Did You Know These Factors Make You a High Risk Driver?

Every car owner would love inexpensive car insurance rates with comprehensive coverage, but a number of factors determine the final cost. Most individuals are familiar with common elements in the car insurance rate calculation—accident history, driver age, and tickets can all affect the final quote. However, several other sneaky factors affect insurance premiums as well.

 Your Gender Can Cost You

Everyone knows young men, especially those under 25, often pay more than their female counterparts do. Statistics are working against them in this instance, as their demographic racks up the most tickets and collisions. However, being a woman does not always mean lower insurance rates. Many insurers offer men aged 40 to 60 better rates than they do women—even when both have perfect driving records. In this instance, statistics are once more the culprit. Data shows women in this age bracket are riskier to insure than men of the same age are.

Being Single Can Cost You

Drivers may grow weary of hearing it, but statistics once again net married couples better rates. This is because married people are less likely to get into car accidents than married individuals are. As a result, divorced or widowed individuals may see their insurance rates go up once their insurer determines they are now single.

Location Can Cost You

Many individuals assume only those living in high-crime areas experience higher insurance premiums, but this is not the case. Individuals living in cities will also receive higher quotes than those living in rural areas. This is a simple equation. More people + more cars = more accidents. Not only that, but cities are more prone to scams and fraud as well.

How insurers determine someone’s insurance rate is complex and often out of the individual’s control. Other factors such as credit history and previous insurance history can affect future quotes as well. While individuals can shop around for the best rate, The Reilly Company can help them find the best coverage for the lowest cost much faster. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Choose the Best Car Insurance Coverage

Car insurance companies offer a positive deluge of car insurance policies. While it is great to have options, many car owners do not know how to determine which coverage options are best for them. Below are descriptions of several insurance options ranked by importance.

  1. Liability insurance. If you own a car, you must have liability insurance. This is the minimum requirement and provides coverage if you injure another individual or damage property as the result of a car accident.
    1. Tip: If your financial situation allows for it, invest in more than the bare minimum to safeguard your assets.
  2. PIP and MedPay. This provides coverage for medical costs for yourself and other individuals in your vehicle in the event of an accident.
    1. Tip: This type of coverage is vital if your health insurance is lacking.
  3. Collision and comprehensive. Unless you buy your car outright, you need this type of coverage. It offers protection from total loss events so you do not have to pay the remaining cost of the loan out of pocket. This applies to individuals who lease their vehicles as well.
    1. Tip: This type of coverage is not always necessary depending on your car’s worth. If your vehicle’s value is minimal, you can save money by foregoing this coverage. However, this is not the norm so drivers should discuss their collision and comprehensive policy with their insurance provider first before eliminating it. If your vehicle is still worth a considerable amount of money, consider a higher deductible. This can reduce overall insurance costs—just be sure you can afford the deductible if you need to file a claim.
  4. Uninsured Motorist. While state laws indicate drivers need insurance, plenty of people flout the rules. If an uninsured/underinsured driver causes an accident, you may have to cover the cost. Investing in this type of insurance protects you from such events.
  5. Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance. This type of insurance is applicable to anyone who owes more on their car than what it is worth. The most common example of this situation is someone who just purchased his or her car. If you are in an accident shortly after buying your vehicle, your standard insurance will only cover the value of the car, leaving you upside down on your loan.
    1. Tip: Once your car loan amount is less than what your car is worth, you can cancel this coverage.

These are some of the most common types of auto insurance coverage options available to car owners. The Reilly Company can help drivers determine which types of coverage are best for them and their financial situation. We can also discuss specialty insurance policies such as roadside assist, rental reimbursement, and personal umbrella insurance. To learn more, contact us today.

Safe Driving Tips to Prevent Accidents

The rise of technology revolutionized the auto industry. Cars are now safer than ever. However, there are still a staggering number of car accidents each year, the majority of which are due to driver error. The best way to avoid an accident is to employ safe driving behaviors. Below are several safe driving tips to reduce incidents.

