Auto insurance companies use statistics to predict a driver’s likelihood of getting into a car accident, and then set their rates accordingly. However, if you know what you’re doing, there are a variety of ways a good driver can get steep discounts on car insurance coverage. When you’re dealing with insurance companies, perception is the most important aspect of scoring a good rate.
Though it’s impossible to say that speeding and running a red light occasionally won’t happen at all, there are still a host of ways that you can save money on your car insurance by coming across as a more conscientious driver.
If you consider yourself a good driver and haven’t been in many accidents, take a look at some of the ways to get discounts on your auto insurance below.
1. Get Discounts for Teen Drivers on Your Plan (And Teach Them the Importance of Road Safety)
Insurers think teenagers are hazardous drivers. Statistically, they couldn’t be more right. Teenagers tend to be more reckless than other drivers, and are also less experienced, so even the responsible ones are rarely given the benefit of the doubt. According to this fact sheet from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, 16- and 17-year old drivers are nine times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash, and six times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash, than adults. In 2015, six teens died in motor vehicle crashes every day.
The moment you add a teenager to your insurance plan, you will probably see your rates increase 50% to 100%. Fortunately, you and your teen have some control over those rates.
In some states, teens aren’t even required to attend driving school. If yours attends anyway, your rates may decrease by 10%. Insurers often provide similar discounts to students who maintain a 3.0 GPA in school as well, which is one more incentive to encourage your kids to improve their grades.
The surest way to reduce insurance rates over time is to avoid crashes and traffic citations. Imparting defensive driving skills to your kid goes a long way here. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute has some great video lessons and guides for teen drivers and parents; your state motor vehicle registry may have free resources along these lines as well.
2. Look for Good Driver Discounts
At any age, the best way that you can get discounts from your auto insurance company is to be a good driver at all times. If you don’t commit any traffic violations or cause any accidents, your insurance company will almost always reduce your rates. Having a clean driving record will take a big bite out of your insurance premiums. The discounts offered by insurers vary, but many can be as high as 20%.
3. Consider a Defensive Driving Course
Did you know that some states actually require insurers to offer discounts to drivers who take defensive driving? Some drivers have found that paying $20 for a course was enough to reduce their premiums by 10%. Check the laws in your state and speak with your insurer to see what discounts are available.
4. Drive Less and Get a Low Mileage Discount
Insurers are willing to give discounts to drivers who spend less time on the road. When you drive less, you cause less wear to your vehicle and are less likely to get into a car accident. If you drive fewer than 7,500 miles over the course of a year, you may be able to get a discount of 15% or more. If you can carpool to work or ride your bike to the corner store, you can quickly and easily cut your milage down.
5. If You Get a Violation, Go to Traffic School
Don’t beat yourself up if you get a ticket; it happens to the best of us. Your rates may go up, but you can still make things right. Consider attending a DMV-licensed or court approved traffic school. Upon completion, your ticket will be dismissed and your insurance company won’t be notified. Both courts and insurers look favorably on drivers who try to make a change. You can attend traffic school in person or online. Legally, you aren’t allowed to attend traffic school twice within an 18 month period, but drivers are often required to attend muliple times by the courts. The second time you attend, the insurer will be made aware of the violation. However, the good news is that they still can’t raise your rates.
Drivers often complain about raises in their insurance rates, without thinking about what they are paying for or why their rates have increased. Always take the time to understand your insurance policy and compare the best auto car insurance rate quotes. If you are a responsible driver, you are probably missing out on opportunities to save yourself a lot of money. Always take the time to improve your driving habits and let your auto insurance company know what you are doing to be a better driver.
Have you been able to lower your auto insurance premiums? What steps did you take to make sure you got a cheaper rate?