Like other types of insurance coverage, you may not think of your car insurance much unless you are paying the premium. In your search for the best auto insurance, one of your main goals is to find a policy that fits within your budget. Your costs will depend on various factors, including your age, driving experience, and vehicle type. Some people think that insurance can be more during certain times of the year. The good news is you shouldn’t have to pay more in the winter than you would in the summer, spring, or fall.
What Affects Your Premium?
As you shop for a new insurance plan, you see different rates from company to company. Once you narrow your choices to a few options, chat with a representative to get a specific quote. Your rate will vary depending on different factors. Your age is a big influence on how much your premium will be. Younger drivers have less experience on the road and are thus more of a risk to the insurance company. Premiums will be higher for younger drivers and will decrease as the driver ages.
The person’s driving record will also play a role. People who have had previous accidents, traffic tickets, and other violations should expect higher rates than those with cleaner records. The type of car you drive will also affect the premium. For instance, sports cars and other high-performance vehicles will cost more to insure. Other rate-affecting factors are where you live, your gender (men pay more than women), and your insurance claims history.
Look for Discounts
If you worry about your insurance rates being more than you can afford, there are things you can do to lower your costs. Talk to your agent about available discounts. One of the most common is bundling different plans. Having the same company cover your vehicle, life, and fire insurance can save you money on premiums. Good-student discounts are also available for high school-aged and college-age customers. Military members can also qualify for discounts, as can people with good driving records.
What About Winter Driving?
There is a misconception that purchasing a car insurance policy in the winter will cost more than at other times of the year. The truth is insurance companies will not charge more during these months. This false belief often stems from the fact that because inclement weather occurs in the winter that drivers are more likely to have accidents. This can be considered risky for the insurance company, so the policies will cost more.
In reality, some people end up paying more for car insurance in the winter because of their driving habits, not because the insurance companies are charging more. Icy, snowy conditions cause more collisions and other mishaps on the road than in other seasons. As these accidents occur, the drivers’ rate may go up.
Avoiding Winter Rate Increases
If you want to keep your car insurance rates from going up in the winter, there are some simple steps you can follow. First, slow down. When the roads are slippery, you should go 10 to 20 miles under the speed limit, especially on the highway. Also, make sure to keep an extra distance from the car in front of you. It will take much more time to slow and stop your vehicle when there is ice, snow, and slush on the road.
Plan your route and give yourself extra time. Leave for your destination early, so you do not have to rush. Keep an eye on weather conditions. If you can, stay home when storms hit.
Your insurance rates should not cripple your budget. If you believe you are paying too much, talk to your agent and see what you can do to lower your premiums. Don’t be afraid to shop around and look for other coverage options. When you need to find a policy in the winter, remember that the time of year itself will not affect your payments; your driving habits will. Following and understanding these guidelines can save you money and stress. You can also have peace of mind.