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8 Mistakes That Can Cost You On Car Insurance -

July 11, 2013

One of the most expensive costs of operating a car is the insurance that must be bought. Not only is insurance expensive, but rates seem like they are always climbing. This is true for most drivers, and most likely, you are one of them. The truth is that the cost of a policy can often be attributed to mistakes made by the car owner. There are many things you can do to keep your policy rates low as well as actions to avoid.

Here are eight recommendations to help you save money:

1. Avoid Getting Tickets

This is an obvious tip, but if more people drove better, they would be able to keep their insurance rates low. Tickets are one of the top reasons for an increase in insurance rates, and are often easy to avoid. Never speed in your car, always signal before you turn and stop at red lights as well as stop signs. If you can accomplish this, your chances of getting a speeding ticket drop considerably.

2. Causing An Accident

This is often worse than a traffic ticket. If you cause an accident, your rates may go up, but if the accident caused a large claim against you, your car insurance policy may simply be cancelled. Getting a new policy may be difficult and always expensive. Do not depend upon a policy clause of first-time accident forgiveness. You may want to inquire if you are eligible for an accident forgiveness endorsement on your policy to protect you in the case of an accident. You must be actively involved in preventing yourself from causing an accident. It starts with avoiding traffic tickets but adds the dimension of defensive driving. Keep you eyes on the road, and do not allow distractions in you vehicle while driving.

3. Not Comparing Insurance Rates When Purchasing a Car

Part of the cost of owning a car is the operating costs associated with ownership. Since insurance is one of the most expensive areas of car ownership, it only makes sense to look at insurance rates for different cars you may want to buy. Two cars may have similar prices, but one may be much higher to insure. Automobiles have specific vehicle rate groups that are used in insurance ratings, so getting insurance estimates is the place to begin. However, you still need to get quotes from insurance companies, so you will know exactly what the cost will be.

4. Not Shopping For Insurance Policies After You Buy a Car

At the very least you should get car insurance quotes once a year. There may be lower cost policies available, but you will never know it unless you shop around. Your current insurance company may be good, but it is doubtful that they will voluntarily lower the cost of your policy unless they have to. It doesn't take long to get quotes over the Internet, so there is really no excuse for not doing it every year. The best time to get online quotes is prior to your renewal. This way, you may avoid any penalties that your insurer may levy for cancelling mid term. Finding competitive quotes from competing insurance companies is quick and easy to do online.

5. Look Over Your Renewal Policy

Premiums may have gone up or at least stayed the same because of inaccurate information on the policy. Things may have changed in your life, but this may not be reflected on the new policy if your insurer does not have the most up to date information. You should review your policy at the same time you get new quotes. Make sure your present insurance company has your current information and give them a chance to offer a better price.

6. Buying Your Policies From The Same Company

Many people make the mistake of having a different insurance company for their life, home and vehicle without quoting all three to one company. Often, a vehicle policy will be cheapest from the insurance company that is already insuring your home and life. This is called a multi-policy discount and should be given consideration before purchasing car insurance.

7. Plan Ahead To Add Your Teen To Your Policy

There many discounts that may be available for teenage drivers on their parents' policy, and if you know in advance what they are, you can use them to your advantage to save money. One discount some insurers offer is for good students. If your teenager has high grades, they may qualify for a money saving discount. Other discounts available include those for driver education or for being a student away at university. Ensure to discuss with your car insurance broker or agent when your child gets their driver's license.

8. Dishonesty With Insurance Companies

It is amazing how people think they can fool an insurance company. Perhaps there is a new driver for the family car, but they don't tell their present insurance company. Maybe, when shopping for insurance, a recent traffic ticket is not specified when requesting a quote. However, whether it is your present insurance carrier or a new one that you are quoting, lying to an insurance company will come back to haunt you in many forms. Insurers can rerate a policy or even cancel it. These cancellations make it very difficult to obtain affordable insurance going forward. Even if you are only withholding information, this is the same as lying and you should never do it.

If you follow the tips above, you may be able to experience lower rates today as well as in the future. To a degree, the price you pay for car insurance is in your hands.

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