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Curbing Auto Insurance Prices

Everyone wants the best auto insurance prices with the best coverage. Finding the policy you need at a price you can afford can be tricky, but it is possible.

The best way to find exactly what you need is to compare coverage, policies and quotes. But other factors influence your premiums, too. Let's examine these issues in more detail.

Tickets

Traffic tickets for aggressive driving, speeding, failure to yield or unsafe lane changes can really jack up your auto rates. Insurance companies charge higher rates to drivers with tickets because they are statistically a higher risk. So practice defensive driving and avoid getting tickets to help keep your auto insurance costs as low as possible.

If you do get a ticket, however, keep track of when the offense happened, and ask your auto insurer to re-quote your policy when the ticket is removed from your record. The amount of time this takes will depend on what state you live in.

Accidents

Your accident rate also helps determine the price you pay for car insurance. A first accident may or may not heighten your rates, but it is best, of course, to avoid accidents altogether whenever possible.

Overall accident trends can also make a difference. More accidents generally mean more insurance claims, raising your likelihood of higher prices.

More than one in four auto accidents in 2003 resulted in bodily injury (BI) claims, according to a recent study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). However, auto accident rates and their severity have decreased overall in recent years, due to auto safety campaigns and the manufacture of safer cars.

If you live in a state where fault factors into the equation and you are at fault in an accident, your insurance company must not only pay for the injured party's medical treatment and other accident-related expenses, but also for the pain, suffering and emotional distress the victim incurs as a result of the accident. These types of settlements can cause insurance claims to skyrocket, raising rates in turn.

Your chances of having an accident increase the more accidents you are involved in. Therefore, your accident record can greatly influence what you pay for auto insurance.

Safety

Safety features such as built-in child safety seats, anti-lock brakes, traction control and airbags greatly reduce the number injured in accidents each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). And car insurers often give significant discounts for these safety features, bringing auto insurance prices down.

The overall safety or "crashworthiness" of your vehicle also comes into play here. Your premiums can vary greatly, based partly on the type of vehicle you drive and your car's safety rating as measured against other cars on the road. Therefore, buying or leasing a car with a high safety rating should also be an important consideration.

Seat belt enforcement programs also help lower the price of car insurance. Statistics show the more drivers buckle up, the safer they are from injury…and safer drivers mean fewer claims.

Theft

Installing and using anti-theft devices may also result in price discounts. In fact, these devices may actually lower rates up to 35 percent with apparatuses such as car alarms and vehicle tracking devices.

We are all susceptible to car theft, but some cars are more popular with thieves than others. The higher the risk of theft associated with your car, the higher your premiums are likely to be. Take this fact into consideration and find out your car's risk of theft and the cost of insurance before you buy that new car.

Affordable Auto Insurance

You can keep auto insurance prices at bay and get the coverage and protection you and your family need. Just do your best to keep tickets, accidents and thefts to a minimum, drive safely—and let InsureMe do the rest with up to five competing auto insurance price quotes.

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