If you’re a generally responsible driver, you’ve probably been frustrated at the high cost of car insurance. Of course, it’s only one piece of why owning a car is so expensive, with lease or financing payments, rising gas prices, continuous maintenance expenses, and state registration to contend with on a yearly basis. But if you know what you’re doing and perform a bit of research, you can find ways to turn your strong driving record into a real discount on your insurance premium. Here are five of the best ways good drivers can get car insurance discounts.
First and foremost, check with your insurance provider about the good driver discount. Almost every carrier offers one, and customers with a track record of avoiding accidents and traffic violations would be silly not to take advantage. Depending on the insurance company you use, you could get a discount of 5%, and all the way up to 20% off of your yearly premium. Just remember that you’re going to need to show five consecutive years of a clean driving record in order to take advantage.
Another way to lower your car insurance rates if you’re a good driver is to enroll in and complete a defensive driving course. These courses are offered every month, all around the country. They’re usually held at the DMV, and the instructors will take you through a list of exercises designed to help you avoid accidents. Most of these courses only cost around $20, but you could see a reduction in your insurance premium of as much as 10%. For that investment, it’s well worth your time.
If you’re usually a very careful driver, but you had a slight misstep and received a traffic violation, you should certainly think about going to traffic school. It’s impossible to avoid tickets all the time. If you drive on a daily basis, it’s inevitably going to happen at some point. You’ll see your insurance premium rise, so combat that by heading to the DMV for traffic school. It’s usually only a couple days long, and as long as you complete it, the traffic ticket will be taken off your record. Even if your insurance company was already aware of the violation, they’ll often bring your premium back down to its original level since you made the effort.
If you insure other family members on your plan, especially teenage children, you could see your rates go up. Statistically speaking, more teenagers get in accidents than any other age group. As soon as you add a teen driver to your policy, you could see a jump in your rates of as much as 50%. So look into possible discounts for your teen drivers. If they attend driving school, that will often lead to a discount, as will maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Finally, consider how much you drive when looking for discounts. If you work from home, or simply don’t use your car that often, you could qualify for a low mileage discount. Most insurance carriers offer a discount of around 15% if you drive less than 7,500 miles a year. The insurance carrier knows you’re less liable to get in an accident, simply because you’re not on the road as much. Ask about this when you’re doing your car insurance rates comparison, if you think you might fall into this group.
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