Inattention, driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speeding and texting are all
reckless behaviors that have bad outcomes. Such drivers ultimately cause accidents, which may cause injury to others. In addition to the expenses and punishments stemming from legal trouble, reckless drivers also experience higher auto insurance rates. Before this happens, their licenses may be suspended for a period of time. To have a license reinstated, a driver must usually take classes and pay a fee.
Auto insurance following such a reinstatement is much more expensive than traditional rates. When auto insurance companies calculate premiums, the most important issue they research is the customer’s driving history. Speeding tickets and auto accidents usually
stay on a person’s record for more than three years. Age, gender, driving frequency, parking location, car type, desired coverage and credit history are also considered. Keep in mind that insurers use a different type of credit scoring than lenders do.
Although people do not have control over their age or gender, there are several other
ways to keep rates down and prevent reckless driving.
Speeding is a factor in about 20 percent of auto crashes. About 15 percent of crashes result
from driving under the influence, and almost 10 percent are due to inattention. After receiving a ticket, there are also several steps to lowering insurance costs.
Request higher deductibles. For collision and comprehensive coverage, a higher deductible will mean a lower premium. It also means paying more upfront for an accident, but that is a good incentive for drivers to be more careful. Raising a deductible may help a driver save up to 40 percent.
Combine auto and homeowners insurance policies. Buying a homeowners or renters policy from the same company issuing the auto insurance results in a discount. If more than one vehicle is insured, there may be an additional discount.
Lower coverage for older cars. Some people have one or more older cars that are rarely used or just collect dust. If this is the case, lower the coverage for these vehicles.
Ask about discounts for low mileage. Insurers may offer discounts for drivers who do not drive excessively. People who carpool to work usually also qualify for this discount.
Improve and maintain credit. Insurers use a special formula for calculating the credit score they use, but a good FICO score and good credit history mean a better insurance score.
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