Guidelines for good Florida auto insurance rates

Premiums are yummy chocolate confections straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Eat as many as you want, you will never gain weight and will always look and feel young.  Sigh!  If only, right?

May not be chocolate but let’s sweeten this Florida auto insurance premium business by informing and making you an aware buyer. Many factors go into the determination of auto insurance premiums and each insurance company has its own method to this madness.  Here we discuss those factors which you are in control and can leverage for low car insurance quotes.

Credit history:

What’s my credit got to do with it? You might ask, your credit history can reduce or increase your auto insurance premiums. Your credit history provides a snapshot of how responsible and mature you are.  A string of late payments not only affects the final score but shows a lax individual. Too many credit enquiries, a high credit card balance compared to income is not a good thing. Close unnecessary store credit cards which you are not using, but do establish a long credit history by getting a credit card and using it sensibly. Do not max out on credit cards and Keep balances on your credit cards low.  The difference between premiums of a person with good credit score, to a poor credit score can be anywhere between 500 to 900 dollars depending upon the insurance company.  There are many online financial advice sites where you can find more information about keeping your credit scores high, counseling to help resolve issues etc.

Get a free credit check from all three credit bureaus.  You are entitled to one free credit report every year. Use it to check for any inconsistencies or surprise reports. Dispute charge offs which you do not recognize, or is unjustified by writing to the credit bureaus. Keep paper work like lease copies, credit card statements, car payment receipts  a few years, either online or in a file. This helps to resolve disputes quickly.  It takes 7 years for bad credit incidents to go off your credit history. 

If you are young and just starting your life, do yourself a favor by paying minimum owed to a credit card. This can easily be done via automatic debits from your checking account. Same goes to all your recurring expenditure. Pay your bills on time, if there is an emergency and you are going to be late, notify the apartment office or the car company etc. to give you a bit of time. Keeping a squeaky clean credit history gives you a head start not only with insurance premiums but overall better interest rates when you want to get that credit card with generous miles, or 0% interest rates for 6 months, to buying a car or a home. Once you get more credit, managing it and keeping a good score will only get you more credit at ridiculously low rates not to mention lower car insurance premiums.

Not to despair if you have a few blemishes. A credit history is not set in stone and is always a moving target. All late payments, delinquencies, negative issues are purged after 7 years. So not repeating the mistake is the moral of the story.  If you do not have a credit card or has been cancelled, consider getting a paid credit card which helps build your credit history in a positive way by showcasing regular payments.   As discussed above since you are entitled to 3 free credit reports an year, stagger the reports. Apply for one credit report every 4 months.  You not only save 30 dollars overall by avoiding to pay a fee but will also let you stay motivated and on course to increase the credit score. 

Age

When it comes to Insurance, being young is not necessarily a good thing. It is not so much age but experience behind the wheel that is taken into consideration. So to start off you might pay higher premiums but it can be combated by disciplined driving, following traffic rules so not to get tickets or citations, buckling up always.  Definitely do not drive when you had a few. These days there are enough ride share companies to pick up and drop you at all times. Or have a designated safe driver to take you home after your binge.   Leave the reckless driving stunts to the stunt shows at Disney world.

Car and the Area you live in

 The car you drive and the area you live in dictates the Florida insurance premiums you will be paying to a large extent. A car which is easy to steal and is a magnet for car thieves is frowned upon insurance companies.  Check the DMV website to see list of frequently stolen cars.  Having safety features like anti-theft and tracking devices, a closed garage do help in low premiums.

A high density area compared to a low density area will carry higher premiums. If living in down town Miami as compared to the out skirts will definitely cost more. Choose an area which is a good compromise. 

As you go through life marital status, jobs, additional cars, kids, teen age kids who have driver’s license but go on your insurance all contribute to the rates. While Moving to a suburb brings down the rates, a teenager who had just started to drive can add. When the same kid grows up and leaves home, insurance rates will drop again. Your own driving patterns can change leading to reduction of premiums.

Leveraging factors which are under your control will go a long way in keeping your insurance premiums low no matter where in the life cycle you are.

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