Accidents have a big effect when it comes to driving habits and auto insurance. If your record is clean, you're going to pay a lot less than someone who's made frequent claims on their car insurance, or had frequent claims made against them. But there are other things that affect your rates, as well.
How Much Time Are You Spending On The Road?
You don't need to be a statistician to know that accidents are more likely the more time you spend on the road. To put it in the simplest terms, if you never drive, you'll never have to file an auto insurance claim. Of course, it might not be an option to never drive. But if you walk, ride a bike or take the bus when you can, you're going to be a lower risk — and you may be able to get a great deal on a pay-per-mile insurance plan. If you have a long commute, and if it's an option, it might be a good idea to move closer to work.
Advanced Driving Education
You can't call your insurance agent to take a ride with you and see how good you are behind the wheel. But you can provide some proof of your abilities as a driver by taking advanced driving courses. In many states, passing a defensive driving course gets you a mandatory discount of five to ten percent. Even in states that don't do this by law, you're generally going to get a better deal if you have a certificate proving that you're a safer-than-average driver.
If you're a regular speeder, double-parker and no-signal-turner with no tickets to show for it, your luck is going to run out sooner or later. And when your insurer sees one ticket, they might wonder how many times you've gotten away with it. Drive safely and be considerate of other drivers. And if you feel you've been ticketed unfairly, don't think it's impossible to fight the charges in court.
Your auto insurance provider may not be able to sit in the car with you and see how you drive, but they do have several ways to measure your ability behind the wheel. Good habits will pay off in keeping you safe and keeping your premiums down.
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