Insurance companies can differ on their rating system and the rating factors that they take in to determine the rate for a person seeking auto insurance. Many insurance companies do run credit checks on applicants as part of the application process. The exception is California, Massachusetts and Hawaii do not use credit score for car insurance rates by state law.
Statistics have proven that drivers with bad credit history have generally filed more auto insurance claims and are determined to be a higher insurance risk thus are charged a premium that is equal to what the insurance company believes the risk is that they are assuming.
Insurance rates are not purely calculated based on credit history. There are other variables such as where you live, the type of car, driving record, etc that also are factored in. If the car insurance company you are using does look at your credit score then it will help if the other factors, such as your driving record are clean and can help balance out a bad credit history with some rating systems. In general, if you have a bad credit rating it will negatively impact your insurance rate.
Not all car insurance companies will use a credit scores as part of the rating process. In some states Direct General does not use credit for rating. All of our other carriers use it as a rating factor. The amount that a credit score can affect your rates in some states is governed by the state's insurance regulator. To find out if your state has regulations regarding auto insurance companies using your credit history as part of the rating process contact this state agency.