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Cheapest Car Insurance

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Where to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance for New Drivers

Getting the cheapest car insurance for new drivers may be a challenge for the novice motorist. Of all of the criteria insurance underwriters look for, age and driving experience shuts most new drivers out of the running for the cheapest car insurance rates. There are other ways a new driver can reduce his insurance costs.

Most new drivers are between the ages of 16 to 25. This age group is considered by insurance underwriters to be the highest risk group among drivers. Drivers in this group are more likely to speed, neglect to wear their seat belts and are more prone to accidents, especially in their first year of driving. In addition, because they are new drivers, many of them may lack sufficient defensive driving skills to avoid a potential accident situation. Drivers of any age with less than three years of driving experience will find it difficult to get the cheapest car insurance rates.

When rating car insurance policies, underwriters look at your age, gender, year, make and model of the vehicle being purchased, the purpose of your vehicle (i.e., business or pleasure) driving record and length of time you’ve been driving, where you live, how often you drive, where you park your car and even your credit history. It’s also helpful to know the minimum insurance requirements where you live, as they vary from state to state. Most states require that drivers carry at least liability coverage, which is the cheapest insurance. Buying additional comprehensive/collision coverage could double what you pay for car insurance.

Liability coverage consists of bodily injury and property damage liability. It covers injuries to other parties incurred in an accident you caused, and it covers you in the event your vehicle damages someone else’s property. Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car as a result of fire, theft, flood or animals. Collision coverage covers damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another car or object.

Unless you’re a collector of antique or classic cars, you don’t need to purchase comprehensive/collision coverage for older vehicles. The likelihood of recouping what you paid for an older vehicle if it’s totaled in an accident is slim to none, so paying for the extra coverage really isn’t worth it. New or leased vehicles require comprehensive and collision coverage as a condition of the loan or lease. Premiums for full coverage are significantly higher than those for just liability coverage, but you can elect to pay higher deductible to reduce your premiums and save a little money.

If you search for the cheapest car insurance for new drivers is fueled by a planned vehicle purchase in the near future, don’t go with a flashy sports car, no matter how nice it would look on you. Sports car cost more to insure due to their high risk. Settle on a nice shiny SUV or 4-door sedan and your premiums will be much lower.

New drivers with good credit are viewed more favorably than those with bad credit. They may not get the cheapest rates, but a good credit score tells an underwriter that you’re dependable, you exercise proper money management and you will most likely maintain timely payments. In the long run, this will help you get lower premiums. Having bad credit won’t automatically disqualify you from getting car insurance, but it will prevent you from getting it at a relatively cheap price.

Of course, a clean driving record is imperative if you want lower premiums. One DUI on your driving record can increase your premium three to five times more, and you’re stuck paying that premium for as long as the DUI stays on  your record, which can be years or however long it takes for it to fall off of your record. Traffic tickets may have a lesser impact, but you’ll still end up paying more for insurance.

If you live in a city, you’ll pay more for insurance. If you live in a rural area, you’ll pay less. Traffic is heavier in the city, thus more chances of an accident occurring. If you live in a high-crime area, you’ll pay a higher premium. Likewise, if you regularly park in an area known for a high occurrence of auto thefts, your premium will reflect it. If you’re constantly on the road, you may pay more for insurance. Anything that points to a higher likelihood of an accident or a high risk will raise your premiums.

With so many companies to choose from, you definitely should shop around. Choosing the family’s insurance carrier won’t necessarily guarantee you will get good rates. Insurance companies must rate each policy based certain criteria regardless of your business relationship with them. For example, if you’ve been paying low premiums with the same insurer for years, and at renewal time your driving record shows a DUI in the past year, your insurer must rate your policy accordingly despite your long-time relationship.

Once you’ve narrowed your list of insurance companies down to a select few, contact an agent from each one. You may dread the sales pitch, but you will be glad you did.  An agent can not only address any questions or concerns you have about coverage, he can show you how you can save money. Ask about discounts you may qualify for. Even new drivers may qualify for good student discounts, low-mileage discounts, discounts for having safety features on their car or discounts for taking a defensive driving or driver safety course. You’ll never know if you don’t ask. Ask the agent(s) how they insurance claims are handled. You should know what to expect if you ever need to file a claim.

Searching for the cheapest car insurance for new drivers will go smoother if you arm yourself with knowledge and become an informed consumer. Being a new driver may disqualify you from the cheapest rates for the time being, but by exercising proper due diligence, you should still be able to find car insurance at an affordable price. You may be tempted, but do not skimp on doing your homework. Many policyholders pay too much for car insurance because they didn’t know what questions to ask or didn’t bother to ask questions at all. They just went with the lowest quote they got.