‘At-fault’ means you were involved in an accident that was classed as your fault. It’s easy to feel down and let negative emotions flood your mind after an incident, but the truth is that this stuff happens. If you can drive a vehicle for decades without anything to report, you’re one of the lucky motorists.
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t see it this way, and their point of view is reflected in your monthly premiums. In short, an ‘at-fault’ driver who wants a new policy needs to have deep pockets. Of course, most normal people don’t have the money to overpay on automotive costs when there are other bills to cover. So, keeping insurance rates low is essential.
It’s tempting to assume that you can’t do this because of one mistake. Yet, the truth is that anybody can reduce insurance fees with a handful of handy hacks. Here are five of the best that you will want to keep in mind.
Never Assume Insurers Are The Same
You’ve asked for quotes from two or three insurance companies, and there isn’t much difference between the prices. This is where most people go wrong. Rather than continuing to shop around for a deal, you will want to cuss the insurance industry for being rigged. The ‘they are all the same’ mentality is stopping you from reducing your yearly car expenses.
For one thing, even traditional insurers vary depending on the company. And, that’s without the businesses that specialize in helping drivers with less than stellar reputations. Insured ASAP prides itself on offering quick quotes to those who may find it hard to secure an SR22. Therefore, you’ve got to get policy information from dozens of insurers before you decide that they are thieves who want to take your money!
In reality, there are plenty of quality policy providers that are willing to help you out of a jam.
Eliminate Additional Hurdles
An insurance company will look at more than your accident report history before signing off on a policy. Typically, they’ll also check your credit score, which affects ‘at-fault’ drivers more than it does anybody else. Insurers are already skeptical about offering you an affordable rate, and a poor credit rating will only add to their nerves.
With this in mind, it’s vital that you sort out the things under your control. A credit score may not seem as if it’s easy to solve, but paying your bills on time will bump it up a bracket or two. Also, using your credit card limit to your advantage is an excellent option.
Nerd Wallet has more advice that you should check out because paying with plastic is potentially risky. Lowering your debt is another alternative. A consolidation loan will reduce the total amount that you owe and look better on a credit report than several small to medium-sized arrears.
You’ve got to make yourself appear to be a person who isn’t going to default on their premiums. Otherwise, the rate will skyrocket, or you won’t get a policy period.
Increase The Deductible
Insurance companies prefer customers to be submissive rather than proactive. Why? It’s because it means shoppers are more likely to accept the terms that they set out. However, accepting a deal on face value is a terrible idea. Do you know what’s in the small print? How can you be sure that the terms and conditions are to your advantage?
The simple answer is that you can’t, which is why it’s imperative not to let them dictate terms. When a quote comes back with a deductible, for instance, that doesn’t mean the amount is set in stone.
In reality, insurers will allow you to increase your liability as it limits the payout. A direct side-effect of this is that your premiums will be lower. Of course, you must be sure that you can cover the damage costs if you’re involved in an accident.
If you increase your deductible to $1,000, you will need to pay that off in the event of a crash. Also, there is the unpredictable nature of car accidents. There’s no way to tell whether the damage will equate to more or less than.
Avoid Flashy Cars
The vehicle you drive has a direct impact on your insurance. As a rule, the flashier it is, the more it will cost you in insurance fees. The reason for this is that exotic cars are more powerful or more expensive to repair than run-of-the-mill vehicles. The latter is one-hundred percent true if yours comes with the latest technology, such as rearview cameras and automated parking. Damage either of these features and the bill won’t be small.
Then, your driving history is taken into account. Put the two together and you’re left with a pretty extortionate insurance policy. Insurers don’t trust ‘at-fault’ drivers already. Therefore, you must think carefully about your next vehicle. For starters, the engine size shouldn’t be too big. Next, lose the cosmetic trimmings. Instead, focus on the gadgets that boost safety.
Finally, consider where you’re going to park it when you’re not behind the wheel. A car that stands out is a target, increasing the odds of a payout for insurers.
You’ve already had one accident that has made it hard to secure a good insurance policy, so imagine what it’s like if you’re a multiple offender. The only way to avoid accidents that aren’t your fault is to drive carefully and adhere to the road rules.
Sure, you stop at junctions and indicate before turning. Still, even experienced drivers have bad habits. Only slowing down at a stop sign is something this Medium post points out is technically illegal and will land you in hot water. Plus, there’s pulling out into traffic without checking both sides of the road, or assuming nothing is coming.
There are things every driver can work on, regardless of how long you’ve been driving.
Do you find securing a quality insurance policy challenging? What are your tricks to reduce the cost?