Under normal circumstances, auto insurance rates aren’t something we give a whole lot of thought to during the day. But, do something while you’re out driving that you wish you hadn’t done, and your auto insurance premiums are likely to increase, and there isn’t much you can do about it – except be more careful next time.
What you do when you’re behind the wheel will dictate how much you pay for auto insurance your entire driving life. Accidents, moving violations, and DUIs can haunt you and your wallet for many years to come. That’s why you should do all you can to keep your rates constant and affordable. Below are factors you should avoid that will likely raise your auto insurance rates:
If you’re involved in an accident that you cause and you’re found to be at fault – hold on to your wallet. Your insurance premiums are about to go up in a huge way. Even if it is a minor fender-bender, as opposed to a serious crash, you’re likely to see an increase and be paying more. While most insurance companies may not increase your rates if the accident is not your fault – be aware that too many claims in a short period of time will probably make you a prime candidate for an increase.
• Moving violations
Collecting a lot of moving violations, such as speeding, running red lights or stop signs, and illegal U-turns is a sure fire way to face an increase. Paying closer attention to speed limits, slowing down at intersections and using the yellow light as a gauge to stop, and making U-turns in places where they’re clearly marked as “okay” can help you reduce the risk of getting a ticket and rate increase.
• Driving while impaired
Whether you call it a DWI (Driving While Impaired or Intoxicated) or a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), it means the same thing – you’re in trouble – and, your auto insurance rates are about to skyrocket. This includes not only alcohol, but prescription medications and recreational drugs. Best way to avoid getting stopped for a DWI/DUI is simple – don’t drink or take drugs of any kind and drive.
• Teenage driver
Okay, this one you may not be able to avoid. As a parent of a teen driver that you assign to your policy, you will see a dramatic increase to your rates – mainly because of the age group your child falls into. The good news, here, is – if your teen is a high school or college student and they maintain good grades of “B average” or better, they will be eligible for a discount.
• Driver’s license
If you’re driving around without a license or with an expired one and are stopped by a peace officer, your luck has run out. Not only will it have a bearing on your insurance rates, but it may also affect your future driving privileges, not to mention your ability to obtain insurance coverage.
In the end, most of these factors can be avoided and, by doing so, you can reduce your chances of being hit with a rate increase.
You also want to avoid paying too much for your premiums by making sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance.
Have you ever been the victim of one of these factors and had your auto insurance premiums go up dramatically? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.