Drive with Traffic

Follow the speed of the other cars on the road. If there are multiple lanes, pick the one that suits the speed you wish to travel. Always remember that each lane farther to the left moves (or should move) faster than the one to its right. Also remember that in the US, cars coming from the left always have the right of way. When there are few or no other cars on the road, do your best to stay near the speed limit – setting your cruise control will help greatly with this.

Remove or Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving, like speeding, is a significant contributor to car accidents. As drivers’ attention spans shrink, the urge to talk, text, or check social media while driving increases. However, interacting with an electronic device behind the wheel reduces reaction time and pulls the driver’s attention away from the road. Because of this, many states passed laws banning the use of handheld cell phones. Even so, other distractions can prove just as lethal such as applying makeup, eating food, or chatting with other passengers. If drivers cannot remove distractions (such as other passengers in the car), they should take pains to reduce them. The best way to do so is to always keep their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

Additional Tips

While following the speed of traffic and limiting distractions will improve driver safety, there are several other suggestions that can reduce the risk of accidents. Some examples include:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Do not follow other vehicles too closely
  • Do not drive with intoxicating substances in your system (this includes marijuana)
  • Do not drive drowsy
  • Take extra precautions in foul weather (i.e. slow down, increase following distance, etc.)
  • Perform regular car maintenance

Practicing safe driving techniques can help reduce the likelihood of an accident, but drivers can only account for their own behavior. Defensive driving can help, but sometimes accidents are unavoidable. The Reilly Company can help individuals assess their risk factors and determine if their car insurance coverage is adequate in the event of an accident. For more information on safe driving, contact us.

How to Save When Adding a Teenage Driver to Your Auto Insurance

Adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy can be expensive. The cost can catch many by surprise. Thankfully, while adding a teen driver is still expensive, the cost is decreasing. For example, in 2013, adding a teenager to a car insurance policy increased rates by 85% on average. That number has since dropped to 78%.

Additional Factors that Influence Rates

The above numbers shift dramatically depending on the gender of the teen driver. Adding a boy increases rates by 89% while a girl only increases rates by 66%. This disparity is due to statistics. In general, young boys have more accidents and file more claims. Rates vary by state as well. Some states increase rates by well over 100% while others do not break into double digits.

How to Decrease the Cost of a Teenage Driver

While the following will not reduce upfront costs, it will hold them steady and prevent them from increasing. The first year on the road poses the greatest threat. Parents should set ground rules and continue to drive with their teenager even after they earn their license. Just because a teenager passed a driving test does not mean they are ready for all situations they will encounter on the road. Other ways to reduce the likelihood of claims are establishing curfews and limiting the number of people in the car.

Parents should also consider investing in technology to help reduce distracted driving. Several apps exist to disable certain aspects of smart phones while an individual is driving. These apps prevent texts and social media updates from pinging the phone while the vehicle is moving.

Some insurance companies offer discounts to individuals who participate in a driver improvement course. Another potential discount exists for students who earn good grades. Parents should ask their insurance agent about any available discounts to help control costs when adding teen drivers to their policy.

Contact The Reilly Company to learn more ways to save when adding a teenage driver to your car insurance policy.

Controlling Your Risk as a Driver

shutterstock_108653897The technology industry has exploded over the last few decades, and with it have come many great safety innovations. Collision avoidance technologies are beginning to gain effectiveness rapidly. The most reliable to date has proven to be front crash prevention. These systems result in fewer crash-related insurance claims, and as such they’re helping to drive down premiums for their owners.

Front crash prevention systems that provide audible and imminent warnings tend to reduce claims by an average of about 7%. Systems that are also able to autonomously apply braking force can significantly improve these numbers with claim reductions averaging around 20%. These features are already needed to achieve top IIHS safety ratings, and will eventually become mandated by law in all vehicles.

Lane-departure warning systems can be effective in notifying drivers of drifting into other vehicles, but can also startle drivers into excessive course corrections. Blind-spot monitoring technology is one of the latest efforts in combating traditional causes of accidents. Watch for these and other collision avoidance systems to make further impacts on the industry in years to come. They’re evolving quickly, and could help you to save significant with your insurance provider. To learn more, contact us.