There may have been times when you’ve asked yourself, “Why didn’t my car insurance premium go down this year? I didn’t have any accidents, and my car is a year older.”
The simple (and key) answer is that rates have increased. But the answer is more involved than that because the factors that influence insurance rates as well as your individual policy premium are numerous and complex. Consider this:
- The majority of car accidents end up with vehicles being repaired rather than declared total losses. So the decreased cash value of the car isn’t a factor when you have to replace a car panel, or a hood, or whatever damage was incurred. If you have had any repair work done recently, you know too well how labor and parts costs have increased dramatically. And repair costs are a major factor in insurance rates.
- The liability protection provided by your policy doesn’t change with the age of the car. And in our litigious society, the costs associated with this protection don’t decrease.
- Your driving record does affect your insurance costs. Massachusetts’ insurance rates are based upon a point system where good driving is rewarded and bad driving is penalized. But even if you had no accidents in the past year, surcharge points (penalties) don’t disappear after the year of the incident. Whether it was an accident or a speeding ticket or some other moving violation, those points can affect your insurance for 5 years!
- If you made any changes to your policy – even changes that you would never think could affect your premium like removing a driver from your policy, or a deferred driver on your policy having a change in driving record — it can impact your premium.
While these and other factors influence your individual premium, there are ways to reduce your auto insurance cost and you should always make sure that you have taken advantage of every discount available to you. Here is a partial list of some of the possible discounts:
- Automobile Passive Restraints Discount (air bags and automatic seat belts)
- Family Discounts (good student, student away at school)
- Multi-car Discount
- Multi-policy Discount (auto and home policies with same insurance company)
- Anti-theft Device Discount
- Hybrid Vehicle Discount
- Group Discounts (AAA, CPAs, SBLI)
- Low Mileage Discount
- Discount for age 65 and over
- Pay In Full Discount
- Green Discount (no paper)
You can also increase your deductible, which will reduce your premium. So for example, if you currently have a $500 deductible for each claim, increasing it to $1000 or $2000 will save you premium dollars.
And always remember that if you have a question about your auto policy (or any other insurance), your Cushman Insurance Group agent is always here to answer your questions and help you assemble the right insurance package for you and your family.
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