What can impact your insurance premium?

There are a number of factors that can affect your car insurance premium, some of these you can change and others are completely out of your control.

Your credit score

As with almost everything today your credit rating or score plays a part in your insurance premium. Your credit rating can impact any discount you are offered and thus it makes sense to get your credit record in order to bring your premium down.

Your driving

The history of you driving behaviour is one of the key factors that determines your premium. If you have a history of speeding tickets and accidents (even those for which you were not at fault) you may end up paying a higher premium. If you have been accident free for a period of time, some insurance companies say 3 years some 5 years, and then you may be able to ask for a discount on your premium.

What you do

Some occupations are considered a higher risk for insurance than others, especially those in jobs that keep them on the road more often such as travelling salesmen. There are a number of occupations that have been determined to be less risk such as paramedics, airline pilots, nuns and even insurance underwriters.

Having a baby

If you are about to become a parent some insurers offer a discount for this life changing event. If you have a life changing event it is often wise to contact your insurance company.

Rent or Own your property

Owning your property often makes a big improvement on your premium, for one it can improve your credit score and then some premiums come down just because you have bought your home. It is also worthwhile considering using the same insurance company for your home and car insurance as a discount is often given for this.

Your car

You are completely in control of this. What you drive makes a huge impact on your insurance policy as insurance companies can obtain so much information to help them determine your premium. They will consider the car itself, its safety rating, how likely it is for the car to be stolen, the age of the car, the engine size and the value. A rule of thumb is that the more expensive your car is the higher your premium will be.

How old you are

This is not the most fair of factors but it is nonetheless one that does make a difference. Insurance companies know that people at a certain age are more or less likely to have an accident or claim on the policy. Young drivers who lack experience often pay a higher premium as do older drivers over 70.

What do you use the car for

If you only use the car to drive from home to work and to do normal family things you may pay a lower premium. If, however you use for vehicle for work or use the road a lot you will pay more.

Use technology

One thing that can make a difference to your premium is to save the insurance company money. If you still receive your statement and other communication in hard copy on paper in your mailbox you may be paying a higher premium. Switch to a paperless billing and communication and you may see your premium drop.

Where you are

Where you live or where you work, if your car is left there during the day, both make a difference to your premium. It has nothing to do with how good a driver you may be where you live makes a difference and insurance companies know that most accidents happen close to home and they also know about crime levels in the area that include break ins and car theft. All these things can put a premium on your monthly or annual payment.

These things impact your insurance premium and there a good number that you can change. If you want to reduce your premium then take a close look at these points and if you can make some changes then do so.

Fines for Texting and Driving

Though fatal car crash rates seem to be on the decline, texting and driving ultimately remains a national health issue. However, fatal car crashes as a result of cell phone use (texting, talking, or even reaching for your phone) are indefinitely increasing. This is supported by the fact that the main cause of death among teen drivers is texting, and not drinking. As a result of the harrowing figures associated with texting and driving, 46 states have decided to pass legislation banning the action, yet fines differentiate throughout the country.

States and their accompanying fines

If you live in California, a maximum penalty for a first-time offender could remain as low as $20, while the State of Alaska will cite you for $10,000 and a year in prison. In a simple twist, some states do not allow officers to pull over a motorist solely for cell phone use, but will allow them to cite the driver on top of another penalty. Some other states that impose hefty fines are Maine, Indiana, and Oregon ($500 each), as well as Utah ($750). Other states with fines $100 and up include: Georgia ($150), Mississippi ($100), North Carolina ($230), Virginia ($125), West Virginia ($100), Nebraska ($200), Washington ($125), Wisconsin ($400), Minnesota ($135), North Dakota ($100), Michigan ($100), Ohio ($150), New York ($243), Pennsylvania ($140), Louisiana ($175), and Hawaii ($200).

States with little or no fine incurred

Some states are a bit behind schedule in dealing with this issue, as states like, South Carolina, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota currently do not have a ban on the action. States such as, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alabama, and Missouri place bans solely on new drivers or bus operators when it comes to texting and driving. This is quite shocking, for an article found on motherjones.com claims that there are 660,000 drivers using phones or electronic devices during any given time of the day! Though 95 percent of drivers claim that texting and driving is obscenely dangerous, only 35 percent have admitted to reading a text while driving within a 30 day period. Surely the states that are lacking anti-texting legislation will be on board soon, for their crash rates are much larger than those with the bans.

What can be done?

To avoid texting and driving fines, you simply need to not text and drive. As contrite or “played out” as it may sound – it is not worth it! For more information on statistic regarding texting and driving, simply visit itcanwait.com, which is a great anti-texting-and-driving campaign that has garnered a majority of the public’s attention. So be safe out on the road over this holiday season; you don’t want that text to be your last.

By common definition, the police force is set in place to uphold the law. Whether it involves a robbery, assault, or anything illegal behavior, their job is to apprehend and/or cite those responsible for the infraction. In the State of Texas, however, it seems that police vehicle crashes are increasingly common.

