How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance companies look at the big picture when determining your car insurance rates. Some factors, such as your age, gender, profession and marital status will have the same impact on your insurance cost no matter what you do.

The good news? You can control many other factors that determine your final insurance bill. Here are a few specific lifestyle changes you can make to potentially bring down your rate.

1. Adjust Your Driving Habits

A lot of the information used to set insurance costs for cars comes from driving records. Traffic violations, accidents, and convictions influence insurance rates for up to five years. Previous claims can also affect your standing. If you have frequent fender benders, consider paying for smaller repairs rather than filing a claim. If you’re a safe driver, this can decrease your rates over time. Compare car insurance rates from companies that offer safe driving discounts to save some cash.

2. Decrease Your Drive Time

The less you drive, the less likely you are to have accidents. That’s why some insurers offer low-mileage discounts. If you drive fewer than 7,500 miles a year, you might qualify for a lower rate. You can look for opportunities to reduce your mileage, such as taking public transportation or carpooling to work, especially if you own more than one vehicle.

3. Analyze Your Ride

The type of vehicle you own also impacts your car insurance costs. Rates generally are steeper for sports cars, high-performance vehicles and rear-engine models. However, you might get discounts for larger vehicles that hold their ground in a collision.

While new vehicles often come with higher premiums, they also offer updated safety features, such as airbags, automatic seat belts, and traction control, which can qualify you for discounts. If you’re planning to purchase a new vehicle, call your insurance company to see if there are any significant rate differences between the models you’re considering. Also ask if there are any features that would impact your rate.

4. Rethink Your Route

Your geographic location also affects car insurance rates. The market rate for auto repairs and medical expenses, jury awards, and incidents of theft or vandalism all influence the insurance rates in an area. For example, drivers in metropolitan areas typically incur higher rates because of increased traffic density and a larger percentage of uninsured drivers.

If you’re looking to relocate, it can be helpful to compare insurance rates as you consider your options. Understanding insurance costs and coverage in a new area can help you better forecast your budget—instead of getting hit with an unplanned expense.

When looking to cut your car insurance costs, your best bet may be to talk to an agent. Shop around and get quotes from three to five agencies to compare insurance rates on equal amounts of comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance.


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