Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ways to Get Cheaper Car Insurance Rates

Having your own car is very convenient, but for most people, not so when it comes to the expenses. First, there’s the purchase of the car itself. Then there’s the regular car checkup and refueling, and occasional repairs. And oh, dare we forget about auto insurance? These days it can be quite challenging to get cheap car insurance rates…unless you are aware of the discounts which you may very well be eligible for. Here are the most important ones:

Age, gender, and location. Some things in life are just not fair, these three factors included. If you’re between 16 to 23 years of age, male, and a resident of New York City or any other city as populous, the odds are against you in getting a discount on your auto insurance. Why is this the case? Younger drivers are considered to be more accident-prone, the risk increasing if there are passengers in the car. The risk skyrockets for male drivers, because they are apparently more adventurous on and off the road. And what’s the deal about populous cities, or cities in general? Obviously the more residents a place has, the more cars are likely to congest its roads, and the higher the risk for accidents happening. You can’t do anything about your age and gender, unless you plan to wait until you’re 40 or 50 before you get your car insured. But if you live in the city but at least work in the suburbs, an auto insurance discount might just be waiting for you.

Driving history. This one you have control over, fortunately. Your driving history is one of the first things an insurance company will look at. Numerous tickets, accident involvement, and other traffic violations like driving under the influence (DUI) will only elicit a shake of their heads. If your car has already been insured and your previously pristine driving history turns awry, your insurer may refuse to renew your coverage or, if they’re lenient enough, increase your premiums. A 40% increase is the industry standard after the first at-fault accident. If, say, your insurer’s base rate is $400, your premium increase will then be $160.

Credit score. Apart from your driving history, your credit score is one of the initial things investigated by an insurance company. A good credit score generally translates to the ability to pay bills on time. Also taken into consideration is how you maintain your credit accounts. If you’ve frequently opened and closed accounts, that will not look good. If that is so and/or you have a bad credit score, it would be best to look for an insurance company that does not consider credit score as highly as others (some focus more on driving history). Or you can clean up your credit history and wait some months before getting in touch with a company who does.

Also related to credit score is how you pay your car insurance coverage. The more you break down your payments, the more it adds up. If you’re capable of doing so, pay your annual premium all at once to avoid getting charged for administrative fees.

Your car itself. There are the brand-new cars, and there are the secondhand or used cars. Also, there are the average cars, and there are the super cars. If you were planning an auto theft, most likely you would go for brand-new, gleaming super cars, such as Ferrari Italias and Lexus LFAs. Insurance companies know which cars are most likely to be stolen and which are not, and obviously they would like to avoid dealing with the former as much as possible.

Aside from the model of vehicle you drive itself, its safety features are also very important. The higher the safety rating of a car, the better, and the higher your chance of getting a discount with it.

Schooling and employment. Being a full-time student who maintains an average grade of B can make you eligible for a discount with most insurance companies, just the same as if you’re a teacher, federal employee, member of the National Guard or military or organizations like AAA, or any of those combinations.

It really looks complicated getting insurance coverage for your car. Some states legally require it, however, giving you penalties which usually come in the form of fines, if you don’t have it. But whether or not it is required by the state where you live and/or work, it is unwise driving an uninsured care because of the financial trouble you will have should you encounter an accident, in which case you will be solely responsible for the cost of repairs on both your and the other party’s vehicle (if another vehicle is involved), medical bills, and legal representation. You don’t want that kind of problem. So get your car insured. Just know how to get cheap car insurance rates, and you don’t have to worry much about your premium.


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kirstel said...

Car insurance is really very helpful especially when there is an accident or even theft. There are different insurance companies out there wherein you can avail of quality cheap insurance.Having an insurance would save you a lot of cost in the future. We can never tell if we will meet an accident or not and it is good to be ready.

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