By Catherine PowellIf you were born at or around the turn of the century, you’re aware of several things. You were born into the Information Age and are hopelessly hooked on everything that’s web-enabled. You prefer social media to social events. You’d be lost without your smartphone. You’re fed up with paying high auto insurance rates. While my generation can do little to help you resolve your Internet addiction, we can tell you a thing or two about what you need to do to take a bite out of auto insurance costs if you’re less than 25-years-old.
Why are insurance rates so high for Millennials? – In the insurance industry, the higher the risk the higher the price. That goes double for auto insurance. Statistics tell a story that shows Millennials have less experience behind the wheel, especially those who still live at home. They also have more accidents than any other age group, including those aged 73-90. One of the reasons Millennials have so many accidents has to do with driving while distracted. Texting while driving seems to be an irresistible lure to those drivers in their teens and twenties.
What can Millennials do to reduce their auto insurance rates? – While you can’t age faster to gain more behind-the-wheel experience, there are ten things you can do to save money:.
1. Move out of your parent’s home. That alone will see your rates drop significantly. A recent report by Market Watch showed that Millennials who live with their parents pay up to 73% more than those who live on their own. Millennials who owned a home were offered lower auto insurance rates than those who rented.
2. Are you a full-time student? – Some insurance companies offer reduced auto insurance rates for full-time students with good grades.
3. Consider taking a driver’s education course. – Many insurers offer discounts to Millennials who complete approved driver’s education courses.
4. Improve your credit score. – Like it or not, creditworthiness is a key factor used to access risk by all insurance companies. That means if you have bad credit or no credit, you’re going to pay more than those who have good credit. If your current credit rating is below 670, you’re going to have higher insurance rates than those whose score is higher.
5. Opt-in for Telematics to save money. – If you like technology, you’ll love telematics. Many insurance companies offer customers a free electronic module that can be plugged into a car’s dashboard. Once activated, the device will monitor and wirelessly report on driving habits including mileage, speed, acceleration, and braking. Participating insurers use the data to determine how safe a driver is. If they like what they see, participants are offered a discount. If not, the resulting data won’t cause your rates to increase, so there’s nothing to lose.6. Own a new car and save money. – Many insurance companies offer drivers with new cars a discount. That’s because a new car is in tip-top mechanical condition. People who drive new cars also tend to take better care of them which is another way to reduce the risk to any insurer.
7. Bundle your insurance policy to save money. – If you pay for other kinds of insurance coverage, considering bundling them with the same insurer to save money. That means if you’re already paying for life insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, ask your agent if bundling these with your auto policy will save you money across the board.
8. Auto-pay can save you even more. – One thing that all insurers hate are customers who pay late. They hate it so much that most will offer you a discount if you opt to auto-pay by credit card. Want to save even more? Pay your premium every 6-months instead of monthly.
9. Go paperless. – Here’s a no-brainer for all you Millennials. Opt-in for paperless reporting to save money. You’ll also save some trees since the insurance company won’t be forced to cut down any to invoice you. But they will email or text reminders to let you know when your next bill is due. What could be simpler?
10. Ask your agent about safe driving discounts. – Some insurers offer drivers who have had no tickets, accidents or claims for several years an additional discount. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you if this applies to you.
I know most Millennials hate to use their smartphones to make a call, but if you speak to your insurance agent, he or she can tell you about all the discounts available to people in your age bracket.
Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more ways to save on flood insurance, check out her website at http://aplusallfloridainsuranceinc.com/