If you’ve done your homework and shopped around for a car insurance policy in the past few years, chances are you already are getting a good rate on your coverage. There are several things you can do, however, to make sure the rates don’t go up in the future.
One of the easiest and most obvious ways to maintain your car insurance rates is to avoid accidents. Distracted driving is a very real problem and the cause of up to 80% of all accidents in the United States. Talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio, or even drinking your morning coffee on the go all increase your chances of being in an accident significantly. Cutting down on those behaviors will be your first line of defense against rising insurance costs.
A lesser-known reason your insurance rates go up is your credit rating. A lot of insurance companies look at your credit score as a reference for your general level of responsibility. Whether that’s a fair association to make has been hotly debated in recent years, but the fact is it remains a sticking point for many consumers. Being careful with your debt and paying off (or cutting up) credit cards are great ways to keep your credit score intact, and your auto insurance rates from jumping up. New rules have made it easier than ever to get a full credit report for free through AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s run by the Federal Trade Commission, allows you to access a full report once per year, and is well worth the visit.
The car you drive also has a lot to do with your auto insurance rates. If you lease, you’ll be choosing a new car every few years, so be sure that the car you’re moving into has the same or similar insurance ratings as what you’re currently driving. Cars with higher accident rates (sports cars for instance) or cars that are more frequently targeted for theft are sure to cause your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. Be sure to call your agent or get an online quote before you commit to your next lease, otherwise you might be in for a nasty surprise when you get your bill.
Following just a few simple rules will help you maintain, or even lower, your car insurance rates. Being aware of what insurers are looking at will give you a big leg up in keeping rates steady for a long time to come.