Rating Factors and 8 Tips on How to Lower Your Auto Insurance
As mentioned in our previous article, finding the best California car insurance rate is easier when you have a plan. But did you know that keeping and/or lowering your auto insurance premium is even easier? Your car insurance rate is determined by several factors such as demographics, vehicle information, and driving habits. Demographic factors range from your gender and age to your marital status, while the age of your vehicle and its features also significantly affects your premium. Lastly and most importantly, your driving record also plays a role in your rating. There are some factors that you can’t control and some that you can.
What affects your rate?
- Gender/Age – Teenagers tend to be in more accidents than older people. While younger men have higher rates than young women, but older men have lower rates than older women.
- Marital Status – Those married tend to drive more safely.
- Zip Code – Some cities have higher traffic density, higher rates of uninsured drivers, and higher rates of accidents all of these factors are taken into account in your premium.
- Car safety rating/features – The safer your car is, the lower the risk so the lower the premium is.
- Car size – Larger cars are generally safer than smaller cars, especially in an accident
- Driving record/activity – Tickets and non-injury accidents “go away” after 3 years, but DUI tickets haunt you, and your premium, for up to 10 years.
Here are 8 ways that can help in lowering your auto insurance cost:
- Don’t buy insurance you don’t need. This might seem self-explanatory but you’ll be surprised at the amount of money you can save by simply reviewing your coverages and determining what you need and don’t need. For example, with older cars consider only having liability and uninsured motorist. Purchasing full coverage on an older car would not be cost effective.
- Higher Deductibles. It’s something you might not want to do but the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payment generally is. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $600 can save you money in the long run!
- Clean Driving Record. Again, this seems self-explanatory but having multiple violations, tickets, DUIs in your driving record will increase your premium. Now, this doesn’t mean getting car insurance with a DUI is difficult, but you will be rated at a higher premium.
- Marital/Single Status. Drivers who are married generally pay a lower premium than drivers who are single because of the decrease in risk. People who are married tend to have less accident than those who are single. For example, men who have a clean record could see their premium decrease by 50%!
- Vehicle features. Some companies offer discounts for cars with built-in safety features (anti-lock brakes, airbags) and security features (anti-theft). This is because cars with these features a less likely to be in an accident or be stolen.
- Don’t lend your car. When you let other people drive your car the risk of something occurring increases. Also, insurance companies will not cover the loss if someone other than those insured where driving.
- Pay on time. Some companies charge a fee when you don’t pay your premium on time. This fee is different between companies, but who wants to lose money? Even if it’s just a few dollars?
- Discounts*. Who doesn’t love discounts? Many insurance companies offer multiple discounts that can help in bring your insurance cost down. Some discounts are:
- Defensive Driving Courses/Drivers Ed
- Low Annual Mileage
- Multiple-Car policy
- Bundle policies
- No accidents
- Good Student Discount
*not all are available from all insurance companies, to find all discounts available to you directly speak with your insurance agent or company.
Feel free to use our rate comparison tool to see what discounts are available to you. If you would like to speak with a representative contact us at 1-888-557-6529 we are here to help.