Main discounts on auto insurance

What can you do to lower your auto insurance premiums

Insurance is all about estimating the risk of being in an accident. If you are a very safe driver, you will pay less than someone who regularly crashes into other motorists. Unfortunately, insurance companies cannot look into the future to discover whether you will have an accident in the next year. All they can do is make general assumptions based on who you are, where you live, how far you drive each year, and so on. Rightly or wrongly, you will be judged by your membership of a class based on your age, gender, the job you have, what type of vehicle you drive and whether you have a good driving record with no tickets. This means that a lot of the factors used to judge risk are under your control.

If you are a responsible person with a good credit record and a clean driving record, you will pay a lower premium. From the moment you start driving, your mission in life should be to avoid accidents and tickets. You will earn car insurance discounts if you are trained by driving instructors approved by the insurance companies. Further savings will be earned if you have a B or better GPA and your school or college confirms you are a good student.

Once you finish education and get a job, try to find work close to where you live. The lower your annual mileage, the lower your premium. The lowest premiums come when you can use public transport a lot of the time and only drive short distances in off-peak traffic. If you live in the suburbs or exurbs, join a carpool.

When you are buying a vehicle, do not buy a powerful sports car while you are young and inexperienced. Always check the cost of insurance before you buy. It is better to stay with boring, underpowered vehicles that are not regularly stolen until you have built up years of safe driving. Only then can you afford to drive something more expensive to repair if you do finally have an accident. For the record, driver aged more than 25 have fewer accidents and pay significantly less than younger drivers.

Finally, you can decide to self-insure. Every car insurance policy gives you the option of paying a deductible. These usually come in the amounts of $100, $250, $500 and $1,000. So, if you have a claim against your policy, you pay the agreed amount and the insurance company pays the balance. You get the maximum discount if you agree to pay the maximum deductible. But before you shoulder this burden, ask yourself whether you could afford to pay $1,000 per accident if you had two accidents in the same year.

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