Safe Driver Discounts: What Your Good Record Can Do for You

Driving safely is a matter of personal responsibility, concern for yourself, your passengers, pedestrians, and your fellow motorists. Though it is sometimes easy to forget about speed limits or disobey local laws when you are traveling and unfamiliar with driving in a new area, it is very important to be a careful driver. Of course there are the obvious safety concerns, but in addition to that, having a clean record with the DMV will open many doors for you when it comes to auto insurance savings.

Here's how to keep your record clean:

  • Follow posted speed limits. Speeding tickets are common traffic violations, but the fines are steep and so are the surcharges from your liability carrier. Leave plenty of time to get to your destination, and drive at a reasonable pace, at the speed limit or with the flow of traffic.
  • Be aware of local ordinances. Pay attention to signs and other indicators when you are passing through a new area so as to observe the laws. Try to be prepared with directions beforehand so you do not find yourself distracted behind the wheel.
  • Brush up on your skills. An inexpensive, easily accessible driving course can help to remind you of some smaller rules of the road that you may have forgotten since obtaining your license.
  • Take your responsibility seriously. Of course it can be fun to drag race your friends down the street, and it is easy to let things get out of control if you have a crowd of friends in the car. However, when you are in charge of your vehicle, you need to stay in control.
  • Never drink and drive. This goes without saying, and the consequences are likely to be far more severe than increased insurance premiums, but you should never drive while intoxicated. If you want to enjoy alcoholic beverages, rely on a sober friend or public transportation for your ride home at the end of the night.

And here's why it's worth the effort:

Carriers rely on risk assessment to determine the rates they charge for different types of coverage. They consider the risks for different types of vehicles, since some are more likely to be stolen or vandalized, others are more costly to repair, and still others do more damage in a collision than the average car does. They also consider the ways in which these types of vehicles are usually used - for commuting, for reckless racing, or for family activities. However, beyond thinking about the autos themselves, carriers place a lot of emphasis on the person driving them.

If you have a bad record, you are seen as someone who is likely to be not only involved but at fault in collisions in the future. Someone who drives carelessly, breaks speed and other traffic laws, and has been implicated in other accidents is a bigger risk for the insurance company than someone who has a good record with no blemishes. Because the carrier expects to have to pay out for expenses that your poor driving may cause, they will charge you higher premiums in an effort to compensate themselves.

On the other hand, if you have a clean record, then you can expect the best rates. Insurers see you as a low risk, someone who is responsible and conscientious, and upon whom they can rely to continue driving in a safe manner. This allows them to pass on safe driver discounts to you, and everyone wins!

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