Q. Although I have never made a claim, my car insurance rates recently skyrocketed. I was told it was because I had cosigned a car loan with my daughter and she'd been late on some payments. How does my daughter's irresponsibility make me a worse driver?
A. When your daughter didn't pay on time, it was as if you were late, too. Cosigning means you're legally obligated for the debt.
Your credit score took a hit, and that drove up your premiums. That's because credit scores are among factors that many insurers consider in setting rates. According to the industry, people with higher scores tend to file fewer and less expensive claims. Setting rates this way has drawn criticism from consumer groups and is barred in a few states.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues. Have a question for Sid Kirchheimer about a new product, a new kind of bank account? Check out the Ask Sid archive. If you don’t find your answer there, send a query.