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Low Rate Car Insurance - Know What Factors Affect Your Premiums (Part Two)

This is post two of two in a series about understanding some of the factors that affect your insurance premium rates.

Another factor that can affect your car insurance rates is gender. Many people do not realize that gender plays a part in how much you pay for your car insurance premium. While there are many jokes about women being bad drivers, it is actually women who have been proven to be the safest drivers and who tend to save more money on their car insurance rates. Men tend to be a bit more daring behind the wheel, and they pay for this on their premiums. And this patter applies even more as people grow older.

Location, location, location. We here that phrase when it comes to buying a new home but location also plays a very big part in how much you pay for your car insurance. For instance, if you live in a small town where there is very little traffic, then you will probably have lower rates; but those who live in large cities and places with large populations will have to deal with higher car insurance rates because there’s greater risk of being involved in an accident. In addition, the crime rate within the area you live also affects how much you pay.

These are just a few factors that can affect the amount you pay for your car insurance each year. Other things that can come into play include your driving record, the type of car you drive, and even your credit rating, which directly relates to how responsible you are as an individual.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Know What Factors Affect Your Premiums

    This is post one of two in a series about understanding some of the factors that affect your insurance premium rates.

    Whether this is your first time purchasing car insurance or you’re an old pro at buying insurance for your car, more than likely you may not know everything that goes into calculating the cost of your car insurance policy. There are a variety of things that factor into what you are charged for car insurance, and usually, it has to do with the demographic you are placed in and the risk associated with that demographic. Before you renew your next policy or purchase a new one, you need to know what factors affect your car insurance rates.

    One thing that definitely affects your car insurance rates is your age. Most of the time, those that are under the age of 25 have to deal with insurance rates that are quite a bit higher. After you turn 25, it is much easier to find low rate car insurance. The reason is because statistics over time have shown that people under the age of 25 are much more likely to be involved in an automobile accident and pose a greater risk. Even if you’re 24 years old and have a great driving record, your insurance rates will be higher than those of people 25 and older.

    Marital status is another factor that can determine what your car insurance premium looks like. If you’re single, more than likely you drive a bit more aggressively and are more likely to take a few more risks behind the wheel. In fact, it has been proven that after people get married, they tend to take fewer risks when driving such as making complete stops at stop signs and driving within the speed limit more often. So if you’re married, odds are greater that you can find car insurance rates that are lower than single people, based on the risk factor alone.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Using an Agent versus Buying Direct

    Most people don’t know this but when you purchase car insurance, you can purchase it through an insurance agent or you can purchase it directly from the insurance company. The majority of people purchase car insurance through agents who are the “experts” in their field. But, you do have an option.

    If you know all about insurance - you know what kind you want and “need”, you know how to fill out the correct forms and you know how to file insurance claims should you be in an accident, then you might want to try going directly to the insurance company to purchase insurance.

    We at Car-Insurance-Rates-Info.com, however, highly recommend that you use an agent. They offer you personalized service, they’re paid to know everything that’s needed to know about what’s best for your situation. If you were to get in an accident, the last thing you need at that time is to have to deal with the legal aspects of filing a claim and the paperwork. An extra-added bonus of using an agent is they can handle multiple policies for you if so desired.

    With that said, there are a couple of middle-ground options. One, you can go direct but use an online broker such as Insurance.com. Online interfaces have improved over the years and using a broker or companies website has made it easier and more functional and practical to sign up without the use of an agent.

    You also have the option of using an “independent” agent or broker, one who will shop around for you. These brokers will shop many companies and some have special relationships with a handful of companies and might be able to get you a better deal. So, as always, weigh your options, ask lots of questions, and do your due diligence. The ball is in your court.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Do I Need Gap Insurance?

    GAP insurance is designed to provide insurance protection for new cars that are being financed. If a car were to be stolen or totaled in an accident, Gap insurance will pay the difference between the cash value of the car and the current outstanding balance on your auto loan or lease. When a new car is driven off the lot, it depreciates quite a bit. If your car were stolen a week later, your insurance company would pay what the cash value is on the car, not what you paid for it the previous week. Because of depreciation, this cash value would be quite a bit lower than what you paid and you would be stuck paying off the difference. That’s where Gap car insurance comes in.

    Typically, Gap insurance covers accidents and thefts but it’s wise to check with your agent and make sure, because as we know, all policies are not created equally. Find out if it covers fire, tornado, vandalism or any other concerns you may have.

    Gap insurance is not required when you buy a policy for your car. When you purchase your car, the dealership may ask you if you want to purchase Gap insurance from them. Normally you don’t want to do this because the premium price offered by dealerships is typically very high. Ask your agent if they offer it and how much it costs. Some insurance companies build in Gap insurance into your policy automatically so you may already have it.

    Car owners generally assume that if their car is totaled or stolen, their policy will cover the value of the car, which many assume is what they owe on the vehicle were they to finance it. What you owe on the car and what the actual value of the car is almost never the same.

    If you want Gap insurance, find out if there are any exclusions to the policy such as maximum limit or loss. The policy might have a maximum coverage dollar-wise or a ceiling on the loan-to-car-value ratio that they won’t go beyond. There also might be exclusions having to do with how your auto loan or lease is structured, loan amount or term of loan. Check all details with your car insurance agent before you buy. It’s also a good idea to estimate how long you’ll need the policy based on your car’s value moving on into the future. Your car’s greatest rate of depreciation is when you drive it off the lot and slows down considerably after that.

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