In the age of the internet, getting a quote for auto insurance is easier than ever before. No more going into an insurance office and doing the paperwork to figure out how much you can get. Now, you can simply click on a website link online and follow some simple instructions before getting a basic quote for your vehicle. Typically, all you will need to start this process is your zip code, and then you can begin looking through multiple options for coverage.
However, when getting a quick quote online, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the number that you see will be what you will pay. Many different factors determine what you will pay for your insurance coverage, and the first number you see will likely change quite a bit before it is finalized.
Factors like your age, gender, make and model of your car, driving experience, and your driving history can all affect the rate that you get for coverage. If you are a new driver without a lot of driving experience, and you are male, then you can expect to pay a higher price because of the higher risks associated with these factors.
In the same way, if you have more experience and have a spotless driving record, then you can expect to pay a lower monthly premium because the insurance company feels comfortable knowing that you are a safe driver. This will allow the company to lower your rates because of the reduced risk that comes with a careful driver. And if you don’t have any accidents, then it can be lowered even more. Continue reading below to learn how and why good, safe drivers can get lowered auto insurance rates.
What Qualifies as a Safe Driver?
Being a safe driver comes with lots of benefits, but what qualifies you to be a safe driver? Well, the most significant factor in determining if you are a safe driver is if you have been involved in a recent accident. If you haven’t had any collisions, then you qualify as a safe driver in the eyes of the insurance company because it is assumed that you take the proper precautions to prevent them when on the road.
Being a safe driver can lower your monthly premiums, or even your deductibles because the insurance company’s risk of paying out money is lowered. This benefit is then passed on to you by reducing your costs as well.
How long ago an accident happened can also be a significant factor. Typically, a safe driver is someone who has not had an accident within the last three to five years. If you have been in an accident, but it was beyond that period, then it may not affect your rates at all. Insurance companies know that you can’t always stop a collision, so even if something does happen, it won’t mean that you will pay higher rates forever.
That is why some insurance companies offer their safe drivers “accident forgiveness.” If you are considered a safe driver and have not had an accident on your record but end up getting into a fender bender while on the road, your insurance company may allow you to keep your rates by forgiving the accident. This is because they still don’t see you as a higher risk as it likely won’t happen again.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Safe Driver?
Being a safe driver offers you many different benefits, but the biggest may be the lowered price in premiums and deductibles. Insurance companies all have different ways of rewarding their safe drivers, and the amount that your monthly payment is reduced by can vary as well.
In areas like Massachusetts, drivers are rewarded as part of their Safety Driving Insurance Program, which gives points for safe driving and offers discounts for those who have earned the highest amount of points possible.
Those who have 0 points have no accidents on their record, those who have 1-45 have traffic offenses on record, but those with 98 or 99 points have excellent driving records. If you have a minor offense like a speeding ticket, then you may get two points on your record, but major offenses like driving under the influence may put 5 points on your record. The driver will receive these points, along with any rise in costs, as well as legal action, if necessary, for some cases.
Those with the high points can be awarded the Excellent Driver Discount or the Excellent Driver Discount Plus. The Excellent Driver Discount gives its awardees a discount of up to 7% off their insurance rates, and the Excellent Driver Discount Plus offers its drivers up to 17% off their rates. These discounts can make a big difference in your monthly payments and save you lots of money in the long run.
In addition to state-run programs like the Massachusetts Safety Driving Insurance Program, insurance companies can also offer you discounts and incentives on top of that. These companies can offer lower premiums and deductibles for those that have kept a clean driving record and, therefore, even further lower your monthly payments.
Insurance companies can also help you to become a safe driver by offering incentives for those who don’t have a spotless record. Some companies offer discounts for those who have driving offenses if they go a certain amount of time without another offense. This allows them to build up their safe driving status for the future and be able to get discounts as a reward for safer driving.
What Can I Do to Be a Safe Driver?
If you want to be a safe driver, then follow these steps so that you can reap the benefits of lower premiums and payments.
Driving above the speed limit will likely get you a speeding ticket sometime, so staying at an appropriate speed at all times will help keep your driving record clean. It will also lower your risk of getting into an accident, which could raise your insurance rates significantly.
Paying attention to all things while you are driving can help prevent a collision, even if you aren’t the cause. Cars that are crossing lanes without signaling, making illegal turns, or following you too closely, can cause an accident if you aren’t paying close enough attention. So, know what is going on around you so that you can react quickly and take measures to avoid a collision.
Use Your Signals
If you are not using your turn signals, then you are not letting those around you know what you are going to do. If they can’t see what you will do, then they can’t prepare to slow down, which could cause a collision.
Being a safe driver doesn’t have to take a lot of work, but it can save you a lot of money. So, if you aren’t a safe driver already, you can learn how to be one. So, help yourself save money by lowering your monthly premiums, and reduce your risk of causing a collision by being a safe driver.