• First Time Car Insurance: How to Get Lower Rates

    Obtaining first time car insurance can be an exciting and stressful experience. It could be a step towards independence for a young person or a big change for someone you didn’t need to own a car in the past. Either way, it’s up to you to make sure you get the lowest rates. The most common situations that require first time insurance are:

    • A teenager or other young person who is obtaining coverage for the first time away from their parent’s insurance plan.
    • A first time driver: people who have never had a license (including teen drivers), or people who haven’t driven in a substantial amount of time.

    Unfortunately, you might be put in this category if you weren’t driving for a period of time and you let your insurance coverage lapse. This includes people who have been out of the country for a long period of time, or active duty military personnel who weren’t driving because they were on deployment. To avoid having this happen in the future, you should contact your insurance provider before letting your coverage lapse so that you can avoid being penalized unfairly.

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    When first time car insurance is necessary, there are a few things that you can do to assure that you get the best rates possible for your policy.

    Driver Education

    One way to reduce the cost of a first time driver’s policy is to complete a defensive driver education course. Many times insurance companies will hand out a substantial discount to a first time driver for participating in these types of courses. By participating in this type of class you’re showing your insurance provider that you’re willing to make an effort to become a more educated and conscientious driver. Because completion of a defensive driving course is actually proven to reduce the likelihood of an accident, you’re lessening the risk that your insurance company is taking.

    Choosing a Vehicle

    Buying a first time insurance policy oftentimes coincides with the purchase of a new car. Make sure that you buy a car that is sensible for an inexperienced driver. That means that you’re looking for a car that is safe and practical. You may want a flashy or high performance car but that’s just not a good idea for a beginning driver, and your insurance company knows that. First time drivers get hit especially hard when it comes to insurance rate if they are driving an expensive or sporty car.

    Previous Coverage

    Young people that are getting a policy on their own for the first time (separate from their parent’s or spouse’s plan) should provide proof of previous coverage to their new insurer. When you provide proof that you were previously covered by a different insurer, your new insurance company can ask your old insurer to provide them with a claims history and will probably reduce your deductible. However for people that previously had claims on a shared plan, you might not want to share that information unless asked to do so (However you should never lie if you’re asked about previous coverage).

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    Gather Necessary Information

    To make the process easier on you, gather all of the necessary information pertinent to the new driver. This includes basic personal information, social security number, driver’s license number and state, high school or college transcripts and automobile information including vehicle identification number, license plate number, make, model, mileage and a list of safety features.

    Contact the First Company

    Many insurers will not cover a new driver. Due to the statistically higher rate of accidents and claims made by young drivers, certain insurance companies bar anyone under a certain age. Don’t fret, though. There are a number of companies that will assume the risk of a new driver, although the rates will be higher. A good place to start is with Progressive. You can search online or by flipping through the phonebook and making calls.

    Inquire About Policies and Rates

    Ask what amount of policy coverage the insurance company offers new drivers and the associated rates. Find out if they offer good student discounts or a ‘no claims’ bonus. Good grades can positively influence insurance prices as good students are considered better risks. A ‘no claims’ bonus might be available to new drivers who can go a year or longer without making any insurance claims.

    Check with several insurance companies before you decide. The first one you speak with might not offer the best deal. You have to call to find out.

    Consider Adding the Driver to Your Insurance

    Although it will increase the premium of your personal policy, consider adding the new driver. It is similar to co-signing for a loan. The lender only offers the loan because you are assuming responsibility in case they default. With car insurance, the benefit is that the company will insure the new driver because of your longstanding policy. The consequence, however, will be to you if they get into an accident. It will raise your rates, so you can require the new driver to pay you the difference each month.

    Getting a Discounted New Driver Insurance Quote

    The cost of auto insurance depends on a lot of factors such as where you live, where you drive, your driving experience and the make of your vehicle. Compare rates in order to find a policy that best fits your circumstances and offers the desired coverage at a price you can afford. It’s also possible to lower your insurance premiums by increasing your deductible amount.

    Your insurance premiums also depend on the car you drive. It’s wise to buy an efficient car that’s easy to control. It’s also a good investment to fit safety features such as airbags, antilock brakes and stability control systems in your car, as they can help lower your premiums.

    A clean driving record is awarded by insurance companies with a ‘no claims’ discount and lower premiums. Many insurance companies offer discounts to teenagers who complete a defensive driving course from a reputed school.

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    It’s important that you choose an insurance provider that not only provides you with an affordable policy, but one that’s reputed and trustworthy as well. The best deal is a quote that fits your budget and offers you a policy that has all the coverage you need, and leaves out everything you don’t.