An Independent Agent Explains:
5 reasons why your auto insurance rates may seem high This post is part of a series of insurance blogs on Safeco.com showcasing the expertise of independent insurance agents and aimed at helping you understand important insurance coverage and other important issues.
I hear it from drivers from all walks of life: "I'm paying too much for car insurance." Seems we all know someone who's paying way less, and we want to cut our own rates, too.
As independent insurance agents, we can check with multiple carriers on your behalf to find out if you may indeed be paying more than you need to. If so, we can switch you to another carrier, even in the middle of a policy term.
However, due to certain circumstances, it's not always possible to pay less for car insurance. Here are five of them:
- You drive a high-performance or specialty vehicle.
You have absolutely no interest in driving a standard sedan – boring! You want something sleek, with performance and speed, and it won't just cost you at the dealership. It will cost you in terms of auto insurance, too. You can expect your car insurance rates to reflect the increased repair costs of a high-performance vehicle, or the rarity of a limited-production vehicle. There are ways to help bring down your insurance costs, however. One may be storing your vehicle in a secure garage when it's not in use.
- You chose a low deductible.
A low deductible seems like an attractive choice. That way, if you get into a car accident, you're only responsible for a small amount of the repair costs. However, this can cost you more upfront. Generally speaking, deductibles and premiums have an inverse relationship. You'll likely pay more in premium the lower your deductible is. So, you may want to choose a deductible you'll be comfortable paying in the event of an accident rather than the lowest deductible possible.
- You are younger than 25.
Sorry to be a buzzkill but that youthful optimism you feel about blazing your own trail through life doesn't quite extend to your auto insurance premium. Drivers between the ages of 18-25 oftentimes pay more for car insurance. Why? You've yet to establish your own insurance history, and you don't yet have a very robust driving record either. But, don't fret. Stay insured, maintain a clean driving history and avoid claims, and you may see your premium start to drop over time.
- You have one or more violations on your driving record.
Traffic was flowing so freely you didn't even realize you were driving 11 miles over the speed limit. Then you saw the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Busted. Unfortunately, you won't just be on the hook to pay your speeding ticket. You may be on the hook to pay higher insurance premiums for a set number of years following the ticket as well. Because drivers who collect citations like they're going out of style can be seen as reckless and more likely to file claims.
- You require an SR-22.
If those violations keep adding up or you have a more serious infraction, a judge may order you to carry an SR-22. It's a certificate verifying your have insurance coverage that your carrier files with the court. You'll likely incur a cost to have the SR-22 filed on your behalf, and your car insurance premium may increase as a result of all those violations. You'll simply have to wait it out, typically for three years, until you're able to remove the SR-22 from your policy.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, it's true: You may be paying more for your car insurance than your friends and neighbors pay for theirs. If you're unhappy with your auto insurance rates, reach out to your local independent agent
. We have a plethora of resources to help you research other carriers or possibly even discover ways to save with your current one.
About Cresta Combs and Menicucci Insurance Agency
Cresta Combs brings nearly 10 years of insurance experience to Menicucci Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the agency's personal lines manager, she strives to provide the best in service and education, helping clients understand how their coverage works. She draws on a wealth of knowledge about insurance and current practices within the industry to help clients maintain broad coverage at a reasonable price. Privately held and locally owned since being founded in 2007, Menicucci Insurance Agency further emphasizes excellent customer service, high-quality insurance products and a deep commitment to ethics throughout the organization.