All of us should strive to be safe drivers. The benefits are obvious. If you don’t have wrecks or get tickets, you’re going to save yourself a lot of time, money and stress in the long run. Not only that, you’re making the road safer for yourself, your family and everyone around you.
Having a clean driving record comes with personal benefits in ways you might not realize. If you keep your record clean, you’re likely going to do your auto insurer a favor. Insurers often use driving records as factors that determine coverage eligibility. It is very likely that your record will determine how much you pay for your coverage. So, think of safe driving as a money saver – as well as the right thing to do.
It’s About Cost Risks
Auto insurance helps drivers afford repairs for damage to their own vehicles, or damage they cause to others. An insurance company will pay for some or all of the damage resulting from covered accidents. (Some accidents won’t be covered.) However, many policies cover additional common incidents – such as collisions, theft, fire and weather damage.
An insurer agrees to cover a vehicle and its driver at a risk to itself. Every time a customer makes a policy claim, the insurer runs the risk of having to pay for damages. A claim often signals that a driver poses a higher risk to the insurer. This raises the chances of monetary loss for the company. So, if a driver makes frequent claims, the company might charge that driver more for coverage. Indeed, if certain drivers continue to make claims, their risk level might rise to the point that their insurer will no longer cover them.
That’s why it is so important to maintain a clean driving record. If you have a long history of accidents, moving violations or DUI charges, you’ll have a higher chance of making a claim. Your insurer might have to raise your policy costs or deny you coverage because of these risks.
Therefore, all drivers should maintain a clean driving record. If you do, you will likely pay the lowest costs for your auto insurance.
Will One Ticket Hurt Me?
Everyone makes mistakes, and many of us will have accidents or get a traffic ticket in our lifetimes. When this happens, we might wonder if a single ticket or accident will raise our auto insurance prices. Often, this will depend on many factors.
- Different insurers will place more weight on each infraction on your driving record. Depending on who your carrier is, you might see different effects of certain charges. A single speeding or parking ticket will likely have little or no impact on your auto insurance rates. Any increases in your rates will likely be minimal. However, repetitive or frequent tickets will likely cause your rates to rise.
- Many insurers offer accident and ticket forgiveness. This means that if you have only one accident or driving charge in a certain period, you won’t see a rate increase.
- Drivers who receive serious charges, such as DUIs, will likely see the largest impacts on their insurance. Severe infractions might lead to rate increases, or even a termination of your coverage.
Do not attempt to hide a driving charge, as your insurer will likely find out about it. However, if you do receive a charge, talk to your insurer about the best way to protect your auto insurance rates.
Saving on Your Auto Insurance Rates
Drivers with clean records will likely pay a lower price for their coverage. However, there are ways that we all can keep our car insurance prices affordable.
- Ask your insurance agent to compare carrier options. If you work with an independent agent, he or she can likely compare the policies of multiple carriers. You might be able to find similar policies at different costs. This will help guarantee that you always pay the most affordable price for coverage.
- Inquire about discounts. Most auto insurers offer discounts. These might include accident-free, auto-renewal, returning customer and auto-payment discounts. Drivers with clean records will often have access to the most discounts.
- Adjust your deductible. Your deductible is the price you pay for repairs before your auto insurer covers the rest of the claim. If you have a higher deductible, your auto insurer likely won’t have to pay out as much following a claim. Therefore, you should often carry a higher deductible, but not one so high that you cannot afford it.
- Enroll in a safe driving course. Many auto insurers like to see drivers who keep their own safety in check. They might offer you a discount if you pass a defensive driving course that helps you brush up on your skills.
Of course, the best way to save on your auto insurance is to not make claims. By being a safer driver, you reduce your likelihood of ever having to use your insurance. In the long run, your clean record will probably be a great benefit in helping you feel more secure behind the wheel.
Have questions about coverage? Contact Hill & Stone Insurance today to learn more.