All posts in Auto Insurance

What You Don’t Know May Cost You: 5 Things That Increase Your Premiums

Car insurance is one of those things that varies in price greatly from one company to another. There are a number of factors that can affect your car insurance premium that you might not think of off the top of your head. Keep these in mind when shopping around for your insurance quote to give a bit of an explanation of why your quotes and rates are the price you receive.

Type of vehicle

The make and model of the vehicle you drive has a large impact on what your insurance rate is. Insurance companies use published vehicle safety ratings to evaluate how safe a vehicle is, and they offer discounts to their customers who drive vehicles less likely to be involved in an accident. Insurers may increase rates for vehicles that are susceptible to theft too. Window tint typically doesn’t affect insurance premiums as long as it isn’t illegal in the state and conforms to the manufacturer’s specifications. According to Instant Windscreens, window tint may actually be helpful. It can protect your vehicle’s interior from damaging UV radiation helping it retain more of its value for longer.

How Many Miles You Drive

It makes sense that the more you drive the higher your automobile insurance rate is going to be. Driving more miles and further distances increases your risk of getting into an accident and needing to file a claim. You’re also likely to have a higher premium if you use your personal vehicle for business purposes. If you are using your personal vehicle for business, it may be worth it to look into separate commercial auto insurance. If you have an accountant, ask them about the cost versus the benefit of having commercial auto insurance for your vehicle. If you work for yourself, and you are the company, you’ll have to do the research yourself, but it’s worth your time to look into.

Driving Record

Your driving record has a direct impact on insurance rates. If you have a clean driving record without accidents, claims or tickets you’re considered a safe driver and may receive a discount. If you have moving violation tickets, such as a speeding or following too closely citation, you’ll be in a higher risk pool of drivers for rate purposes. Insurance companies consider people who have citations for risky behaviors to be at more likely to cause or be involved in an accident, which would cut into their profits. Keep vigilant and follow safe defensive driving practices. You can also look into taking a driver safety course to get a rate reduction if your insurance company offers the option.

Demographics

Insurance companies factor in your age, sex and marital status into your rate quote. Young males under 25 have higher rates, especially if they’re single. Insurance rates are almost always calculated in consideration of risk, and young, single male drivers are most likely to be in an automobile accident.

Where You Live

Believe it or not, the zip code where your vehicle is parked every night affects your insurance. If you live in a high-crime area, you’ll have a higher premium than a safer neighborhood. Rates can drastically change from zip codes right next to each other. It is probably not worth it to move simply to save some money on your insurance rates, but when moving to a new area, it may be a factor worth considering.

The factors for determining car insurance premiums take into account numerous criteria, including rating scales approved by the individual states. Keep these in mind when you’re shopping for insurance so that you aren’t surprised the next time you get a quote.

How To Save Money On Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is a necessity for drivers, because every state in the U.S. requires it and because it offers important protections that all drivers can benefit from. This doesn’t mean you can’t still try to save money when shopping for a policy that offers you sufficient, dependable protection. Thankfully, it’s both legal and smart to save money on auto insurance, and here are three ideas to help you accomplish that.

Improve Your Driving Record

Even if you haven’t had any accidents, your driving record plays a huge role in the auto insurance rates you’re quoted. If you’ve had a few speeding tickets, been cited for running stop signs or going through red lights, insurance companies are going to see you as a high risk customer and will charge you higher rates. This isn’t a label that has to stick to you for life, though. You can make an effort to follow safe driving standards and make sure you go a year or more with no citations and get your rates reconsidered.

Try Bundling Policies

The more policies you have through one insurer, the cheaper the overall bundle is likely to be. Whether you need renters insurance, home insurance, or life insurance along with your car insurance, getting all policies issued by the same company can result in significant discounts on not just car insurance, but all the policies issued by that carrier. Bundling like this can really help you save a lot of money in the long run.

