Little-known Contributors to Higher Insurance Costs

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Most everyone knows the common contributors to high insurance cost: getting in wrecks, filing claims, and having a poor driving record understandably tell insurance companies that you’re a bigger risk to insure. However, there are lots of bad habits that could surprise a driver with a higher premium if the insurance companies get wind of it. As a service to you and your bank account, here’s a list of activities you’ll want to avoid to keep your cheap auto insurance in New York.

1.) Not Wearing Your Seat Belt

Not wearing your seat belt isn’t just silly, it’s against the law in many cases. Most states have passed laws requiring the driver of a vehicle to wear a seat belt, and several of those have also passed secondary seat belt laws requiring everyone in the car to wear a seat belt. If you’re caught not wearing your seat belt, a police officer could write you a ticket, which shows up on your driving record. This tells insurance companies that you’re not very fastidious, which can lead to an increase in your premium.

2.) Texting While Driving

Texting while driving, or “driving while distracted,” is the new hot-button issue when it comes to driver safety. While most drivers agree that the practice is extremely dangerous and should be illegal, almost all drivers admit to doing it at one point or another. Several states enforce texting laws, and should you receive a citation for texting while driving, your insurance company will drastically raise your rates as you’ve suddenly become much more statistically likely to be in an accident. What’s worse, if you cause an accident while texting, you could be prosecuted with reckless driving and even spend time in jail.

3.) Missing Bills or Credit Card Payments

Credit ratings affect a whole lot more than you might think. Missing a few credit card payments or bills will show up on your credit report. While insurance companies don’t probe extremely deep into your credit report like a bank or a loan agent might, having a poor credit score may cause the insurance companies to hedge their bets by raising your premium. Having a good credit score sends the basic message that you’re not a risky prospect, and will earn you lower premiums.

4.) Paying Premiums in Installments

Most car insurance is sold six months at a time. If you’re paying for car insurance on a monthly basis, odds are you’re really putting in installments on the cost of a six-month policy. The only problem with this is that some insurance companies slip in installment fees which make the monthly payment slightly more expensive than paying for the entire policy up front. Some companies even flip this semantically, giving you a discount if you pay for the six-month policy. While it may be impractical to drop money on six months of insurance at a time, it could end up saving a chunk of change in the long run.

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