How to Get a Good Deal on Auto Insurance

A good deal on auto insurance is one that provides maximum coverage for you and your vehicles while charging you a small premium. Auto insurance companies take many factors into account while fixing your premiums. Here is what you need to know to get the best deal on auto insurance.

• Your past driving record (obtainable from your state’s motor vehicle administration) is the primary determinant of your rates. Accidents, traffic violations and citations increase your premiums while a good driving record over a 3-5 year period can get you discounts. Drive safely and respect speed limits at all times. Maintain a good driving history – this will automatically buy you the best rates on your auto policy.

• Usually you have to include all members (with a driver’s license) in your household on your auto policy. Listing teen-aged drivers as ‘occasional drivers’ on the policy can bring down your premiums as insurers see young but occasional drivers as less of a risk.

• Your marital status, gender, educational degree, professional background and occupation also affect your premiums. Insurance companies study years of driving records and associate a certain risk with people in different demographics. For example, a graduate student with high GPA or a teacher is considered to be more responsible and may qualify for discounts.

• If your vehicles have certain safety features such as anti-lock brakes, passenger air bags, anti-theft devices, etc., you will get discounts.

• Affiliation with certain organizations like AAA or bank memberships can get you some group rate discounts.

• The average annual mileage on your vehicle, distance between your home and work place and where you keep the vehicles parked also affect your premiums.

• Consider the worth or your vehicle before buying certain coverages and choosing the limits and deductibles on policy. An old car with 200,000 miles on it may be worth only $4,000. It may not be worth an annual policy costing $1,200. Cutting down on the limits and deductibles will lower your premiums.

Insurance companies have different risk models and their rate quotes can vary considerably. Shop around for the best deal before signing up. When talking to insurance companies, bring up all the factors above to make sure you get every discount you may qualify for.