Comparison Shop

If you were looking for a home to buy, you probably wouldn’t purchase the very first one you visited without at least taking a look at several others. You should also not purchase the first auto insurance policy you get a price quote for without comparing that quote to the quotes of other companies. There are many different agencies and online services that can help you compare premium quotes to make sure you get the best deal for the most comprehensive coverage.

For many drivers with busy lives and specialized insurance coverage needs, the best option is to try getting good quality insurance from somewhere like Great Northern Insurance Agency. When you work with an agency like this, you gain the benefit of a dedicated, knowledgeable staff that can save you time and help steer you toward discounts. Instead of trying to accomplish your insurance shopping alone, call on great agents and agencies that you know will give the service you deserve.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Car Insurance

The process by which our car insurance rates at are determined appears to be arcane, arbitrary, and supremely frustrating. Although we know that our personal payments can go up from accidents or other problems entering our driving record, we have no clear idea what the base rate of insurance payment is or even should be. Take a look at these general guidelines and suggestions and maybe you will be able to bring your premium down a bit.

Credit Score

The best place to begin is to repair your credit score. American businesses view the credit score as the first and foremost barometer of the economic responsibility of the citizen, and a better credit score is generally associated with propriety and responsible action in other aspects of life. The California legislature has forbidden insurers to take the credit score into account when determining the automobile insurance premium, but for every other state in the union, it may be the single biggest deciding factor on payments.

Education

If you have attained higher levels of education, then you may see a small reduction in your monthly payment. Although there is not a large reduction, there is a gradual perceptible decrease of the premium as the policy holder’s education level progresses from high school through college and even to the graduate level.

Location

There are enormous differences in the insurance premiums between one state and the next. For example, Louisianans pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in America while North Carolinians pay some of the lowest. Moving from one state to another could make a difference of over a thousand dollars a year in payments. Though moving just for lower insurance premiums probably isn’t a good financial move, if you’re moving anyway, consider a state you could save some money.

Gender

According to insurance company statistics, women are generally better drivers. This means lower premiums in general. An average woman will pay about $15,000 less for auto insurance over their lifetime than a man would. Sorry guys, but men do tend to be more aggressive drivers in general, and thus tend to make insurance claims more often. This leads to approximately 12% higher premiums for male drivers than for female drivers.

Age

As with gender, there is not much you can do about your age. However, if you are married or in a family situation, then it may be wise to consider which member of the family would be the one best to carry the insurance.

Automobile insurance is one of the many areas of American life where information is power. Even if you have been in an accident, planning, forethought, and attention to detail can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Car accident lawyers in Boise, ID, recommend taking a copy of the police report, photographs, all involved parties’ information, and the contact information of any witnesses to your lawyer if you’ve been in an accident. This will give you a legal advantage when insurance companies start calling and accusations start flying. There is no reason to pay too much for insurance when there are options.

5 Easy Tips for Lowering Your Car Insurance Rate

Every time you flip on the TV or drive past billboards, you’re likely to see at least one advertisement for car insurance. Providers everywhere bombard us with their competitive rates and incentives for choosing their plans. But no matter your insurance provider, you can do several things to lower your rate. These few tips can get you started.

Drive a Low-Cost Vehicle

Driving a clunker certainly has its drawbacks, but insurance isn’t one of them. The lower the value of your car, the lower your premium.

Why?

Because car insurance is there partially to pay for any damages to your car in an accident. But if you’re driving a car from the ’90s in 2014, chances are that car wouldn’t last much longer after your accident anyway. For the most part, it costs your provider much less money to pay for those repairs.

This doesn’t mean you need to drive a straight-out clunker. Your premium will also be lower if your car is considered safe. If your car scored highly in a crash test, your provider will usually lower your rate for that too.

Drive Fewer Miles

Many auto insurance companies reduce your premium if you drive less than 7,500 miles per year. If you can, limit how much you use your car. Switch up your commute by taking public transportation or carpooling with coworkers. You don’t have to drop your car altogether (why else are you paying auto insurance?). Just cut back on unnecessary miles.

