November 4, 2009

Can Certain Driving Habits Save You Insurance Money?

How you drive might be costing you money on your auto insurance premiums. Obviously, that makes sense from the standpoint of tickets and accidents. However, there are driving practices that can affect how much you pay for auto insurance in other less obvious ways, as well.

The average mileage put on a car is between 12,000 and 15,000 per year. But, what if you don’t use your car much, and you only drive 5,000 each year? There are auto insurance companies that will give you a lower auto insurance rate because of this. The rationale behind it is that you are less likely to get into an accident or have some other type of driving problem if you aren’t on the road as much – a bonus to insurance companies. Driving a safer car can get you a lower auto insurance rate, too. This is because the likelihood of you filing auto insurance claim will be low. And, if you do have a claim, it likely won’t cost the company as much, so the savings can be passed on to you through lowered premiums. That’s great news to the careful drivers out there who don’t speed and who have safety features like air bags and alarms in their cars. Of course, many people who drive older cars without these features are just as careful, but they won’t be eligible for some of these discounts.

Also whether you drive your car for work or for pleasure can determine your auto insurance rate. Insurance companies always ask this. It’s important for them to be aware of what you’re doing with your car, so they have a good idea of what your risk factors are for an auto insurance claim. If you’re commuting 30 miles each way, five days a week in heavy traffic, you’re more likely to have a higher auto insurance rate than someone who drives his car for pleasure on the weekends, all other things being equal.

Where and how you park your car factors into auto insurance rates, as well. On-street parking is more dangerous and there is a higher chance of your car being stolen or someone hitting it with another vehicle. If you park your car in a garage at night, your insurance company will generally give you a discount for that, because there is a lower chance of loss. You’ll see a lower auto insurance rate than the person who has no garage and must park on the street.

A lot of people don’t think about these little nuances of owning and driving a vehicle, but these kinds of things can all matter where auto insurance claims and auto insurance rates are concerned.