The cost of insurance is an expensive part of owning and driving a car. This is especially true for young male drivers under the age of 25 who pay the highest average rates among all drivers on the road. So when does car insurance go down for these young drivers? That depends on variety of circumstances which will be discussed in this article.
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Female drivers with a clean record will not see as big a decrease in their insurance as their male counterparts, because, in most cases, they are not considered high-risk drivers. But for both men and women, rate decreases after an accident, violation, or DUI/DWI conviction are another matter entirely.
When does car insurance go down if I have a clean record?
If you’re a young male driver, expect your insurance rates to remain high until the age of 25. Male drivers between 16 and 25 represent the highest risk of accidents to insurance companies, so their premiums are significantly higher. At age 25, male drivers enter an insurance pool made up of men who are up to 49 years old, and who represent a lower risk of accident. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 75 represent the lowest risk, so the typical male will see another rate drop at age 50.
Other factors can play a significant part in reducing the insurance rate of high-risk drivers. For instance, most people don’t know that married males are much less likely to have accidents or violations than their single counterparts. Getting married before age 25 will lower your car insurance cost in most cases, albeit not as significantly as turning 25. Taking a safe driver or defensive driving course can also be helpful in reducing the cost of your insurance.
When does car insurance go down after an accident?
When a driver makes an accident claim his insurance company will rate the accident based on several criteria including who is at fault, whether recklessness or negligence was involved, and whether a violation or crime such as DUI is involved. For a serious accident where recklessness or negligence is part of the equation, your rates will go up significantly. For minor at-fault accidents you may only see a slight surcharge rather than a rate hike. In all these scenarios, remember that each insurance carrier is different.
As to the question of when does car insurance come down after an accident, the average is three to five years. Accidents and violations are recorded consecutively, meaning they are “stacked” one on top of another as they occur, for the purposes of rating your risk as a driver. Most car insurance companies allow the ones at the bottom of the stack to expire and be dropped off your driving record after three years or more. There are some insurance carriers that will disregard the incident at the bottom of the stack at renewal time.
When does car insurance come down after a DUI/DWI?
In the case of a DUI/DWI conviction, your car insurance policy will probably be canceled if you are involved in accident. For you, it’s not a matter of “when does car insurance come down”, but rather an issue of having to purchase special high-risk insurance. This high-risk insurance is much more costly because you have proven to be an inherent risk behind the wheel. You will be forced into this high-risk pool as long as the DUI/DWI remains on your record which, in some states, can be as long as 10 years.
If you are convicted of DUI/DWI where no accident is involved, your insurance company may not decide to cancel your policy. But your rates will still go up. The typical rate increase lasts a minimum of three years and also puts the driver on a probation, of sorts. Future accidents or violations during a probationary period will almost always result in cancellation of a policy and the forcing of the driver into the high-risk pool. Some insurance companies will extend this period for up to five years.
Because car insurance rates are primarily dependent upon the amount of risk a driver presents, the best way to keep your car insurance premiums low is to avoid becoming part of a high-risk pool. Obviously, you can’t do anything about your age; it is what it is. But you can drive safely and legally at all times, keeping your insurance rates as low as possible. In a nutshell, you can help your car insurance go down by being the safest driver you can be.
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