Monday, 13 October 2008

Tips to Save on Car Insurance

By: Daniel Dalton

Car insurance can be a confusing subject, especially if you have never held a policy before. Even experienced drivers often find themselves struggling to make sense of the fine print that comes with each auto insurance quote option. Between deductibles, co-pays, taxes and special provisions, it can be difficult to determine where your best chance of saving money may be hiding. Making matters even more confusing is the fact that most insurance companies calculate their own rates and premiums based on complex algorithms that take hundreds of factors into account. Thankfully, there are some simple trends you can use to guarantee lower rates across the board when obtaining auto insurance quotes.
The most important determining factor for car insurance rates is your driving history. Drivers who have been involved in frequent collisions or damage will inevitably see higher rates than those with spotless paperwork. One fender-bender should not be seen as a death sentence for your bank account, however – most such incidents lose their punitive value over time, and by law all driving records renew every seven years. That means if you stay within the speed limit and avoid moving violations of any kind, you will see your rates improving within a couple years.

Many drivers are surprised to learn that credit scores make a significant difference as well. This makes sense when you consider that insurance companies are essentially betting on your overall responsibility, especially your ability to meet those annual payments. Good credit can translate readily into discounts of 20 percent or more – no small amount when you consider how many insurance policies represent car owners' single biggest expense each year.

Insurance companies also tend to factor neighborhoods into auto insurance quotes, and with good reason. It is a simple statistical fact that cars tend to be damaged and stolen more often in high-crime areas, and most insurance companies require protection in the face of such elevated numbers. Moving to a better area can have an instantaneous effect on your premiums, even if everything else about your life remains essentially the same.

Of course the car is an essential component of auto insurance quote calculations as well. Newer cars and more expensive cars will cost more to insure and maintain over time, while older makes and models tend to represent far less expense. There is some truth as well to the oft-cited legend that your car's color and amenities can affect the final tally. This is hardly prejudice or small-mindedness on the part of insurance carriers – red sports really do get into more accidents than gold minivans.

The best way to save on car insurance and receive the best possible auto insurance quotes is to do your homework and seek estimates from as many carriers as possible. Once you have all the data at your fingertips, you may be able to negotiate more favorable rates from your carrier of choice. One final note – if you don't yet have home insurance or life insurance, you may be able to get superior rates by combining multiple policies under one roof.

Daniel Dalton has been a writer for many years. His experience spans a large variety of major industries including insurance plans. As a journalist , Daniel is well-known and is considered one of the top writers in the region. His work can be found from small newspapers to national publications. Daniel recently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

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