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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Discover New Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

Auto insurance premiums cover a variety of factors used to assess the risk of a particular driver.  It’s helpful to research just how you might be able to reduce your premiums, since some aspects of determining the cost of your auto insurance policy are out of your hands.

First, make sure you understand the concept of auto insurance: 
  • how much it costs
  • exactly what it covers
  • what makes the premium increase or decrease
Consider a quick phone call to your agent to find out how much one traffic violation on your driving record will raise your rates and how you can have a traffic ticket dismissed.  Even drivers who haven’t received traffic tickets may be eligible for up to a 10% auto insurance discount for three years when they complete a defensive driving course.  It’s a simple call to your auto insurance carrier to ask about their defensive driving course discounts.
Next, be sure your vehicles are in excellent mechanical shape.  When you buy a new or pre-owned vehicle, try to select a mid-range model - nothing fancy or high-powered, but nothing too old either. Older vehicles may not have safety features, which help keep you safe in a crash and also help you save. Call your insurance company to find out what discounts they offer for the following safety features. If none, it may pay to shop around. Discounts for vehicle safety features vary widely among insurance companies.

Traction Control: While ABS helps drivers maintain control while braking, traction control helps them do so while accelerating. This feature stops the spinning of a wheel due to wet roads, loose gravel, or fast acceleration by braking it, reducing the fuel or cutting spark plug ignitions, depending on the type of system, which improves traction.

Electronic Stability System: This feature coordinates the ABS, Traction Control, and the "yaw" of your vehicle (how much the vehicle rocks side to side). The system reduces tire spinning, skidding, and tractionless cornering, keeping the vehicle's tires in maximum contact with the road.

Air Bags: All vehicles sold in the US must have driver and passenger-side dual airbags.  Air bags must be used with safety belts for maximum effectiveness.

Head Injury Protection: This feature, which lessons the blow if your head hits the interior roof of your vehicle, has become standard in recent years.  Older models may not have this safety feature. 

Automatic Daytime Running Lights:  This feature means that your vehicle’s headlights are always on, even during daylight, which gives your vehicle greater visibility.

Anti-lock Brake System: This feature eliminates the need to "pump the brakes" when you have to stop quickly, preventing the wheels from locking up and the vehicle from skidding. ABS pumps the brakes for the driver; the driver keeps constant pressure on the brake pedal and concentrates on steering.  This helps the driver regain control of the vehicle quickly in bad weather conditions or to act quickly to prevent a crash. 

Last, if you have a new teen driver that will be on your policy, continue driver instruction for your teen even after she or he is licensed.  Here are a few more tips to manage your insurance costs:

  • Make sure they follow the GDL Laws. 
  • Keep track of your their progress by having them drive with you in the front passenger seat occasionally.
  • Monitor your teen's cell phone bill to make sure they are not making calls or sending texts during times when they are usually on the road.

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