One question you'll need to answer when purchasing a car insurance policy is how many years of driving experience you have. Because your driving experience is a major insurance rating factor, most companies charge inexperienced drivers more to offset the additional risk of insuring them. In the estimation of an insurance company, the less experience a driver has, the more likely they are to get into an accident and require a claim payout. As you gain more experience behind the wheel and keep a clean driving record, your rates will become more affordable.
Below are some tips for first-time drivers seeking affordable car insurance.
Compare car insurance quotes every six months
Auto insurance premiums may vary significantly by insurance company. Although no company will see your lack of driving experience positively, not all will charge you equally. The only way to ensure you're getting the best rate with your driving record is to shop around every time your policy renews (typically every six months).
Pay for claims out-of-pocket
The general rule of thumb in the insurance world is if you can pay for damages yourself, do it. Your insurance company will add a surcharge to your premium for three to five years after an at-fault accident. While it varies by state and company, the average three-year surcharge for an at-fault is $1,700. You can determine if you should file a claim using our guide to car insurance claims.
Understand your coverage needs
If your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, you may not need to add collision and comprehensive coverages to your insurance policy. These coverages are designed to protect the value of your vehicle but are expensive coverage options. If your vehicle isn't worth much, you are paying for coverage you do not need. Use online resources such as Kelley Blue Book and NADA online to determine the value of your vehicle.