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 24, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • The best auto insurance rates are from the best auto insurance company that offers discounts that you qualify for, while not punishing you towards policies that would work against you.
  • Drivers under the age of 25 are considered young, and usually, have higher rates than older and more experienced drivers. Moreover, young men pay higher rates than young women.
  • While most of us have gotten a speeding ticket in our lives, getting one usually doesn’t raise our rates. But if there becomes a recurrent pattern of moving violations and/or accidents then many insurance providers will see you as a higher risk driver and will raise your premiums.
  • Think of your auto record like your credit score. The more mistakes you make the lower your score, and the more money you have to pay for these errors.

The best auto insurance rates are from the auto insurance company that offers discounts that you qualify for, while not punishing you towards policies that would work against you.

While there are a plethora of companies that can provide extremely competitive or “best” rates for you, there are just too many factors that go into figuring out what auto company is the right fit for you.

You’ll need to figure out what sort of coverage you are going to need, the laws of your state and the types of discounts you can qualify for from different insurance providers.

On top of that, you will need to learn what factors will prevent your rates from spiking up or will help decrease your rates. The following questions will help you be better prepared when searching for an insurance provider for your particular circumstance.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your ZIP code in our FREE online tool above!

Will my age affect my insurance rates?

Absolutely. Drivers under the age of 25 are considered young, and usually, have higher rates than older and more experienced drivers. Moreover, young men pay higher rates than young women.

If you have young drivers in your household, one way to combat the rising premiums costs is by making sure they take a defensive driving or driver’s education courses. Most insurance providers will reward you with some savings if you take a course.

Adding your youngest driver to your current plan usually is a better idea financially than having them find insurance on his or her own. The reason for this is that most auto insurance companies give discounts for multi-drivers on a policy.

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What other auto insurance discounts can save me money?

Along with the multi-car and defensive driving discounts noted above, the following list shows what the majority of auto insurance providers give auto insurance discounts for:

  • Home & Life Insurance Discount — You can save a good percentage (up to 25%-30%) on all these insurance needs when you bundle them together with some companies.
  • Accident-free or Good-Driver Discount — If you have not had an accident for a certain number of years (usually about five), many insurance providers will offer you a discount on your rates.
  • Good Student Discount — The students in your family can get a benefit from usually keeping up a B average or better on many auto insurance plan policies
  • Anti-theft Auto Discount — If you have an alarm or some sort of tracking device on your vehicle, this will lower your auto insurance rates.
  • Passive-restraint Discount — If you have full front airbags or restraint devices that work automatically once your door is no longer ajar, this will get you a lowering in your premium bill.

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How will my driving record affect my auto insurance rates?

Think of your auto record like your credit score. The more mistakes you make the lower your score, and the more money you have to pay for these errors.

In regards to auto insurance, while parking tickets don’t raise your auto rates, moving violations and accidents may cause your rates to go up.

While most of us have gotten a speeding ticket in our lives, getting one usually doesn’t raise our rates. But if there becomes a recurrent pattern of moving violations and/or accidents then many insurance providers will see you as a higher risk driver and will raise your premiums.

On the flip side, if you have a clean driving record this should work in your favor when looking for your next or new auto insurance carrier.

Just like a credit score, sometimes the information in your record is incorrect; therefore, you want to make sure you get incorrect negative marks on your driving record expunged first in order to put yourself in the best position for low insurance premium rates.

What type of insurance coverage do I need?

While all states require some form of liability coverage, it depends on your personal financial situation to determine how much coverage you want.

A positive of having liability, comprehensive, uninsured or underinsured, collision, physical damage and medical coverage is that you will have peace of mind when you’re out on the road driving.

But don’t be fooled into thinking just because you have all these types of coverages you are bullet proof from financial responsibility.

The truth is that you are only as covered for what you have paid for. So if you take the minimum required on any of these coverages, you may still owe money out of pocket if the accident you are in costs more to fix than your have coverage for.

The negative of not having every type of coverage out there is that you put yourself at financial risk if you do get into an accident while driving. But at the same time, you are saving money on your premiums by having less or lower levels of coverage.

In the end, you need to find out what your risk and the personal financial threshold is for you when choosing what sort of coverage will allow you to sleep well at night.

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References:

  1. https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto/discounts
  2. https://www.nationwide.com/multiple-policy-discount.jsp
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-a-good-driver-discount-527533
  4. https://www.nationwide.com/anti-theft-discount.jsp
  5. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/speeding-ticket-and-car-insurance.aspx
  6. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/liability-car-insurance-cover.aspx