Car insurance is a necessary expense for virtually everyone, and those in need of coverage typically want to find the most cost-effective option in Virginia whether you’re in Richmond or all the way down in Charlottesville VA. The price of auto insurance is primarily based on the likelihood of the covered party filing a claim. This risk is determined by examining a vast array of factors and all companies interpret these risks differently. Below are some of the primary ways these rates are determined.
1. Maintaining Good Credit
Insurance companies almost always use customers’ credit ratings as one way of determining the cost of car insurance. In most cases, individuals with perfect or excellent credit histories are considered far better risks than those with lower scores.
2. Driving Record
Avoiding citations is another way to ensure inexpensive car insurance because statistics indicate that drivers who ignore traffic laws and speed on a regular basis are more likely to become involved in collisions than conscientious drivers. For this reason, most auto insurance agencies provide premium rate reductions to motorists who have maintained spotless driving records for three or more years.
3. Lowering Mileage
Every extra mile a person drives on an annual basis adds to his or her auto insurance costs. For this reason, if a person can use public transportation or carpool frequently, it may result in a significant decrease in coverage cost.
Almost all insurance companies view those who drive extensively as poorer risks than those who do less driving. For example, individuals who only drive “around town” may qualify for a low-mileage discount. This is simply because the longer a person spends behind the wheel, the greater the likelihood of an eventual incident or accident.
4. Make and Model Discounts
The kind of automobile a person drives also substantially influences the price of coverage. SUVs or other large-size models that are expensive to repair usually cost more to insure. Additionally, sports models almost always cost more to insure than traditional models do, as most insurance companies believe that there is a greater temptation to speed when one is driving a sports car. This, in turn, means that the risk of becoming involved in an accident is higher as well.
Factors such as this can make it challenging for certain individuals to acquire cheap car insurance rates. Therefore, if one is planning to purchase a new car, it is wise to consider a medium-size sedan as opposed to a large SUV or sports car.
5. Safe Driving Tips
As previously mentioned, maintaining a safe driving record is an ideal way to help keep auto insurance premiums at a minimum. Being a safe driver is not difficult, and includes simple actions such as always using turn signals, staying off icy roads during bad weather, pulling off the road when drowsy and avoiding driving while under the influence of alcohol or medication.
6. Alcohol-Related Accidents
Sadly, drunk driving is a costly and dangerous problem in the United States. Approximately 10,000 individuals die every 60 minutes in the U.S. as a result of drunk driving. Additionally, at least one individual is injured every 60 seconds due to an alcohol related collision.
7. Avoiding Road Rage
Long commutes, heavy traffic and other conditions can sometimes lead to aggressive driving or what is more commonly known as “road rage.” Sadly, those who give in to this emotion have been known to cause accidents, harm others and even damage their own vehicles.
Regardless of how frustrating the situation may be, all drivers should avoid yelling at other motorists, calling out threats or verbal insults, taking unnecessary risks to cut off another driver, tailgating or slamming on brakes. These behaviors only serve to escalate negative situations. Staying calm and refusing to give in to emotion are the best ways to stay in control. Similarly, those who see other drivers exhibiting the aforementioned behavior should refuse to react to the other driver’s aggression.
8. Stop Texting and Driving
The use of cell phones, blackberries, and similar devices while driving has led to an increase in crashes. Although specific statistics are still being created regarding the link between accidents and cell phone use, there is enough evidence to prove such activity leads to collisions.
For example, a driver who was texting ran off the road, hitting a mother and child on the sidewalk. In the absence of texting, this accident likely would have never occurred. Even simply talking on a cell phone, which can be done with one’s eyes on the road, is not a good idea. No matter how much a person may think he or she is in control, it is impossible to fully concentrate on driving while engaged in a phone conversation. In Virginia, it is now illegal to text and drive.
Fortunately, car insurance rates are competitive among various providers as long as one is considered an overall good risk. In addition, using the tips outlined above can significantly reduce the chance of being involved in a collision. Finally, when searching for coverage of this type, it is always wise to comparison shop before making a final decision.