Have you finally come to the conclusion that you may not be the best driver amongst your family and friends? If you’ve crashed a few vehicles or gotten a few too many speeding tickets and have seen your insurance rates go through the roof you are not alone! There are millions of Americans with less than perfect driving records, some of whom were in accidents just days after passing their driving test. Insurance companies have learned to adjust over the years and have become experts at working with these individuals to ensure that their auto insurance policies are comprehensive but not exorbitantly priced. The worst thing to do if you are a bad driver is to illegally forgo auto-insurance entirely!
The Type of Violation Affects Your Auto Premiums
The type of traffic violation that you have been charged and convicted with will dramatically influence your auto insurance premium and should definitely be at the front of your mind. If the type of violations that you have been receiving are moving violations for speeding it may be worth looking into an online traffic school to get some of the points removed from your license. It is always worth showing up for your sentencing in a moving violation case just in case the officer has prior obligations that day and is unable to attend court. Any experienced public attorney or informed speeding ticket defense lawyer will be able to negotiate their way out of a speeding ticket if the issuing officer does not choose to show up and testify.
On the other hand, if your outstanding traffic violation is a more severe ticket such as a DUI, DWI, or reckless driving you may need to work a bit harder in order to find an insurance rate that you feel comfortable with! It is common knowledge that a DUI or DWI stays on your record significantly longer than a speeding ticket would and therefore will end up impacting your insurance rates for a longer period of time. In fact, DUI’s are known to be up to the most expensive moving violation and can be up to 30% more costly over time than a lesser type of ticket.
Bundling Insurance Can Help Bad Drivers Save Money
One advantage that is often overlooked by individuals searching for auto insurance is the benefit of bundling your auto insurance with other insurances. Bundling auto insurance with other insurances such as homeowners, renters or even condominium insurance can save you a ton of money, especially if your driving record is not so great. Keep in mind that if you have also filed several homeowners or renter’s insurance claims recently this tactic may not help much!
The discount from bundling two policies together is often referred to as a multi-policy discount and even works with renter’s insurance. From the insurance company’s perspective selling two policies to a client instead of one drastically increases their potential for growth, therefore, incentivizing them to offer such deals. Bundling can be exponentially beneficial if you drive an upscale car but live in a moderate apartment or home!
How Much More Do Bad Drivers Pay For Car Insurance?
One of the most important statistics to review before making your final auto insurance decision is the average rate paid by an insured individual in your area. By comparing the average cost of insurance for perfect drivers versus drivers with outstanding claims on their record you will be able to determine which insurance companies are more lenient towards drivers with tainted driving records and which companies prefer a “no claim” policy. While this information can be hidden on some insurance websites there are third-party companies that have already compiled this data together for your convenience! Oftentimes you will even be able to discuss these statistics with your local insurance agent at the branch where you may get a more honest, bare-bones answer. If you are able to develop a working relationship with a local insurance agent they are much more likely to worth with you are provide you all of the relevant information you need in order to make an informed decision.
Bad Drivers May Benefit From Shorter Auto Insurance Policies
Auto insurance policies are available in two lengths: six-months or twelve months. A six-month policy gives you the option to adjust your rate, type of coverage, and even the company you are insured by more often than you can with a twelve-month policy. While there is some satisfaction in knowing that your monthly premium is not going to change for an entire year if you don’t have a great driving record that could actually work against you! The best way to approach this situation would be to secure a 6-month policy, drive safe, and then re-evaluate your options at the end of your initial insurance term. With a six-month policy, you would even be able to upgrade from solely liability insurance to full coverage insurance if you were planning to go on a road trip or put an unusual number of miles on your car.
Cheaper Cars Can Help Bad Drivers Save Money On Auto Premiums
The monetary value of the vehicle you are currently driving and reporting to your insurance provider will without a doubt affect the price of your monthly premium. For example, if you have a bad driving record and decide to purchase an expensive sports car with a lot of horsepower the risk associated with your account now becomes much greater. Before going out and purchasing a brand-new vehicle after collecting from an old claim, contact your insurance agent to get quotes for different models of vehicles to ensure they are in your price bracket! Remember, the value of your vehicle is the price the insurance company thinks about writing a check for in the event that you have an accident.
A popular strategy used by some drivers who own multiple vehicles is registering a less valuable car as their “daily driver” and registering their sports car or valuable truck as a weekend driver that only accumulates a few thousand miles a year. If you are in this situation it is definitely worth asking your insurance agent about, some companies even offer a multi-car discount!
Bad Drivers Can Save Money By Driving Less
Adjusting the mileage that your insurance company expects you to drive in a given year is one of the best ways to reduce your auto insurance premium with just a simple visit to your local agent. Most insurance companies automatically set your mileage limit between 10,000 miles per year and 15,000 miles per year depending on the distance you report your home is from your place of work. If you are going to begin taking more public transit or reducing the distance that you drive because of tickets that are piling up take the time to call your insurance company and reduce your mileage limit! Depending on your state of residence you will be able to decrease your annually expected mileage to as low as 5,000 miles per year.
Here’s How Bad Drivers Can Save
In conclusion, the saying “the more you use your car insurance, the more you pay” does end up being quite true. While paying more is not a sure thing if you have a few claims or violations on your driving record, it is a lot more likely! The bottom line is if you are a bad driver, you will have to put in more effort to find an acceptable auto insurance policy that falls within your budget and offers all of the coverages that you are looking for, but here are a few methods you can try:
- Don’t Lie: While it might be tempting to lie about past accidents, your insurance company can find out this information, and they may consider it fraud.
- Try a Shorter Auto Policy: Try a 6-month plan instead of a 1-year plan so you’re not locked into a high rate.
- Drive a Cheaper Car: If you are buying a new car, or have access to more than one car, pick a less expensive vehicle to use as your “daily driver.”
- Drive Less: If you live with other drivers, or have access to public transportation, try driving less so you can reduce your mileage limit.
- Bundle Auto with Other Insurance: Discounts from bundling may offset higher auto premiums. Ask about bundling homeowners, renters, motorcycle, or other types of property insurance.