When it comes to buying car insurance, it is pretty obvious that everyone would like to pay lower rates. Many people may feel that the only way to get the lowest rates is to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance companies. You may save a few dollars that way but it can be time consuming. A much better approach to lowering your insurance rates if to become educated about the factors that affect your insurance rates.
There are some factor that you can’t do much about. For instance, your age and sex are two factors that are what they are. As you get older your insurance rates should decline as you mature so keep that in mind.
Then there are factors that you may have some measure of control over. For instance, being married will garner you lower rates, as will living in a low crime area or a rural area. If you are someone who has gotten multiple tickets or made multiple claims, then your insurance will be higher.
When you do have a minor accident or incident where no tickets were issued, you may do best to just pay for the damage yourself rather than making a claim. Sure, your insurance may cover that damage but is it really worth the price of having higher priced insurance for years? Insurance companies are in the business to make money, so they have to recoup their losses, and it will likely be in the form of higher rates.
Your driving record plays a big part of the rates that you are quoted. If you have multiple tickets, they can add up quickly and they stay on your record for years. So those two speeding tickets didn’t just cost what you paid in fines and court costs, they also cost you money in higher rates for years.
Usually “non-moving” violations (such as parking tickets, expired inspection sticker, etc.) do not count against your record. So if you do get a moving violation ticket (speeding, illegal lane change, etc), sometimes you can go to court and get it amended to a non-moving violation that won’t affect your insurance rates.
The type of car you drive can also affect your rates. Some cars or vehicles are rated as a higher risk based upon a “safety score” that comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency. The score may be affect by being a more expensive car to fix, being a sports car and other such factors.
When buying a new (or used) car, be sure to get a quote on what the insurance will cost you. This will help you avoid a costly mistake. Your insurance agent can help you get the safety score.
By knowing the factors that affect your car insurance rates, you can make better choices as a consumer. You can take charge of the factors that you can control. In the end, you will find that a little bit of knowledge about the factors that affect insurance can add up to extra money in your pocket.