These mistakes could drive up your auto insurance costs

There are some mistakes that drivers should avoid if they want their auto insurance costs to stay reasonable. In particular, there are three mistakes that could dramatically increase the amount a motorist might have to pay for auto insurance.

Here is what they are.

1. Let a policy expire

Drivers are required to maintain auto insurance coverage at all times. If a motorist fails to maintain the required coverage because they don’t pay their premiums or because they cancel the insurance before registering with a new carrier, it becomes a huge problem.

Without insurance, a motorist risks having to pay out of pocket for all losses in the event of collision, theft or other damage. The driver could also face legal consequences. Due to the dire risks associated with not being insured, most responsible drivers simply won’t.

This means that auto insurance companies view customers who have let their policies expire as high risk. When a motorist gets quotes for insurance coverage, they will be asked who their insurer is and if they have ever had a coverage gap. If they did, they can expect to pay much higher premiums than if they had followed the rules and been insured all the time.

2. Get a moving offense

Insurers charge people more if they think an accident is more likely to happen. A driver who breaks the rules of the road is obviously more at risk of being involved in a car accident because he does not follow safe driving practices.

This is why a moving offense, such as a speeding ticket or a red light, can result in higher premiums for a motorist. Insurers check an insured’s driving record and also ask about past moving infractions when someone tries to purchase insurance. Any motorist with even a single moving violation can expect to pay a higher price for coverage.

3. Buy a risky vehicle

Finally, some vehicles are considered more risky to insure than others. Insurers collect data on claims made for different vehicles, and they know which ones tend to be involved in the most accidents or get stolen the most. They also know which cars do not have the safety features that prevent serious injury in an accident, as opposed to cars with airbags and other advanced safety tools that reduce the risk of costly claims.

If a motorist is unfamiliar with the cheapest cars to insure and instead buys a car that the insurer considers a risk, it will cause auto insurance premiums to increase. Drivers can reduce the likelihood that a new car purchase will drive up insurance premiums by obtaining auto insurance quotes from insurers on the cost of insuring a particular vehicle before purchasing it.

Fortunately, each of these mistakes is easily preventable as long as drivers know they can have serious financial consequences. Motorists can make sure they drive safely, that their coverage doesn’t go out, and that they choose a car that won’t skyrocket their premiums.

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