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Cut auto insurance costs even with bad driving record

If you haven’t had a car crash or received any traffic tickets, you may be eligible for a safe-driver discount on your auto premium. But if you have been involved in an accident, you are probably paying a penalty. Many insurers add a surcharge between 20 to 40 percent to your base insurance rate, after your first accident. And many raise your base rate 45 to 150 percent, after your second one. The base rate is the average rate charged in the state after claims-processing fees, but before discounts and other adjustments. The increase usually takes effect when your policy is up for renewal. Don’t despair. You may be able to reduce your insurance costs, even if you have a less than stellar driving record. Make sure you obtain several auto insurance quotes, to get the best rates and coverage.

cut insurance costs even with bad driving record 3 ways to cut auto insurance costs

1. Take a driving course

One way you can clean up your driving record is by enrolling in a defensive driving course. Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to deduct points on your driving record. Generally, only those points you have acquired within the 18 months immediately before you complete your course are affected. A defensive driving course will not help you reduce points for earlier violations – or future ones. If your violation hearing has already been scheduled, your license has already been revoked or if it has been suspended, a defensive driving course won't help you reduce your points. Check with your state’s department of motor vehicles for more information. Shop around for auto insurance quotes to get the lowest rates.

2. Reduce your coverage

If you own an older car, you may want to reduce your coverage to lower your insurance costs. The Insurance Information Institute recommends you can drop collision and comprehensive insurance, if your vehicle is worth less than 10 times the premium. Put another way, if your car is worth less than $1,000, it does not make sense to pay comprehensive or collision. Any claim payment you receive would not substantially exceed your premiums minus the deductible. So, it’s important for you to know your car’s market value. You can get an estimate of your vehicle’s current value at Kelley Blue Book’s Web site,, or Edmunds’ Web site, You can also ask auto dealers and your banker for an estimate of your car’s worth. Know your car’s value, before you get auto insurance quotes.

3. Ask about discounts

Always make sure your insurer is giving you all the discounts you are eligible to receive. You may be able to get a discount for driving a car model with a good safety record, for owning a car with safety features and anti-theft devices, for driving fewer miles, for having your home and auto insurance policies with one insurer, for being a newlywed or for other circumstances. You may not be able to get a safe-driver discount, but you may be able to take advantage of other discounts, when you apply for auto insurance quotes.

Once you have done your research, you are ready to shop around for lower auto insurance rates. You can call agents in your local area, contact insurance companies directly or use to instantly get competitive auto insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Simply fill out an online form on to find the right insurance coverage at the best possible price. Take the time to protect you and your family today.

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