Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • If you upgrade the safety features on your vehicle, you could get a discount on insurance rates
  • If your credit score has improved, contact your insurance provider and inform them of the update
  • Completing a defensive driver course or safety school can help lower your insurance premiums

The reasons your auto insurance premium rates need to be examined can vary for most people.

However, for the majority of Americans, it usually comes down to price.

The car insurance industry is allowed to make changes to your insurance premiums on a regular basis, usually every six months or annually.

You are responsible for notifying your insurance provider of these adjustments to ensure that you are receiving the best rate possible.

Click here to access the FREE ZIP code tool right now and find the best car insurance rates around!

1. Changes to Your Vehicle Can Warrant a Reduction in Your Rates

Most car insurance premiums are issued annually or semi-annually, so that is when most companies make their policy changes.

If you financed or leased a vehicle and the time period has elapsed, either you received the title or returned the car.

Whichever you did, you will definitely need to provide your insurance provider with an update.

If the vehicle is now yours and not being financed by the bank, you may be able to drop the type of insurance you needed previously.

Check with your state to see what the requirements are for an owned rather than a financed vehicle. You can log onto the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s website and locate your state on the map.

If your state only requires liability and you currently pay for full coverage, contact your car insurance provider and inquire about the changes.

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2. Upgrades Can Decrease Your Annual Rates

If you add certain safety features to your car, your auto insurance premium may reduce substantially.

If you originally purchased a vehicle with few safety features, your rates may reflect this decision in a negative way.

However, if you select upgrades and report them to your car insurance provider, they may be willing to re-evaluate your terms.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vehicles that are equipped with features like Emergency Stability Control (ESC) are 50 percent less likely to suffer damage from serious collisions.

 Many Americans are flocking to their local dealership within a few months to a year after the initial purchase of a new car to have the ESC installed.

Once you install this, contact your car insurance provider, show them written documentation to support your claim, and ask them to reduce your rates based on your new safety upgrade.

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3. Your Credit History Has Improved

The vast majority of car insurance companies are now utilizing consumer credit reports as a way to gauge risk.

If your credit history was rather poor when you first purchased your policy but has now improved, you can reach out to them to re-examine your premiums.

Before you make the call, however, you should check to see just how good your score is.

Start with a visit to the only free website backed by the United States government, AnnualCreditReport.com, and obtain your current report.

Your car insurance company already has access to your credit history, but they may not monitor frequent changes.

If you are in a good position to ask for a lower rate, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount.

4. A Student Driver Is Now in College

If you had a college-age student on your premium and they are now away at college, some car insurance companies may allow you to drop them from your policy.

You can contact your auto insurance company and inform them that your child is no longer driving your vehicle and direct access to the car is a non-issue.

They may allow you to remove them for the entire college school year.

If this happens, be prepared to see a dramatic decrease in your insurance rates because younger, less experienced drivers tend to cost more to insure.

Of course, once they return home for the summer, you may need to notify your car insurance company again if you plan to re-add them.

Nevertheless, for at least a few months, you can enjoy lower rates and save a lot of money.

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5. You Just Turned 55

Turning 55 is a wonderful time for many. You are looking forward to retirement and all of the benefits that come with being a senior.

In fact, one of the best things about turning 55 is all of the discounts you are now eligible to receive.

For example, AARP provides its members with huge discounts when paired with a participating auto insurance provider. Depending upon who your agent is, you can save a lot of money and inconvenience, just because you are now age 55.

Even if you are not a member of AARP, you can still qualify for other discounts that may be offered to seniors.

Do not wait for your car insurance company to finally realize you are of a certain age; make the call yourself.

Being proactive is one of the best ways to take advantage of the discounts you have rightfully earned.

6. You Completed a Defensive Driving Course or Other Improvement Program

If you were sentenced to complete a defensive driving course or any other improvement program, it may take a while before the information is provided to your auto insurance provider.

For every delay, you will continue to pay more than you need.

Since you acted responsibly and completed the necessary course or courses, why not contact your car insurance provider directly and inform them of your success.

Additionally, if you accrued any points on your license because of the violation, you may want to contact the Motor Vehicle Commission before you reach out to your car insurance provider.

Once you contact the MVC and discover their database is updated, you can then reach out to your car insurance company and send them any required documentation for their records.

Find out what their best offer is and if you are not satisfied, start shopping for better rates.

To find the best car insurance rates around, enter your ZIP into the FREE search tool found here!