Nobody enjoys paying for car insurance, but it is essential to being a responsible car owner. If you opt not to have insurance, you can risk losing your license and wind up with far more debt after an accident than you would if you had a policy to cover you. So, even though insurance can be a pain (to say the least), overall, learning to budget for it is better than risking the alternative. With all of that said, it is possible to find a way to lower your insurance costs.
The best way to reduce the amount of money you have to pay on an auto insurance policy is to understand HOW your payment is calculated. From there, you can take steps towards a lower annual premium.
In simple terms, an auto insurance premium in South Florida is the amount of money the individual or business insured pays the insurance agency (this is typically 6 months’ worth of coverage). The individual insured MUST pay an insurance premium to acquire an insurance policy.
The premiums are earned by the insurance company and become income for them. In addition to representing a liability, they must provide coverage for claims against the policy. The policy may be canceled if the individual or business fails to pay the premium.
There are a variety of factors that go into how an auto insurance policy premium is calculated. When you initially sign up to be quoted, your agency will evaluate your risk as an individual. They will also assess the risk of your surrounding environment and the value of your car. Each of your unique circumstances helps the insurance agency understand how likely you are to file a claim and how much you will need to be paid out if you do file one.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the factors that play a role in your premium cost, and then we can discuss how you can lower your auto insurance payments.
The car you drive will affect how much you pay for your insurance policy. This is because higher-value cars will cost more to fix than lower-value cars. Therefore, you should expect to pay more in insurance for newer vehicles than older ones. However, the age of your car may have the opposite effect on your premium if you drive a vintage or collector’s car. Again, this is because your premium rates ultimately go back to the value of your automobile.
Another way your insurance premium is affected by the type of car you drive is what category it fits into. For example, you will pay a MUCH higher premium for a sports car than a small sedan. This is due to the risk factor of the driver mishandling the vehicle.
Bonus Fact: When it comes to color, you will pay the most for a red-painted vehicle than any other color. Red cars are more challenging to see than other cars because of the way light bounces off of their particular hues.
Your driving history is another huge consideration when determining how much your premium will be. For example, suppose you are an individual with only a year’s worth of driving experience. In that case, your payments will be much higher than that of someone with 5 years of experience. However, if you have 5 years of experience and have been in multiple accidents, your premium will likely be just as high, if not higher, than someone with only 1 year of driving experience and no accidents.
Additional factors can include speeding tickets, points on your license, and other traffic violations. These components help your insurance agency determine how much of a liability you may be and how likely you are to need your insurance.
It may seem odd, but your gender influences your premium cost. In most states, men will pay more for care insurance than women will. The reason behind this notion is that men show a higher risk of causing accidents than women.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that men accounted for 71 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019, making them 145 percent more likely to die than women. It is legal for insurance companies to raise prices on men and not women in 43 out of the 50 states in the US.
Among the states where insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against either gender are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Your premium is not only decided by how YOU are as a driver but by the risk of damage to your vehicle from outside factors as well. Generally speaking, if you live in an area with a high level of car crime, you’re likely to pay more. The same applies if you live in an area with a higher accident rate.
Additionally, getting lower insurance rates in rural areas with relatively low crime is possible. Car prices can also vary between nearby postcodes. For example, a car near a dangerous stretch of road might have significantly higher prices than a stretch of road only a few blocks away.
Furthermore, parking your car on the side street can also cause your insurance to skyrocket. This is in comparison to parking your car in a secured garage attached to your home.
The last component of your auto insurance premium cost (that we will talk about), is how much coverage you decide to have. This one is obvious, but the more coverage you choose to have for your vehicle, the more you should expect to pay.
When deciding just how much insurance you should get on your car, you should also do your own risk analysis. Determine your own driving habits and how valuable your car is to you. You can choose to have full coverage, which is a collision, liability, and comprehensive, OR you can opt for partial coverage, which is a minimum of liability, with the option of adding collision or comprehensive.
There are a few ways to lower your car insurance South Florida premium, some of which will not cost you any investments or a lower amount of car coverage. Check out this list:
Less Coverage: First up, you can simply decide to lower your coverage. This may not be an option if you are financing a car because your loan provider will force you to maintain full coverage until the car is paid off. However, if you own your car outright, you can choose not to have collision and/or comprehensive, which will naturally lower your monthly bill.
We do advise getting full coverage or at least speaking to an insurance agent before making any final decisions on cutting back your policy. Accidents can be VERY expensive, and when they occur, they often cost more than your premium.
Safer Parking Space: If your insurance is high because of where you live, choose to store your car in a safer parking space. You can lower your premium by paying for a parking garage, although this may not always help you financially if the garage has a steep monthly fee too.
Safe Driving Program: Many car insurance agencies offer discounts to safe drivers. You can take classes such as defensive driving, where you gain a certificate and are viewed as a lower-risk driver by your insurance company.
Some of the bigger car insurance companies even offer their own “safe driving program,” where they track your driving habits over the course of a couple of months. A program through your insurance agency is often free to do and does not require more than a few minutes to sign up.
Pay in a Lump Sum: You will likely receive a discounted rate if you pay in a lump sum for your premium rather than in monthly installments. This is a tactic used by insurance companies to keep their clients with them for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, it helps YOU save some money!
Invest in Safety Features: Sometimes, your car insurance premium is on the higher side because your vehicle lacks the proper safety features. Installing anti-theft features, airbags, traction and stability control, or other safety elements can help lower your overall premium.
When it comes down to it, you MUST pay for auto insurance in South Florida if you plan on owning or operating a vehicle. In every state, driving an automobile without minimum liability insurance is illegal. Accidents happen without warning, and having no insurance is not worth the risk.
A representative from an insurance company can help you better understand how your premium is being calculated. They can also advise what steps you can take to lower your monthly insurance rates.
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