5 Factors That Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates

by Leon on February 15, 2013

how to save on auto insuranceThere’s no getting around the fact that owning a car is a pricy affair. In addition to loan payments, you’ll find yourself paying for extras like gas, parking, and maintenance, not to mention essentials like registration and insurance. And if you’re not careful, the cost of your insurance policy could end up being sky high. In case you didn’t know, your rates are based on a number of factors that could change over time. When you’re aware of what can cause such fluctuations you may be able to keeps your rates low. But if you fail to account for the factors that affect your insurance, then you could end up paying a lot more than normal. Here are just a few things that could alter the cost of your auto insurance and how you can try to keep them from hiking your rates.

Safe driving. In truth, most people realize that driving safely is a key component of keeping their insurance rates low. By following the rules of the road and exercising caution you can avoid accidents that might damage you, your car, and your passengers, as well as other drivers, vehicles, and property. You may speed when you’re in a hurry, weave through traffic, tailgate slow drivers, and rubberneck, but all of these practices could end up in accidents and rate hikes. So practice safe driving, avoid accidents and moving violations, don’t drink and drive, and consider getting a policy that rewards you for safety on the road.

Your car. The value and relative safety of your car could have a significant impact on the amount you pay for insurance coverage. Do you have a new car? Does your car fall into the “sporty” category? Are you in the process of paying off a loan? Did you purchase a luxury car? All of these things can affect your auto insurance rates, as can the safety features included in your car. So you might want to look into rates for coverage before you take out a loan and drive your new car off the lot.

Age. If you have teen drivers in your household then you are well aware of the fact that age can play a role in the cost of your auto insurance coverage. While teens can’t do much about their age or their driving record at the moment, those who get good grades may qualify for discounts, hopefully alleviating some of the additional cost for insurance.

Discounts. In addition to “safe driver” and “good student” discounts, there are a number of factors that could help you to qualify for price reductions when it comes to your insurance. For example, purchasing multiple policies with the same company (bundling) could result in lowered rates, as could installing safety features (like LoJack) on your vehicle. If you’re not sure what discounts are available, simply ask your agent.

Company and policy. One major factor that people fail to account for when it comes to finding the cheapest car insurance available is the provider. The company you choose to insure your automobile will dictate the price you pay, so it behooves you to comparison shop before you purchase a policy rather than simply opting for the provider your parents use, for example. In addition, different policies come with varying price tags. Although you may have no choice but to carry full coverage while you’re paying off your car loan, you could always give up some coverage and switch to a liability plan once your car is paid off.

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