If you’re looking to save money, here are some factors that will drive your car insurance costs up:
1. Moving violations, such as speeding tickets, failing to stop at a stop sign or running through a red light.
2. Processing accident claims through your insurance company. Of course, if your insurance company doesn’t know about the accident, it won’t affect your car insurance.
3. The neighborhood you live in affects your insurance rates. If you live in a neighborhood deemed less-than-desirable by insurance companies, it will cost you more.
4. Your age plays a factor in determining your insurance costs. Bottom line: The younger you are the more you will pay for auto insurance.
5. Not taking driver education courses will result in higher insurance rates.
6. The type of car you drive. Sports cars, for instance, typically cost more to insure than a standard family sedan.
7. Men will pay more for auto insurance than women because men tend to drive more aggressively.
8. Luxury cars cost more to insure.
9. An individual policy costs you more. Adding another person to your policy, even with another vehicle, will decrease your overall rate.
10. Not having safety features installed in your car, such as air bags or anti-theft device.
11. Adding a driver with a less-than-perfect driving record to your policy will have an adverse affect on your rates.
It’s also important to consider carefully how much risk and out-of-pocket costs you can endure in the case of an accident. If you’re looking simply at how much it costs you each month to pay your insurance premiums, it might make sense to choose a higher deductible. The deductible is the portion of the expense you are liable for in case of an accident. You must pay your deductible before the insurance company will pay their portion. With a $1,000 deductible you are assuming more of the risk therefore your insurance premium will be lower. With a $250 deductible you are assuming less of the risk and consequently your insurance premium will be higher. If you do have an accident, however, you’re on the hook to the repair shop for your deductible amount, whatever it may be.
Finally, it’s very important to shop around for the best rates. The same level of coverage for the same driver and vehicle can vary wildly from insurance company to insurance company. Look for the best deal, but be sure you are comparing similar insurance plans.