  • Guarded parking discount
  • Early signing discount
  • Single parent discount
  • Pay in full discount

It is also important to note that your occupation; while affecting your rates, isn’t the only thing that will affect your rates. Here are some of the other factors your insurance company will consider:

  • If you have taken any driver safety course
  • How many past claims you have made
  • Who else will be driving your car
  • How long you have been driving
  • How many tickets you have had
  • Age, make & model of your car
  • If you have any DUI violations
  • The state you live in
  • The city you live in
  • Your credit score
  • How old you are
  • Your ZIP code
  • Your gender

Choosing the Right Car Insurance Policy by Occupation

The good news is that not every insurance company uses occupation as a determining factor in your overall rates. If you are someone who falls under the lower insurance price category, this may not be to your benefit.

If, however, you are someone who is considered to be in the high-risk category, then finding one of these companies will most likely garner you the lowest auto insurance rates.

With that being said, how do you find insurance companies that do and don’t use career as an option when determining your rates. There are a couple of ways that you can go about this.

The first way is for you to call several insurance carriers in your area and simply ask if they use your occupation as a determining factor in your final price for your personal insurance. If they say yes, then you have your answer.

There are two problems with using this option. The first one is that this is going to take some time and, you might find that some insurance companies are reluctant to tell you all of the factors involved in the decision-making process.

The second problem is that this still doesn’t let you know whether or not you are going to get the lowest rates from the companies that you call. You are going to need quotes for that and doing that one company at a time doesn’t make sense.

The other option is for you to use the online quote tool to compare rates from multiple companies. While this won’t directly show you who is using your career as a factor in determining your rates, this is a quick and easy way to see who is offering you the lowest rates despite your occupation choice.

The bottom line is that, if you are getting the lowest rate, it shouldn’t matter whether or not they are using your career as a marker. You want to get the lowest rates no matter what your occupation might be.

Enter your ZIP code below and start comparing car insurance rates between several reputable auto insurance companies today!



Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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