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User's Guide To Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: 4 Factors That Affect Your Rates

By Ara Rubyan

OK, let me put it on the table: I hate insurance companies. I hate them like some people hate the government. But the sad fact is, car insurance is something that we all need -- and, in most cases, are required by law to have.

But while having car insurance is usually not an option, how much you pay for it is.Here are some of the factors that can influence how much -- or how little -- you pay for auto insurance. 

  1. You

    Sadly, you can't do too much about your own personal demographics. Car insurance acturaries (the bean counters who pore over the statistics) "know" that a male that under the age of 25 is involved in more accidents than than a female driver of the same age.
    So if you're a young man, you'll pay more. Sorry about that.

    Want to pay less? Get married -- you'll often see a reduction in your insurance rates. Why? Because the mass of married males are involved in fewer accidents than the mass of unmarried males of the same age. It is what it is.

    Another way to save money is to take an approved driver's training, or driver's safety, course. That can often result in a modest discount. Ask your agent for details.

    Of course, your driving record has more to do with your rates than almost anything else. If you have any points on your record, or a past accident (or two) within the last three years, your rates will be higher. And if you are not careful, eventually you can have your policy cancelled. 

    Lastly, how much you drive each week can affect your rates. So see if you can carpool or take mass transit to and from work, at least some of the time. Hey, listen -- you'll also save money on gas as well as wear and tear on your car. Not to mention doing your part for the environment. How good

    is that?
  2. Your Car

    If you drive a car that car thieves like to steal, your insurance carrier is going to charge you more for insurance. Similarly, if you own a car that is expensive to repair, you'll pay more for insurance, too.

    Bought a brand-new car? You'll probably pay more. But you can reduce your rates if your car has certain safety features like daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes, airbags and automatic safety belts. And if you live in an urban area, you might want to consider anti-theft devices like a steering wheel lock, and/or a car alarms.
  3. Your Neighborhood

    And speaking of the big city, you will find your car insurance rates will be much higher than if you live in the suburbs or out in the country. This is mostly due to the fact that increased traffic will lead to increased accidents. And theft is always a reality as well.
  4. Your Policy

    The kind of policy you choose, or more specifically the coverages you elect, will also effect the cost of your auto insurance payments.

    So seriously consider increasing your deductible, especially if you drive an older car. It all depends on how much your older car is worth. If the value of your car is low, Why pay a high premium every month to insure against a collision that you may not want to repair? Also consider dumping some of the other coverages you may never use, like medical (if you have other medical insurance) or roadside assistance (if your credit card already gives you coverage).


There you have it -- 4 factors that can have a great impact on how much (or how little) you pay for insurance. Check it out and save.

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