When you buy car insurance, your insurer will set your policy price based on the risk you pose to them. One of the criteria they will likely use to determine your rate is your driving record. Those with bad driving records pose a higher risk to insurers. Therefore, they will likely have to pay more for their coverage. How can you avoid paying high policy costs even if you have a poor record?
If you worry about how much a tarnished record will cost you in insurance, you are not alone. Consider taking the following steps to rein in and control your policy prices.
Controlling Premium Rates, Regardless Of Record
If you have a bad driving record, you have more of a chance of getting into a wreck or other incident. That increases your chances of filing a claim on your policy. Because of this, your insurance company might have to raise your premium prices.
Regardless, you can take steps to control premium changes. By personally reviewing your coverage, you can control increases in your premium.
- Only buy the coverage you need most. For example, if you have paid off your car, you might not need collision or comprehensive coverage. However, do not drop protection like liability coverage. It will protect you in the event you cause damage to others. Let your agent help you decide if certain coverage which might prove obsolete for you.
- Ask about all available insurance discounts. Even if you have a bad record, you might be able to still get savings. For example, most drivers can access auto-renewal or claims-free discounts. Your choices, however, might depend on an insurer's offerings.
- Find out if your insurer offers a safe driving course discount. By enrolling in a course, you will review critical practices that might make you safer in the future. Therefore, you might get savings in both the short-term and the long-term.
- Consider taking a higher policy deductible. By increasing your deductible, you lower the insurer's ultimate financial responsibility for a claim. Therefore, they might decrease your policy rate.
- Ask your insurance agent if you can bundle your policy with another policy, such as home insurance. By buying both policies from the same insurer, you might get a discount.
Finally, check to see when your driving record clears. Many charges, like simple speeding tickets, disappear from your record after a certain period. When they do, you might see your rates decrease.
Of course, always strive to become a safer driver. You are your own best policeman. Obey the rules of the road, and always pay attention to your surroundings. The better your driving habits, the lower your insurance prices might be.