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Best 5 Car Insurance Tips Every North American Driver (Maryland Included!) Should Know

| June 26, 2021, 06:00 PM

Getting auto insurance may feel like such an inconvenience sometimes. While you do know it is illegal to not have it, it’s certainly not the best part of buying a car. Here are a few tips that can make your insurance shopping less painful. If you understand these tips right and use them to your advantage, then your insurance, instead of being a burden, can be a beneficial tool.

  • Credit History Is Key

Poor credit history is a risk for the company. The reason is simple — higher claims are reported by poor credit score holders, and vice versa. Companies check data to understand their clients, so you need to be mindful of it too.

Other than that, all factors of your credit history are also taken into consideration. The only way you can keep it clean and good is to make your payments on time. Know your credit score to know what offers are available (and affordable) to you.

  • Be a Good Driver

When it comes to auto insurance, age does matter. Car insurance premiums will differ largely based on the age of the driver. Young drivers below the age of 25 pay the highest premium rates, and more if they are male. While drivers between 25 and 45 years of age get lower rates as accident probability is relatively less. The next age group with a higher premium is above 60.

Another factor is marital status. While you may not consider looking at these facts, the insurance provider certainly does. Data on female vs male accident rates and the ratio of unmarried vs married drivers involved in accidents helps determine the probability of your claim.

While all these are factors you can do nothing about, there are certain other individual factors in your control. Reckless driving, DUIs, and parking tickets directly affect the insurance rate regardless of age or sex. You can benefit from a clean driving record no matter who you are. That’s one way to reduce premium costs.

  • Buy the Car You Need, Not Want

Classification of vehicles when calculating premium is based on what the data shows. If your car model is known to be popular for theft or damage issues, then it’ll certainly have higher insurance rates. This also applies to sports cars and SUVs. Since these vehicles cost more in damage, they will also be higher in insurance rates.

If, however, you have a new car with the newest safety features, your insurance rate will be lower. This is useful if you’re considering buying a vintage, old, or used car that no longer functions at its optimum level.

  • Where You Live Matters

Where are you driving the car and how often? This will inform you of the likelihood of you getting in an accident. If the commute is short, the chances are few and so are the rates.

You can’t do anything if the area you’re driving in has a high record of accidents, claims filed, or average claim rate. For example, the rate for insurance in cities is higher because the accident probability is too.

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  • Research

Compare Policies

There are plenty of ways to compare policies, the easiest being online. If you’re out looking for auto insurance, get all the information on the lowest premium rates, credit scores, coverage, benefits, claim settlement data, etc.

Ask Around

Ask your family and friends about tips, credit scores, and if they have a good or bad experience with an insurance company.

Check Testimonials

Even bad reviews can be helpful; they can tell you the worst factor about a company and if that could be important for you. You need to do a thorough check on the company since insurance is a two-way deal.

Read the Documents Thoroughly

If you’re too confused by the terminology used, try to get help from insurance experts. This will help you get more clarity on topics about the premium, coverage terms, evaluation terms, and claim issues.

Look into Bundled Car Insurance

If you get more policies from the same company, you could be eligible for discounts on them. Check whether you qualify for it and what discounts are available to you.

Deductibles

You should calculate the deductible you can pay upfront in case of a claim. A higher deductible should allow you to spend less on the premium.

Liability Insurance

Check what your car insurance covers. When driving in Maryland, you’re supposed to have minimum coverage on the following liabilities:

  • Bodily injury liability: per person ($30,000) and per accident ($60,000)
  • Property damage liability: per accident ($15,000)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: per person ($30,000) and per accident ($60,000)
  • Uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident ($15,000)

Driving Tips in Maryland

Bad drivers and accident-prone roads are common for a lot of states, including Maryland. Here are some driving tips you can follow to keep you and the drivers around you safe when driving in Maryland or any other state.

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Use signals and check if they’re working before you drive
  • Check the area, destination, and the route to take before you leave
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Check if you need to make any additional changes in your route
  • Check the traffic on the route
  • Keep up with the maintenance
  • Check the fuel, wipers, lights, tires, and breaks
  • Ensure you have the toolkit in the car and always keep it ready for use
  • Keep an eye out for other drivers (both reckless and poor drivers)
  • Be alert while driving, don’t rush or make others nervous

Despite all this information, it is sometimes better to not file a claim. Which might be when your claim costs exceed the repair, you want to avoid a poor driving record, or when you’re ready to settle privately.

When trying to look for insurance, think like the insurance company. What are your risk factors and what are factors you could use to negotiate a better insurance rate? It is better to check your credit score and car requirement and to compare the costs before you buy insurance.

Buying insurance without research or knowledge of your position can be a huge financial risk. Just because your premium is high doesn’t mean your company covers the damage costs when you need it the most. Always check and always ask if you’re not sure about any of the points.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

 

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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