At some point you're going to be in the market for your next car, be it used or new. If you've narrowed your search down to the type of vehicle you'd like to own, you should check insurance rates before you buy.
Often we will get calls from people who bought a new vehicle and gave no thought to the insurance rates and who were shocked to learn that, in some cases, their monthly premiums were more than their monthly car payments. That smarts and could have been avoided if they had checked first.
The main factors that influence your insurance rates are:
The last two items are affected by the type of car you choose. A more expensive car will typically cost more to repair, hence the higher premiums. And cars with poor safety ratings will also cost more to insure.
One of your first stops when researching a new car should be to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for a review of your vehicle. If your car has poor ratings in any category, realize that there is potential for this to negatively impact your insurance rate. Their website is: www.iihs.org
After that, call us and we'll be glad to obtain some quotes for your new purchase so you won't be surprised by insurance sticker shock.
Keeping your premium in check
Once you do have your car, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your premium doesn't escalate substantially later. These include:
- Avoid excessive inquiries into your credit reports
- Limit the number of credit accounts you have
- Review your credit report annually (Credit score does not apply to insurance rates in California)
- Limit the amount of new debt you take on
- Work with creditors to resolve outstanding balances before they are turned over to collection agencies