Introducing the Insurability Score: Your Insurance Risk Decoder


What it is, how it works, and how it can lower your risk and save you money on insurance

insurability score

Today, The Zebra debuted the Insurability Score™, a personalized calculation which reveals to drivers what is affecting their insurance risk, by how much, and what they can do about it.

What is the Insurability Score?

The Insurability Score is your individual measurement of risk in the eyes of insurance companies. Like a credit score for insurance, the Insurability Score helps you understand which factors impact your individual risk profile and how that might impact your ability to be insured, by which companies, and at what rates.

Insurance companies use tens of thousands of factors about you, your car, how you drive, and more to calculate your risk and determine your rates – but they don’t tell you how they do it. The Zebra’s patent-pending technology calculates this personalized score based on our millions of data points from insurance companies. It is:

  1. A number from 400-950 which serves as a metric to represent how insurable you are. A higher number correlates with less risk and a lower number correlates with more risk.
  2. A custom Insurability Scorecard, which provides a personalized outline of your Insurability Score and the risk factors impacting it, as well as expert recommendations on how you can lower your risk, raise your score, and get access to more and better insurance options.

How does it work?

Although we can’t disclose the exact methodology of our patent-pending algorithm, we can share that the Insurability Score uses a combination of factors about you, your driving history, and a number of other variables which statistically indicate a certain level of risk to insurance companies.

Risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Your driving record (tickets, violations, claims in the past 3 years)
  • Your insurance history (whether you’re currently insured, how long you’ve maintained coverage with no lapse, etc.)
  • Your credit score
  • Whether you own or rent your home
  • Your age
  • Your vehicle usage (whether you drive for personal use or commuting, business, pleasure, etc.)
  • Your annual mileage

What doesn’t it include:

  • What kind of car you drive: make, model, and year
  • Your location
  • What coverage level you select

(Why not these? Your Insurability Score is about YOU as a driver and what role you and your behaviors play in creating risk for insurance companies. While your vehicle, location, and coverage choices all impact your auto insurance rates, they don’t indicate anything about your unique risk as an individual.)

insurability score mobile images

How do you use it?

The Insurability Score is a tool for financial self-improvement. You can:

    1. Understand what is impacting your risk and by how much
    2. Learn what specific things you can do to lower your risk and improve your Insurability
    3. Check your score often to track your progress, see how your risk changes, and see what new insurance options may become available to you

Can the Insurability Score save you money on car insurance?

Yes. With the Insurability Score’s insights, you can take measures to lower your risk and make yourself a better bet for insurance companies, which will give you more options and likely lower rates.

Still, it’s important to know that your Insurability Score is not directly a pricing indicator. For example, if you have a great Insurability Score, but you are insuring a lot of high-value cars at high coverage limits, you’ll pay more. (This is a similar concept to a credit score – you can have a high credit score, but if you’re financing a mansion vs. a two-bedroom starter home, you’ll pay more for the mortgage on the mansion.)

Why did The Zebra create the Insurability Score?

  1. Insurance is essential. Not only is it legally required, but it’s a financial safeguard against disasters, accidents and many other unfortunate and unpredictable scenarios.
  2. And insurance is expensive – no doubt about that. Personal insurance is the fourth greatest annual consumer expense in the U.S., and auto insurance is the next greatest car-related expense after financing the car itself.
  3. But insurance is also very complicated, and people need to understand it in order to ensure they get the right coverage and are protected when they need it.

Survey* says: Consumers are in the dark about what affects their insurance.

  • In answering which of dozens of factors impact auto insurance rates, only 21% would score a passing grade – a “D” or higher. The majority correctly identified factors including the driver’s age, the make/model of the car, annual mileage, and getting a DUI, but the majority missed nearly 3 times as many factors, including the driver’s location, credit score, coverage history, highest level of education, and marital status.
  • Less than 1% of people were able to correctly identify all the basic car insurance terms in a 10-question quiz portion, which included “deductible,” “premium,” and “comprehensive coverage.”
  • While 81% of people want to lower their car insurance rates, 45% say they don’t know what to do to lower them, and 36% think there is nothing they can do.

*The Zebra conducted a survey of 1,165 auto insurance consumers to better understand their insurance awareness. See survey here.

How is the Insurability Score like – or not like – a credit score?

Like a credit score, you can use your Insurability Score as a guide or benchmark to understand the state of your risk.

Whereas your credit score indicates the risk you will/will not be able to pay your debts to lenders, the Insurability Score indicates the risk you will/will not file a claim with insurance companies.

Interestingly, credit was not something people were judged on until the credit score came into existence. However, consumers are already being assessed for how “insurable” they are using numerous factors. Until now, consumers haven’t had any insight into how they are being assessed, nor have they had any information on how they could take action.

How do you get your Insurability Score?

Your Insurability Score is organically part of The Zebra’s auto insurance comparison engine. We have optimized and redesigned our tool so the answers you give will both show you how they impact your rates in real time and will contribute to your overall Insurability Score once they are all taken into account.

Get your free Insurability Score.