June 6, 2010

How Regular Vehicle Maintenance Affects Auto Insurance Quotes

Everything about a car will affect its driver’s auto insurance quote, from the make and model to the anti-theft devices installed. Even regular vehicle maintenance can affect premiums, and drivers who make an effort to protect the cars often pay far less to their insurance companies. There are several ways that regular vehicle maintenance impacts insurance rates, although some are not quite as obvious as others.

For one, well-maintained vehicles tend to be involved in fewer auto insurance claims, as sudden breakdowns can easily result in an accident. Any accident will increase the cost of a driver’s auto insurance quote, and it can take years for a claim to disappear from a driver’s record. What’s more, some claims that are caused by a lack of maintenance will be refused by major insurance companies, as contracts occasionally have an exclusion that limits or altogether eliminates an insurance company’s liability in these types of situations. If the insurance company hires an investigator that can prove that you’d neglected oil changes, ancient tires, or another regular, reasonable maintenance concern, you may have to pay for the entire cost of an accident. This is, of course, in addition to any increases in your auto insurance premium, which are bound to be very significant.

On the other hand, some auto insurance companies may provide special discounts to drivers that can prove that their vehicle is consistently well-maintained. The terms of these discounts (and the amount of the discount, as well as whether discounts are actually available) vary. Ask your insurance agent. They may require you to visit certain car maintenance shops or submit certain schedules, but it’s certainly worth taking advantage of these discounts when they’re available. Even if no discount is available, your agent may be able to explain any terms or exclusions in your policy that apply to maintenance issues, and can provide you with some general guidance concerning car insurance discounts.

Regular vehicle maintenance is far less expensive than the cost of even a single accident, and auto insurance quotes are often lower for well-maintained vehicles. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for information on regular maintenance, and to determine what examinations and maintenance procedures you should purchase for your car. Always keep a record of all maintenance, from oil changes to tune ups, and keep these with your vehicle. They could be very helpful if you ever need to make a claim, or if you ever decide to shop around for another auto insurance policy. Safe cars and trucks are better for everyone on the road (and your insurance policy), so be sure to maintain your vehicle.