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Getting approved for coverage is only half the battle. If you aren’t careful, your insurance provider might not give you the best deal on a monthly rate. But there are tips, tricks, and strategies you can use in order to lower your monthly payments down to a manageable level.
How Does My Driving Record Affect My Insurance Premium?
The fewer accidents you have on your record within the last few years, the better. And if your record is squeaky-clean and accident-free, then you’ll receive some of the lowest rates around. This is because insurance companies love covering safe drivers who are the least likely to file a claim. The more money they can make off of you by not paying out claims, the more they will thank you with lower rates.
But don’t panic if you have some blemishes on your driving record. Most companies are only legally allowed to calculate your risk based on your driving history over the past 3 years. Anything older than that – whether it’s a minor speeding ticket or a serious accident – will not be considered when your provider calculates your monthly rate.
Does The Type Of Car I Drive Affect My Insurance Rates?
Yes, the car you drive has a very significant impact on your monthly rate. After all, your insurance policy follows your vehicle, and not specifically you, the driver. There are many factors – such as how expensive your car is, how fast it can go, how likely it is to get stolen, or even its color – which can raise your rates substantially. But if you haven’t purchased a vehicle yet, you can compare cheap auto insurance by make and model to see which vehicles will get you the best deal.
How Does Where I Live Affect My Premium?
Whether you’re moving across the country or a few blocks down the road, changing zip codes can and will influence your monthly insurance payment. Insurance companies use statistical data, based on particular zip codes, to calculate how likely their customers are to get into an accident or otherwise need to file a claim near where they live. So if your zip code has a high population, high rates of accidents, high rates of theft/vandalism, lots of severe weather, or a combination of those factors, prepare for a rate increase (or a rate decrease if the opposite is true in your new zip code).
Can I Lower the Amount of Coverage I Have?
If you consider yourself to be a safe and responsible driver and doubt you will get into any serious accidents in the near future, you can check your state laws to see what the bare minimum insurance coverage requirements are. Then you can call your insurance agent and ask that your policy reflect these minimum amounts. However, this can be a risky move; sure, you’ll save money on your monthly premiums, but if the worst happens and you get into an accident that a bare minimum policy doesn’t cover, you could face some seriously expensive out-of-pocket costs.
Another way to lower your monthly premium is to raise your deductible on your Comprehensive or Collision coverages. This will make your coverage less expensive each month – however, you run the risk of having to pay that higher deductible in the event that you need to file a Collision or Comprehensive claim. Additionally, many automotive insurance experts recommend dropping comprehensive and collision altogether if your vehicle is worth less than $1,000.
Does My Age Affect My Premiums?
Yes, age is a big factor in determining your premium if you fall into a specific age group. Younger drivers under the age of 25, for example, get hit with some pretty expensive rates. Older drivers between the ages of 50-65, however, can leverage their many years of driving experience to get substantially lower rates.
A special note for parents with young drivers: if you have a child under the age of 25, and if your insurance company permits it, you both could save money by putting your child on a family auto policy with you. Yes, your rates will go up; however, they are not going to be nearly as expensive as they would with your young driver on their own policy. Not to mention that your provider might offer more discounts for insuring more drivers on the same policy.
Can I Pay My Premium In Advance to Lower My Rate?
Most insurance companies give their customers two different payment options: either pay your premium monthly, or pay in advance every 6 months. If you choose to pay in advance, your provider usually offers a discount of 10% or more off of the 6-month lump sum price.
Of course, comparing rates between companies in your area could save you even more than that! To find the lowest automotive insurance quotes in your area, simply enter your zip code below to begin comparing prices and providers.