Get an Insurance Package

Insurance companies tend to provide a discount if you combine insurance plans. Rather than using three different providers for car, home, and life insurance, combine them into one package.

Make the Most of Good Grades

Insurance companies reward good students. If your teenager or college student is driving a car you insure and they do well in school, tell your provider. They’ll typically provide a discount (of about 15%) for students on the honor roll or with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Sometimes, the higher the GPA, the higher the discount.

Why?

Because good grades tend to indicate safer drivers. Insurance companies use statistics that show good students have better decision-making skills and safer driving habits. So if your student driver qualifies and is under the age of 25, get that discount.

Be a Safe Person

Hopefully, you have higher incentives than your car insurance to be safe, but safe habits will definitely lower your rate. Most providers recognize a clean driving record and habits that indicate strong decision-making skills, like grades do. Try the following ideas to be safer every day:

  • Kick bad habits like drinking or smoking. Drinking puts you at a higher risk for driving under the influence, and a DUI charge may mean that you must find a great DUI attorney in Athens or your particular area or risk a criminal record. Furthermore, both smoking and drinking risk your health. The healthier (and less distracted) you are while driving, the less likely you are to get in an accident.
  • Take a driver’s ed course. You’ll learn valuable skills like how to avoid accidents and combat driving in poor weather.
  • Avoid getting into accidents or getting tickets. Easier said than done, but drive defensively and stay within the speed limit. Be more careful with those preventive measures. Your driving record helps establish the rate you pay.
  • Establish good credit. Like good grades, solid credit indicates you’re responsible.

Inherent factors like your age and gender also play a role in your rate. If you’re an older driver or a female, you’ll pay less because you’re considered lower-risk.

Ask whether any of these qualities and habits qualify you for a lower rate. Wherever you get your auto insurance, it’s very likely you qualify for a discount and can cut back on that rate. Just communicate those qualifications to your provider so they can reward you for being a safe, low-maintenance driver.

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, you have to have it, but you hope to never have to use it. That makes it important to pay as little as possible for the coverage you need. Fully understanding how car insurance works can help you get the right coverage and not pay too much for it.

Types of car insurance

Liability is the minimum amount of insurance coverage mandated by just about every state and provides coverage in an accident that you cause. If you have a loan on your car, you will be required to carry collision, which covers damages to your car, and comprehensive coverage, which provides coverage for damage caused by something other than a collision, such as hail. Other types of coverage include uninsured motorist, which will cover you if you are hit by a person without insurance or who is underinsured, and personal injury protection, which is a type of coverage that pays for injuries to your passengers.

How rates are set

While your driving record, including how many accidents and tickets you have gotten, plays a big role in what kind of rates you get, insurance companies consider many other factors. Your age, sex, where you live and what type of car you have will help determine your rates. For example, if you are a teenage male, your rates will likely be very higher because statistics show that most severe accidents are caused by young male drivers. Young female drivers also have higher rates, but they tend to be somewhat lower than young males. Other factors that are considered in your insurance rates are the grades you get in school, and if you have already been in an accident or involved in some other traffic violation. Any traffic or accident that you may be involved in can also cause your insurance rates to go up later even after purchasing your insurance. Also note that, some insurers even consider whether you have a high credit score in setting your rates.

Being proactive

While you can’t do anything about some characteristics used to set rates, such as your age and sex, there are other things you can do to pay less. A perfect example of this is going to driving school. Taking a driver’s education course, especially if you are a young driver, will lower your rates. According to North Shore Driving School Ltd., most insurers give significant discounts to drivers who have taken a driver’s ED class or a defensive driving class.

Other ways to lower rates

In addition to taking driver’s ED, there are a number of other things you can do to help lower your rates. If you are a student, getting good grades is even more important than going to driving school. Bundling policies by getting more than one with the same insurance company will get you discounts and save you money on rates. You can also lower the rates you pay by agreeing to pay a larger deductible.

Car insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are a number of things you can do to lower your rates.