5 Things That Raise Premiums Quickly

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Excessive moving violations can send your insurance premiums skyward.

Excessive moving violations can send your insurance premiums skyward. (image by norcalblogs.com)

While our primary focus is getting you the cheapest online car insurance quotes from the highest quality car insurance companies, we also devote quite a bit of time towards education.

Part of that we do is in an effort to lower the price you pay for your auto insurance premium, such as specifying discounts you can take advantage of to lower your costs of insuring your car. But it is an unfortunate but true fact that car insurance rates don’t always decline. Sometimes they rise, and dramatically so.

Here are five events that can quickly hit you in the pocketbook by causing your car insurance premium to rise:

1) Excessive Moving Violations

A single ticket that you can have erased by attending a state-provided driver’s educational program will likely have no effect on your car insurance premiums. Multiple moving violations, such as excessive speed, speeding in questionable areas, such as construction or school zones, or disregarding a traffic control device by running stop signs or red lights will have an effect.

Because any driver that demonstrates that they engage in risky behaviors and that put themselves and others in danger, it shouldn’t come as a shock that auto insurers would suddenly see them as high risk drivers. The higher the risks, the more a policy will cost. Luckily, these effects will disappear from the calculations used to quote a policy after three years or more.

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2) Conviction of DUI

The social stigma attached to being convicted of a DUI has certainly increased dramatically in the last thirty to forty years of driving history. But despite the seriousness of such an event, being convicted of this offense need not be the end of the world.

A hike in the policy premiums of those convicted of DUI shouldn’t come as a surprise, and they will be hefty increases as well. Beyond this and the various fines and court costs you’ll be out, you may also be required by your state to carry much higher policy limits than the state minimums. Multiple DUI convictions will make it extremely hard for a driver to obtain car insurance if they ever do regain the restoration of their driving privileges.

3) Buying/Leasing a New Car

Buying a new car to replace one on your current policy can actually go either way. If the car you’re replacing was a high-theft, high-injury automobile, and you’re doing so with a much safer car that isn’t such a prime target for thieves, you may just be quoted a rate lower than the one you currently pay.

But if you’re leasing a much more expensive car than the one you currently drive, taking advantage of one of the primary benefits of a lease, you may significantly increase your policy premium.

4) Moving

At first glance, basing your car insurance premium partially on where you live might seem strange. But insurers have actuary tables full of statistics broken down into zip codes and even as granular as individual streets or addresses.

These statistics include traffic saturation levels, road quality, thefts/vandalism occurrences and more. Generally speaking, those who live in urban settings are penalized greater than those who do so in rural or suburban neighborhoods.  This also relates to where your car is parked at night. Being in a monitored garage or lot (urban) or on a carport or in an attached or detached garage or carport (suburban or rural) means less risk, no matter where you live.

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5) Adding a New Driver

We’re not talking about marriage or domestic partnership additions, as they will normally offer savings over two individual policies. No, we’re talking about adding a new teen driver to your policy.

Because they’re the least experienced drivers on the road, not to mention that they are prone to making rash or questionable decisions, teenagers represent an extremely high risk segment of the driving population – the highest risk segment overall.

While you may be able to obtain a cheaper version of a family policy from your insurer, you can be assured your car premium is going to increase dramatically. Being able to take advantage of driver training courses and good student discounts will enable you to blunt some of this pain.

If any one or more of these things have happened to you, try and work with your insurer to see if there are any potential solutions to lower your premiums. And as you’re doing that, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the buyer’s market and see what other car insurance companies might be able to offer. Our free online quotes can do that quickly and easily.

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