According to a report by NBC 5, many of the Texas police departments are not practicing the advice they preach, or following the department policy regarding communications device use. Police officers patrol while operating computers, radio equipment, cell phones, and other various distractions as part of their daily routine. With the advantages in technology within the past decade, these tools allow for them to effectively do their job.

The station’s report found that state accident reports revealed that at least 70 crashes in just 24 months where a distraction inside an “emergency vehicle” contributed to the wreck – an average of nearly three crashes per month.

Here is one incident that exhibits these kinds of situations:

  • “In May 2010, a vehicle driven by an Austin police officer ran a stop sign and struck Louis Olivier on his motorcycle. The officer admitted he was using a dashboard computer when he rolled through the stop sign.”

Kevin Narvarro, a lead driving instructor at the Dallas Police Department, as well as a leader of ALERT International, a national organization of police trainers, claims that officers have more to deal with inside their vehicles than in the past.

Narvarro also added the he felt officers forget the dangers because they have become so used to juggling all of these communication necessities.

“We get very complacent,” Navarro said. “We know it’s dangerous, but when we do it several times, over and over again, and it comes out positive, we think we’re good at it, and we’re really not.”

NBC 5 also investigated an uncovered video from a crash this past February shows a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office deputy running a red light, and injuring a woman in a sport utility vehicle, while he was reading a message on his computer.

Despite commenting on the matter, the department has one of the toughest policies on distracted driving in the entire area.“Other than one-button responses to indicate an employee is en route to, has arrived at, or is clearing a scene, typing messages on the MCT (Mobile Computer Terminals) while the vehicle is being operated is prohibited,” the policy states.

“If they don’t follow the policy, they’re dealt with,” Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said. “And it also gives us protection against liability issues because we do have a policy that says don’t do these sort of things.”

Though these communication tools are necessary for the police force to effectively carry out their jobs, are they worth the risk of an accident? Surely changes in policy and/or raised officer awareness can help to facilitate the end of this issue.

If you’re a new teen driver, you know all too well how expensive driver’s insurance can be. Unfortunately, insurance coverage is more expensive for teenagers than it is for adults. This is due to a number of factors: teenagers have less experience, are at higher risk for accidents and traffic citations, and are generally considered less mature than adult drivers. But there are things that you can do to lessen your insurance rate.

 

If you’re shopping for car insurance and want a cheaper rate, or you are planning on getting your driver’s license soon and don’t know what kind of insurance you need, read on below. We’ve got the answers for you so you can stop worrying and start driving!

Types of Car Insurance

There are several different types of insurance coverage. What do you need and what coverage is optional? Of the optional coverage, should you opt for it anyway? This information can help you decide.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements – This type of coverage, or an equivalent proof of financial responsibility, is required in every state. This coverage is provided to pay for property damage and bodily injury in the event of an accident. The amount of coverage that is required will vary from state to state, but one thing that you should take into consideration is that minimum coverage may not cover your expenses in the event of an accident. In such cases, you will be responsible for any expenses not covered by your insurance. For this reason, you should consider getting the maximum coverage that is offered.

 

Collision and Comprehensive Insurance – In most cases, this type of insurance coverage is optional. Unlike liability coverage, which covers the cost of damage to other people’s property (or bodily injury), collision and comprehensive insurance covers the cost of damage, theft, vandalism, and other expenses to your vehicle. If your car is stolen or is struck in a hit-and-run accident, this insurance coverage will cover the cost of your losses.

 

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage – This type of coverage acts like a safety net. If you are involved in an accident and the other motorist maintains only the bare minimum coverage required, or has no coverage, this insurance plan will cover any expenses not covered by the other driver’s insurance provider. You can’t rely on everyone being as attentive or responsible as you are – this coverage takes that into account.

Teen Insurance Discounts and Tips

So what can you do to lower your insurance premium? One of the best things that you can do is turn 25, but until then, if you make sure to do the following, you’ll help your wallet while maintaining solid insurance coverage.

Maintain a High Grade Point Average – Are you still in school? Whether you’re in college or high school, many insurance providers offer “good grade” discounts. Keep getting A’s and B’s, and you’re sure to lower your insurance premium.

 

Pass a Driver’s Education Class – Though not required in every state, many insurance providers offer discounts to individuals who have taken and successfully completed a driver’s education course. Pass your class and provide a certificate of completion, and you may see your rates go down.

 

Pay a Higher Deductible – Are you not terribly concerned about your car? Do you drive an old beater and don’t care whether or not it’s got dented fenders? If so, agree to pay a higher deductible. In the event of an accident, you will be required to pay more upfront (should it be necessary), but your monthly rates will go down.

 

Drive an Older Car – New cars are expensive, which means they are also expensive to insure. Older cars, by comparison, are much cheaper to insure, because property costs are typically minor in the event of an accident. If you get in an accident with an older car and the cost of repairs is greater than the value of the car, the insurance company will simply consider the car totaled, and cut a check. With new cars, this typically isn’t an option.

Shop Around! You Have Options When It Comes to Insurance!

What’s the simplest thing that you can do to lower your premium? Shop around! Don’t settle for the first insurance quote that you’re given. Get quotes from multiple providers and pick the coverage that is right for you.