In the State of Colorado, carrying car insurance is required by law. The same is true in nearly every other state in the country. While car insurance can certainly be useful, no driver is fond of paying for car insurance premiums. Most of us are familiar with the more common reasons for a car insurance premium increase; things like speeding tickets and car accidents are fairly obvious indicators of increasing rates to come. However, no matter how good of a driver you are, it is possible that your car insurance premiums will be going up this year—for seemingly no apparent reason.
It can be frustrating to watch your rates climb when you have done nothing wrong. Such hikes may seem entirely arbitrary and meaningless. In reality, there are many different factors that may contribute to your insurance premium rates. We will uncover some of these lesser-known reasons in this very blog post.
It may seem unfair, but many factors outside of your control can contribute to your insurance premium rates. These factors usually have more to do with the demographics you fit and the choices you have since long ago made. As such, it is possible for the following to influence your rates:
The latter is important because it can be broken down into even more subcategories. These categories may include crime rates, legislation, number of claims filed in the area, numbers of insured drivers in the area, and weather. In the State of Colorado, for instance, drivers may find that their insurance rates have gone up as the rate of fatal crashes in the state have increased. In fact, Colorado drivers saw the third-biggest car insurance premium rate hike in the country in 2011 (a total increase of 52%!). Insurance companies have to pay more money with each claim that is filed in the area, so they want to make up more revenue in order to cover these costs.
As we already covered earlier in this blog post, most people know that traffic violations are a surefire way to have your premiums go up. However, some traffic violations are worse than others. As a matter of fact, traffic violations are generally classified into two different categories: minor and major. The difference between the two is just about what you would expect. Minor traffic violations may include things like improper backing, improper passing, failure to yield, following too close, speeding, and more. Major traffic violations, on the other hand, include acts like attempted felonies, careless driving, drag racing, driving the wrong way, driving under a suspended license, driving under the influence, fleeing from police, open bottle, passing a school bus, and vehicular homicide.
If you have recently committed a traffic violation, you probably already have a pretty good idea on whether it was major or minor! Here is the good news: if you fight a ticket in court and win, then there is no reason for it to affect your driving record. You may also be able to go to traffic school in order to effectively compensate for your mistake. Some insurance companies also offer you the option to purchase minor violation forgiveness. However, it is important to fully understand all the guidelines for such a policy so you do not find yourself blindsided later. Similarly, your insurance company may offer accident forgiveness programs, where you are allowed to have one at-fault accident claim per driver without having your premiums increase.
If you are running low on money, you may believe that foregoing your insurance coverage for the month is the wise thing to do. However, in the eyes of the insurance company, a lapse in coverage is never good—and may end up costing you more in the long one. If your car insurance coverage has recently expired, you should be able to reinstate the policy with your current insurance carrier within a week of the lapse. Although you will most likely be charged a fee for allowing the lapse to occur, it will usually be minor in comparison to the high-risk insurance rates you would otherwise receive. If your policy has lapsed for less than 30 days, it is possible that your insurance company will give you less of a surcharge than someone who has allowed their coverage to lapse for a longer period of time. However, most preferred insurance companies do not have any grace periods for a coverage lapse, although an exception may apply if you are trying to reinstate your existing policy. Therefore, it is always a good idea to keep your coverage as current as possible.
Although some of the factors that contribute to your car insurance premiums may be out of your control, there are always things you might be able to do in order to lower your rates. For example, you may find it beneficial to bundle your auto insurance with any other insurance coverage you get, such as homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If this is not possible for you, there are still other options for you to consider, such as maintaining continuous insurance coverage, maintaining your clean driving record, and improving your credit score. It may even help to drive an older car. Or you may find it more useful to quit driving altogether and start turning to walking, biking, or using public transit instead!
At Injury Victim Law, we know that dealing with car insurance premiums can be maddening. And while we may not be able to help you lower your rates, we may be able to help you if you are ever involved in a car accident and suffer a personal injury and need to collect the compensation you deserve. While we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is here to help victims all around the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide car accident attorneys. We will always do our best to fight for your rights.