If there is anything in life that you can count on, its change. Seasons, technology, politics, statistics, economics, your life? Consider about what you were doing at this time just last year. You can probably think of 10 things that have changed in about 10 seconds. When things are changing quickly, it’s difficult to remember to adjust some things, like your auto insurance policy. But no matter how much your life changes, saving money and getting the best cheap car insurance available is worth a little bit of effort. That’s really all it takes, just reflecting on what has changed in your life and spending a few moments to update your auto insurance policy. This can help you save money, money you can spend on something a lot more fun than insurance. Easter baskets, a new phone, a campaign contribution? To help with your reflection on change, here are some of the top reasons your car insurance rates may need to be adjusted. If any of them apply to you, let your insurance company know right away.
Your Driving Record
Do you have old tickets or accidents on your driving record? Many people don’t know that tickets and accidents can be removed from your record after a certain time period, usually three to five years. If you have had a minor accident or a ticket, you probably took care of it right away, and put it as far from your mind as you could. Don’t let a few minor slip-ups keep you from getting cheap car insurance. If those records are cleared up, you will get better insurance rates. Conducting a DMV record search is an important step you can take annually or even biannually, to protect your identity by ensuring that the information contained in the report is correct. The best way to do this is to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You can order unofficial copies of your driving records online by entering the required information, then either download the information or request a written copy. If you find a mistake on your driving record, you can fill out a Record Correction Request form and mail it to the Mandatory Actions Unit of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A job change can be very time consuming and you may forget about the little things that can make a big difference. For instance, changes in your commute can change your risk factors and possibly your premium. Or maybe you switched from a job away from home and now work from home. This will drastically change your yearly mileage, and lower mileage can create a big discount on your insurance premium. A city’s crime rates can directly impact your auto insurance premiums, so you may want to consider adding or increasing your uninsured motorist coverage, and possibly increasing your overall coverage limits.
Whether you have moved to a new state or just around the block, moving can result in a lot of changes that need to be considered for insurance purposes. If you were renting and purchased a home, you may qualify you for a “homeowners” discount. Your new neighborhood may have more or less crime than your previous one, and this could affect your rates. Traffic, crime rates, and natural disasters all affect your insurance rate. If you move to an area or state with less risk, then your rates will go down, and that is something you want to take advantage of right away.
All types of life changes may cause gaps or overlaps in coverage, as well as qualify you for additional discounts. That’s why it’s important to speak with your agent and update your auto insurance after any big life changes. Here are a few more to keep in mind when reflecting on change:
- A teenage driver with good grades, or a new teenage driver
- Driving for Uber or Lyft
- Getting Married
- Having Kids
- Buying or Selling a car
Even small changes can ripple through all aspects of your life requiring re-evaluation and adjustments. While you update your auto insurance, you may find you need to switch companies. If that happens, get at least three car insurance quotes before making your decision. Even if you are able to stay with your current company, you might want to use your move as an opportunity to comparison-shop for cheap car insurance rates or better coverage.