Car owners who are shopping around for car insurance often head into the process looking for great coverage with low premiums. However, the ‘real’ cost of coverage is hard to pinpoint because there are so many factors that influence the rate of your monthly payments. Some of these factors, such as how fast you drive, are easy to alter, while others, including the type of car you drive, are much harder to change.
Age, Marital Status, and State of Residency
Car insurance companies take many things into account as they prepare coverage quotes. Some of these, including age, sex, marital status, and location, affect your rates significantly. This is because insurance companies have found that groups of people who fall into specific categories, or combinations of categories, are more likely to file claims than others.
Younger, unmarried males are statistically more likely to file expensive claims than older, married females, for example. You are also more likely to pay higher rates in densely populated communities than in smaller communities. Most of the time.
The Type of Car You Drive
You may not be able to do much to change those circumstances, but you could keep car insurance expenses in mind when you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle. A quick rule of thumb is the faster the vehicle goes, the bigger the potential for crashes. As the risk of crashes increases, the cost of car insurance grows. If you’re not ready to settle into a four-door sedan, you may at least want to avoid an expensive muscle car.
Monitor Your Driving Habits
Save money by adjusting your driving habits. The length of your commute, where you park, and how far you tend to drive on the weekends can all affect your premiums. Reducing the amount of driving you do by carpooling or taking public transportation can lead to savings in gasoline and on your insurance premium. Even the way you care for your car may affect your costs. Remember, you’ll need to report your changes to the insurance company to realize these savings.
Tickets and Driving Points
Most drivers recognize that as their number of tickets increases, so do their insurance rates, but many drivers don’t understand that some tickets are worse than others. Each type of ticket or violation you receive is assigned a specific point value by your state and those points are counted negatively against your driving record.
A speeding violation, for example, accrues fewer points than driving while drunk. Therefore, speeding through a red light will cause a bump in your rates but driving under the influence could nearly double your monthly premiums. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, discuss options with your insurance provider. You may be able to participate in a safe driver program that helps you adjust your habits and improve your rates.
Discuss Savings With Your Insurance Provider
Even your credit can affect your insurance costs (except in a few states where this is illegal). The type of coverage and amount of coverage you desire will also impact your rates. The best way to track and improve your car insurance expenses is to discuss the options with your provider and consistently put their recommendations into action.