Insurers love careful drivers and are willing to reward them for their behavior. You may be able to lower your premium 10% to 15% if you improve your driving record, take a defensive driving course or install telematics equipment that alerts your insurance company about unsafe driving, such as braking sharply, cornering, cellphone use and speeding.
Ortega notes that installing telematics equipment is valuable for more than just discounts. “By checking the feedback about their driving provided by the app, customers can potentially learn about dangerous driving [or] bad habits that they may have,” he says.
The same strategy can be used to help reduce premiums for young, new drivers in your household. “We received a discount when my 16-year-old daughter submitted her transcript, submitted proof of taking a driving class, and used an insurance company app on her phone for five hours to measure her driving performance,” says Sunit Bhalla, a certified financial planner in Fort Collins, Colo.
Seniors may be eligible for extra discounts, Milchtein says. “There are insurance companies that offer discounts to people over the age of 50 or 55, if those people take a defensive driving course.”
Your driving history influences your premium regardless of the company that insures you. A Bankrate report found that the average car insurance premium is $1,674 across the U.S. On average, the premium rises $355 if you get a speeding ticket, $731 for a car accident, $187 for a lapse in coverage, $1,662 if you’re convicted of driving under the influence and $1,883 to insure a teen driver. “Being a good driver is the No. 1 way to get great insurance rates. The extra 10 miles per hour you’re driving down the road is not going to get you there faster,” Milchtein says.
Safety and anti-theft features on a newer car can also lower your rate. Geico, for example, offers up to a 25% discount off the comprehensive portion of premiums to customers who install anti-theft alarm systems.
This content was originally published here.