If you have a bad driving record, it is probably difficult for you to get insurance without paying outrageous prices for it. Having accidents and/or tickets on your record will raise red flags with insurance companies, and it could end up costing you quite a bit of money–if they’ll cover you at all. Insurance companies generally don’t like to provide coverage to drivers who’ve proven to be prone to driving fast or being involved in accidents. If you’re within this category, you may be interested in the following car insurance tips for bad drivers.
Take a Safe Driving Course
One way to help lower your insurance rates after you’ve received a reputation as a bad driver is to take a safe driving course. In most cases, you will still have to pay more than you would have if you hadn’t ruined your record, but it can be reduced significantly by passing the course. You’ll have to pay for the course, but you can make up the money you spend by lowering your insurance rates after completing the course.
Seek Out Discounts
Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts for their customers. Most of them have certain stipulations that you must meet in order to be deemed eligible. You should consult with your insurance agent to find out what discounts are available, and what the qualifications are for each one. If you don’t qualify for any particular discount, ask the agent what you would have to do in order to receive the price break.
Improve Your Credit Rating
Among the steps you could take to improve your chance of receiving better insurance rates is to make sure your credit rating is as high as possible. Lower credit scores will cause your rates to be even higher than they could be if you improved them–having a low credit score means paying the highest possible prices for insurance. If you’d like to raise your score, make sure you pay all your bills on time. If you have a credit card, it would be a good idea to charge a few small items. When the bill comes, don’t pay it off entirely. If you leave a portion of the charge outstanding, your credit rating will actually go up, because your credit score is determined, in part, on the amount of available credit you use. For instance, if your available credit is $10,000 and you owe $9,000, your credit rating will be lower than if you only owed $1,000.
Settle for Less Coverage
Although it may not be your best option, it is possible to pay less for insurance if you settle for less coverage. If you own your car outright, it is possible to be street legal without carrying full coverage. Instead, you could only get the absolute minimum coverage allowed by law. This isn’t an option if you are making payments on your car, because the law requires full coverage to protect the lender.
Take High Deductibles
A viable option for anyone seeking insurance coverage is to take on high deductibles. However, for someone with a bad driving record, you may have to carry extremely high deductibles in order to have it significantly affect your payments. The higher the deductible you carry, the lower your payments will be. If you decide to go this route, it would be a good idea to open a savings account in order to assure having enough money available to pay the deductible if you have to file a claim, because the insurance company won’t release a check to you until the deductible is paid.
Shop for the Best Price
As is the case with buying any insurance policy, you should shop around for the best price you can find. A good place to start is to go online and get some quotes. Fill out the forms and then use the quotes you get for comparison when you begin calling the more traditional brick and mortar companies. Be sure to ask for the same type and level of coverage for each quote, otherwise you won’t be able to make an informed decision. Make sure you approach your present insurer and ask whether or not they can meet or beat the best price you’ve receive. Usually an insurance company will try and give you a better rate, because they want to keep your business.
Guest post from Cameron Gray. Cameron writes for AutoInsuranceQuotes.org.