Automobile Accidents and Automobile Insurance
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, once very four minutes an automobile accident happens somewhere in the state. These sobering statistics are increased for more densely populated areas like Birmingham. Having minimum levels of liability insurance in order to prove financial responsibility is a requirement for operating a motor vehicle in and around Birmingham. It’s often a good idea to pay for additional coverage like comprehensive or collision, especially if you are still paying off your vehicle or have recently invested in a new car and would sustain major expense in the event of an auto accident. But all those premiums can quickly add up. So that automobile insurance premiums don’t take too huge a chunk out of your monthly budget, there are a number of things you can do to help lower your auto insurance rates.
How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates
First, before you even purchase insurance or renew an existing policy, compare rates among all the major insurance vendors in the state to make sure you are getting the best value and benefits for the money invested. Next, investigate the types of discounts offered by the insurance carrier who is offering you the best rate. Discounts are the name of the game when you want to whittle away at an insurance rate that might offer plenty of benefits and coverage but is just a bit too steep to feel comfortable. Each of the major auto insurance providers in Alabama, including State Farm, Nationwide, Progressive and Liberty Mutual, offer discounts of anywhere between 5% and 40% off your quoted rates if you qualify for special programs. One of the most popular discounts is the one offered to drivers who can demonstrate a good driving record of no accidents or insurance claims and no moving violations within the past 3 to 5 years. It can pay off handsomely to drive accident-free or be a driver practicing good driving habits because many insurers will increase the amount of the discount the longer the policy is in force. Another discount program to apply for is the Defensive Driving Course Discount for drivers age 55 and older who successfully complete an approved online safety course, or the Driver Training Discount providing cheaper insurance to individuals under the age of 21 who have successfully completed a driver education course. Younger drivers who typically carry high premiums because they are in the most at-risk group for accidents can also lower their insurance by qualifying for a Good Grades Discount if they maintain a B average or better in their studies. Having more than one automobile in the same household can help you qualify for a Multiple-Car Discount or having more than one type of policy from the same insurer can lower your auto premiums. Having safety and anti-theft devices installed in your vehicle qualifies you for cheaper insurance rates. Taking a higher deductible, the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays their share, is another smart way to lower your premiums. Paying your premium annually rather than in installments can lower your rates by 10%. The kind of car you drive influences your insurance rate, so before purchasing a new vehicle, be sure that the make and model is not in the highest risk group for accidents or theft which results in more expensive monthly premiums.