Advice & Help

Some tips to help keep your auto premiums at a suitable level

Written by Leo Gilling

Insurance is not a one size fits all deal, as it can require preparation and research. Rates can fluctuate due to many factors like your age, credit score and even the car that you drive. As automotive rates vary, consumers are constantly searching for ways to keep their premium as low as possible. Here are some tips to help keep your auto premiums at a suitable level.

Understand Your Insurance Score
Your insurance score is different from your credit score. Although your credit score is used in the state of Florida, residents are rated by an Insurance Score (IS), the method insurance companies use to determine the risk of someone having a loss.  An individual’s credit score determines the IS because there is a link between credit scores and risk of having a loss.  A person with a higher IS, often has a lower premium than one with a low score. The highest IS score is 1 and is excellent, while 16 is the lowest and is poor. Therefore, it is important that you monitor your personal credit score and maintain a good IS rating.

Value Your Driving Record
Your future premium could be adversely impacted whether or not you are at fault in an auto accident. Policy holders who have been accident free while insured with the same insurance company may be eligible for discounts. To help prevent any issues on the road, be sure you know the rules of the road. Your premium could change due to surcharges because of your driving record and others in your household.  Please remember that your insurance premium is not likely to increase immediately following an accident, but it may be reviewed at renewal for any possible impact on your premium.

Understand Your Vehicle
Most people buy cars that they like and think they can afford and do not factor in the price to insure the car. However, according to Penny Gusner of www.insure.com , “Insurance rates are all about claims-how many and how big.  Cars that are cheapest to insure typically are easy to repair or have fewer claims or both”. Factoring in the price to insure when purchasing a car will allow you to have the best coverage for a fair price within your budget. I would take a look at that quote – I don’t know who she is or how she can say cheaper cars have less claims – you would think cheaper cars are more common and would therefore have higher incidents of claims… it doesn’t make sense.

Understand the Impact of Who Drives in your Household
Your premium can be affected by your age and also driving experience. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teenagers in the United States. Each year, nearly 5,000 teens are killed and approximately 300,000 are injured – a statistic that has remained fairly consistent for more than 15 years. Also, even if you are an adult and your driving experience is limited (you just got your first license) the insurer may increase your rate because of your lack of adequate driving experience.   Be aware that if you have a child younger than 25 years old with limited driving experience, some insurers will allow a split off policy so that youth does not adversely impact the premium of good driving record of the rest of the family. Also, full time students that maintain a 3.0 average may qualify for discounted rates.

Here are a few final suggestions for auto policyholders in Florida:

  • Discuss with your insurance agent about which policy and coverage works best for you and your family.
  • Inspire on the various discounts offered by your insurance provider like multi-line discounts (auto, home and life).
  • Drive carefully and be up to date on any current state and nation wide traffic laws to help reduce the possibility of moving laws violations and accidents.
  • Take defensive driving courses that will may reduce premiums and your improve awareness while you drive.
  • Understand your coverage to make informed decisions on your premiums.

About the author

Leo Gilling