Don't Overlook Important Factors and Discounts Changing Your Car Insurance Costs

Today many people do not want to spend the extra money each month in order to carry adequate car insurance. Many simply buy the minimum that is required, or some skip it all together. In today's economy, many people simply cannot afford to do these things. Not having insurance can lead you to be stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills if you were to be involved in an accident. Today it is even more important to carry adequate car insurance, but fortunately, you can generally find a discount premium to help ease the financial burden each month.
First it is always a good idea to understand the factors that go into your car insurance premium. Car insurance rates are calculated based on risk - the higher the risk, the more you pay. Although most people think of driving history as the main indicator of risk, this is just one of many factors. Car insurance companies do extensive research in order to find factors that correlate with risk. Things such as marital status, age, gender, car type, credit history, occupation, address, and education level are all factors that can help determine your car insurance rate. Once you understand how your rate is calculated, you can try to adjust your life so these factors are working in your favor.

Car Insurance Discounts

Some of the factors responsible for your car insurance premium cannot be changed. You cannot help your age or gender, for example. Fortunately, another way to save money on your car insurance is through insurance discounts. There are many different discounts, but not all insurance companies will offer every discount, and there will be different eligibility information across the companies. Here are some of the most common car insurance discounts:
  • Good student - this discount is given to students who maintain a certain GPA each semester. It can apply to high school and college students.
  • Driver's education - you can earn this discount for taking a driver's education class. Not all classes count, so it is best to check before enrolling.
  • Good driver - by avoiding accidents and traffic violations, you can get a discount on your car insurance. Some companies increase this discount each year you stay safe on the road.
  • Loyalty - staying with the same car insurance company over time can often earn you a loyalty discount.
  • Multi-car - if you have multiple cars in your family, insuring them on the same policy can get you a multi-car discount.
  • Multi-policy - similarly, if you have other insurance needs (home, life, health, renters, etc.) you can usually get a discount for purchasing all the policies through the same company.
  • Safety and security- by driving a vehicle with updated safety and security features, you are less likely to be hurt in an accident or have your car stolen or vandalized. This lower risk means more savings for you.
  • Low mileage- if you stay under a certain amount of miles per year, you can usually earn a discount. This is simply because the less you are on the road, the less likely you are to get into an accident.

What should you do before and after hurricanes in connection to car insurance

The hurricane season is just around the corner and now is the best time to assess your insurance option for covering the potential damage delivered by bad weather. Even now there can already be a slight increase in car insurance quotes for policies covering hurricanes, especially in those areas where they happen most of the time. However, even if you manage to buy a policy with suitable hurricane coverage, knowing how to proceed during and after the hurricane has hit is also very important. That's why we're providing you with several tips from insurers and insurance experts that will help you minimize the costs and get the best coverage when disaster strikes:
Prevent your losses before the disaster
  • First of all you have to make sure that your insurance company is adequate in dealing with hurricane-related quotes. It would be best to learn about their hurricane payout rates even when you're comparing car insurance quotes, not when the disaster is about to happen.
  • If you want to insure a classic or retro car against hurricane damage it's best to find an insurer that specializes in such cars, not a general insurance company. Specialized car insurance providers usually have a more adequate approach when it comes to evaluating damage and finding a good repair shop for an old vehicle.
  • Keep all your insurance documentation in a safe place that is likely to survive the hit and keep the papers intact. Make copies of all the documents and keep them in another place as well, just as a backup.
  • If your garage is likely to get flooded or badly damaged during the hurricane, arrange for a backup storage location for your vehicle, preferably at higher ground. If you can't find one contact your insurer to make the arrangement - they are likely to help you out with that.
Steps to take after the disaster in terms of car insurance quotes
  • Take as many photos of your car as needed to document the damage inflicted. Having several photos from before the hurricane is a great bonus as they will help the insurance company to assess the damage more accurately. Once you've taken the photos call the insurer right away.
  • Do not start the engine or try to drive around in the damaged car before an assessment is made by the insurer. The engine may be flooded and other systems may also contain bad water, which will inflict more damage if you try to start the car.
  • Removing contaminated water from your car should be a priority. The sooner you do it the better. Have a professional drain all the fluids from the engine and the car interior for better results.
  • Remove any debris that got inside the car during the hurricane but only after you've documented the damage through photos. You have to provide proof that the damage was inflicted by the debris you've removed when the insurance agent arrives.
  • Negotiate the cost of repair with the insurer. Ask for several options when it comes to repair shops and see if the insurer will cover you if you take the car to a different shop. Ask the repair workers to give you an estimate on the work to have some negotiating basis with the insurer.

Get cheaper auto insurance through driver monitoring

There's a growing interest in usage-based auto insurance among car owner all over the country. In some areas there's still a lack of such policies whereas in areas where this form of insurance is available more and more people are opting in to see what the fuss is all about. Many of those who try the new thing out tend to stick with it or opt in again after some time when comparing the costs. And if you're a good driver from the insurance point of view you should definitely try one of those monitoring devices.
The concept is nothing new as it has been around for more than 15 years. The first insurance company to offer usage-based auto insurance was Progressive, which introduced a special device for its Houston customers that had to be installed by a professional to work. The device used a special diagnostic port, which is present in all cars manufactured after 1996. Several years later Progressive has introduced a new version of the device, which could be installed by the car owner and didn't require any professional skills. And in 2010 the company introduced its Snapshot program, which is available in nearly all states Progressive operates in.
The Snapshot program is really simple: it's a device that records data in real-time and sends it to the insurer's servers for analysis. The data represents driving distance, driving time, start-break patterns, acceleration patterns and other useful information. The GPS function however is excluded on purpose as there was a growing concern among customers who felt it as an invasion of their privacy. With all the data sent to the insurer it is analyzed and the respective premium is charged. Progressive simply offer a good discount to those who display safe driving patterns, while those who are bad drivers simply don't get any. Allstate is another large insurer that offers a similar service called Drivewise, which works in the same way and provides the same incentives to careful drivers. And it's easy to see other large industry players introducing similar products in the near future as the general acceptance for such programs among car owners in on the rise.
Insurance experts predict that driver monitoring programs will become standard for the US auto insurance industry since most drivers really want to get those discounts. And knowing that the majority of car owners are actually above the average drivers it is easy to understand why more and more people tend to opt in to such programs - they are confident that their driving is good enough to get the promised discount. At the same time, standard policies that use proxy factors such as marriage, education or driving record will become less widespread and used only by bad drivers as a way to save at least some money off auto insurance. So make sure to try out a usage-based insurance program if it's available in your area in order to familiarize yourself with what will become the industry standard in the near future.