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Report: auto insurance rates linked to credit score

A customer looks at a Buick car at a General Motors auto dealership in Shanghai December 13, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song
A customer looks at a Buick car at a General Motors auto dealership in Shanghai December 13, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  If you want the best auto insurance rates, you'll have to start building a credit history -- and then be responsible in handling your debt. That's according to Wallet-Hub, which says Wisconsin drivers without credit histories pay an average of 80-percent more for car insurance than those with the highest credit scores.

The consumer Web site says Wisconsin has the nation's 12th-highest price difference -- 15-percent more than the national gap of 65-percent. Back in 2008, the Wisconsin Senate passed a bill to ban the use of credit reports in setting premiums for auto-and-home insurance coverage. Democrats who ran the Senate at the time said auto rates should hinge only on how well people drive. The measure died in the Republican-controlled Assembly. The insurance industry defends the use of credit scores in setting coverage rates, saying those who are reckless with their credit are more likely to be more reckless on the road -- thus causing more accidents.

Wallet-Hub sides with the insurers, but it's concerned that too many rates are based on inaccurate credit reports. Wallet-Hub encourages people to take advantage of their ability to view free credit reports once a year.

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