As a driver, you're doing everything right. You don't get speeding infractions, you have a clean driving record, you bundle policies, and yet when you look at your six-month rate, you notice a huge increase from previous year policy rates. What's the deal?
Step back and take a breath. There are reasons that insurers hike up insurance premiums. And yes, this is the case even for the safest drivers on the road. So, what are the common reasons your rates are increasing and is there anything you can do about it?
Traffic Infractions and Violations
A speeding ticket, unpaid parking tickets, and improper left turns might seem like something small. However, when it comes to increases in insurance rates, this can really hurt you as a driver. Major accidents, points on your license, and major traffic infractions like a DUI or reckless driving, are more damaging than the small stuff. But, you still have to sweat the small stuff. A couple of speeding tickets will increase your rates. So will violations for improper passing, or even driving with a blown headlight or faulty equipment.
What's the fix? Become a safer driver, of course. Pay more attention to the Stop signs. Make sure you aren't going 55 in a 45 MPH zone. Check your blinkers, mind your turn signals, and pay attention to road signs. Not only will it save you in the price of your premiums, but also keep those points off your driver's license, which can eventually lead to suspensions.
Cancellation of Another Policy or Removing a Vehicle from Your Auto Policy
If you currently bundle home, auto, renter's, life insurance, and other policies, canceling one or multiple policies, will instantly result in increases. An insurance carrier provides major discounts based on the number of policies you purchase through them. And, the more you bundle (i.e. the more you spend on different insurance policies), the greater the savings.
The same goes if you remove a vehicle from your auto policy. If you have two or three cars insured, then drop down to one, the rates will increase. And, in some cases, this can be significantly. You can pay twice as much, if not more, for the same policy.
Before making a change to your policy, or canceling any form of insurance when you bundle, talk to your insurance agent. Learn what the penalties will be, how much rates will increase, and what you can do, to possibly help keep the rates down to a minimum.
Many drivers might not consider a white lie to be insurance fraud. However, if an insurer finds out about some white lies, your rates can increase mid-contract, and you're liable to pay for those increases. Some forms of insurance fraud include
- Padding repair costs to cover deductibles
- Lying about past injuries and stating they're the result of an auto accident you report
- Lying about how the vehicle is used (i.e. stating you use a personal vehicle for work purposes)
- Stating you drive fewer miles than you actually drive, or park in a garage when you actually park indoors.
Nothing big, right? Well, these white lies can actually get you into trouble for insurance fraud and end up costing you more for your premiums. So, tell the truth, and make sure you are constantly informing your insurer of changes to driving patterns as they occur.
It's Outside Your Control
Even the safest drivers see rates go up. For example, if you live in an extremely dangerous area, live in a region where accidents are common or are surrounded by people driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis, rates can increase. External factors, that extend beyond your control, can cause hikes in your insurance premiums.
But, why are your rates affected? Well, think of that driver who doesn't make a complete stop at the Stop sign or speeds past a red light at the intersection. They can smash into your car at any instance. And, even though you're a safe driver, your insurer is going to cough up money to pay for repairs. So, your rates have to see an increase for them to continue to provide you the best coverage possible.
What you can do is avoid dangerous intersections. Make sure you look for ways to bundle on your policy, make sure you ask for discounts, and take advantage of safe driver discounts. Alumni groups, or paying off your car in full (if you currently owe a balance on it), will also help drive rates down.
Get an Affordable Car Insurance Quote Today
Ready to start saving on your policy? Even with the increases by insurers, it's possible to find a lower rate. Check out BuyCarInsurance.com to get a free quote. You can compare the top insurers, find the policy coverage that works for you, and find the best deals.