If you’re a relatively new driver, car insurance probably seems like an intimidating topic. Once you’ve done a bit of research on it, however, you’ll find that it’s a valuable measure of protection that can end up saving you a great deal of money in the long run.
One of the most important things that you have to understand is what affects your rates. After all, there’s no reason to pay more for your premiums if you can help it, right?
1. Driving record – This is the big one, and yet another reason you should never get behind the wheel while drunk. DUIs aren’t the only factor, however. Every sort of incident that winds up on your record, from collisions to traffic violations, can affect your premiums. Drive safely and respect the law, and this should be no problem.
2. Location – Where you live has a surprisingly large impact on your premiums. As most accidents are out of our control, car insurance companies look closely at your environment. If you live in an urban area with high traffic, accident prone streets, and high theft rates, expect a larger than average rate.
3. The vehicle – Rates depend heavily on what kind of car you’re driving. The vehicle’s safety rating, age, size, and even the likelihood of theft play a large part in determining your premiums. Smart car buyers always consider insurance costs when choosing a vehicle. Whether you use it for work or for pleasure also affects your rates, but it is very much a bad idea to lie about that to the insurance company.
4. Age and gender – Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this factor. Statistically, men and younger drivers have a higher number of collisions, and this means higher premiums. Unless you’re going to wait until you’re in your 30s before driving a car, however, it’s best not to worry about this one.
5. Lapses in coverage – A large period of time without auto insurance can end up affecting your rates if there is no justifiable reason for it. If you regularly use a vehicle, it’s very reckless to not have insurance for an extended period of time, anyway.
As you can see, there are plenty of factors that affect your car insurance rates, and not all of them are under your control. Focus on the ones that you can influence, however, and you’ll enjoy relatively low rates for much of your driving years.