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How to Get Good Insurance Rates Regardless Of Your Driving Record

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If you’ve made some mistakes behind the wheel in the past few years, you may be wondering if you’ll ever find affordable car insurance again. While some sort of increase in your insurance rates is inevitable after a major accident, multiple speeding tickets or a DUI conviction, you can minimize the damage by keeping a few simple tips in mind. Read on to learn how to get good insurance rates even if your driving record is less than perfect.

Play Defense
Insurance companies love it when their customers take the initiative to become better drivers. One of the easiest ways to lower your insurance rate is to complete a defensive driving course. You can do this in person at your local Motor Vehicle Registry or, at least in some states, online through the Registry’s website. You may feel too busy to set aside several hours per week for a remedial driving course, but you’ll feel better if you look at it as an investment in your future.

Look Around
Many full-service insurance companies have limited tolerance for poor driving records and will penalize you for multiple infractions or DUI convictions in the hopes that you’ll be too lazy to change providers, so call their bluff and start looking around for new coverage! In recent years, a proliferation of limited-service providers that cater to customers with poor driving habits has created downward price pressure across the entire industry. If you switch, your first year with a new provider might be less expensive than your current coverage.
Even if you don’t switch, merely mentioning to your current provider that you’re considering leaving is often enough to stave off rate increases related to poor driving decisions. Remember, they don’t want to lose your business no matter how poor your driving record is.

Cut Back
Although you’re legally required to carry car insurance in the United States, nothing is stopping you from making smart cuts to your coverage. In most states, minimum coverage limits are quite low. If you’re facing a steep rate increase brought on by poor driving habits, reduce your coverage amounts to near your state’s minimums. If your car is older, you can cut out your comprehensive coverage completely and immediately save 25 to 30 percent on your monthly premium.

Stay Current
It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to pay all of your outstanding citations, court fees, and other costs associated with a poor driving record. In addition to creating unnecessary legal headaches, failing to do so sends a negative message to current and future insurance providers. If you’re willing to stiff the municipalities and law enforcement agencies charged with protecting you, their thinking might run, how will you treat your car insurance company? You’ll be more likely to receive the benefit of the doubt in the future if you demonstrate a willingness to own up to past mistakes.

A poor driving record will certainly make it difficult for you to get competitive rate on car insurance for a few years, but it’s not the end of the world unless you make it so. Remember to be honest with your current provider, cut back on coverage you don’t need, and shop around for the best rates on insurance policies that cater to folks with less-than-perfect driving habits.

Rob Little lives and writes in Chicago. He writes for www.carinsurance.org.uk where you can find more information on car insurance.

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