Reckless Driving & How to Get a Better Premium

September 14, 2015

Inattention, driving under the influence of alcohol and excessive speeding. These are all actions that can greatly affect your premium. Such drivers ultimately cause accidents, occasionally ending the lives of innocent people. In addition to the expenses and punishments stemming from legal trouble, reckless drivers also end up experiencing higher auto insurance rates. Other penalties will involve license suspensions, taking classes through the DMV and fees. Auto insurance following such a reinstatement is much more expensive than traditional rates.

Why is your premium so high? When auto insurance companies calculate premiums, the most important issue they research is the customer's driving history. Tickets and auto accidents usually stay on a person's record for three years. Major infractions can stay on your record for up to 10 years! Age, gender, driving frequency, parking location, car type, and desired coverage are also considered.

Now, I know you don't have control over your age or gender, but there are several other ways to keep rates down and prevent reckless driving. Safe driving is the key to lowering rates. To practice safe driving, policyholders should refresh their knowledge of road rules. Free booklets are available at any DMV office or online. Driving defensively is the best way to avoid an accident. One of the bigger problems we are facing nowadays is cell phone usage while driving. Even with California's rules against it, texting and talking remain big problems. Texting, talking without a hands-free set and studying digital maps while driving can lead to accidents. Every driver should remember that reckless driving does not only affect you, it could potentially be deadly.

Unfortunately, thousands of people die in vehicle crashes each year. In about 20 percent of cases, speeding is a factor. About 15 percent of crashes result from driving under the influence, and almost 10 percent are due to inattention. If drivers feel their abilities are lacking, it is best to enroll in driving classes. After receiving a ticket, there are also several steps to lowering insurance costs.

  • Request higher deductibles. For collision and comprehensive coverage, a higher deductible will mean a lower premium. It also means paying more upfront for an accident, but that is a good incentive for drivers to be more careful. Raising a deductible may help a driver save up to 40 percent.
  • Combine auto and homeowners insurance policies. Buying a homeowners or renters policy from the same company issuing the auto insurance will always result in a discount. I cannot stress enough how much this helps.
  • Lower coverage for older cars. Some people have one or more older cars that are rarely used or just collect dust. If this is the case, lower the coverage for these vehicles. Decide if you really need Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage on these vehicles. Every state requires liability coverage, so be sure to stay within the state's minimum requirements for registered vehicles.
  • Ask about discounts for low mileage. Insurers may offer discounts for drivers who do not drive excessively. People who carpool to work usually also qualify for this discount. Odometer readings are usually checked to verify this.

Insurance companies have different discounts, and some companies have more offers than others. It is best to ask an agent about any other available offers. Give us a call For example, some students qualify for discounts when they maintain a good grade point average. To enjoy a better rate, be sure to follow these tips and practice safe driving at all times.