There are more factors to consider than the renewal date
Maintaining up to date auto insurance is a must for many reasons. It protects your vehicle, provides for your medical needs in the event of an accident or lost wages, and works in those capacities if you cause damage to others. The risk of damage, loss, removal of your driving privileges, and higher premiums can all be reduced or prevented with diligent attention to your policy.
Florida was once a no-fault auto insurance state. This is no longer the case. The Florida House voted early this year to repeal the state’s no-fault status which has led to significant changes in auto insurance requirements. This kind of shift in the insurance landscape is one of many good reasons to keep your premiums updated.
Updating your auto insurance can mean a complete overhaul of your policy or a subtle tune-up of individual factors. Just like a car, auto insurance has many moving parts. Each can be individually assessed considering your current circumstances and location.
Update by necessity, update by choice
The number-one reason to update your auto insurance is because it’s approaching expiration.
A golden rule of insurance is “it pays to shop around.” You should review your auto insurance every six months; certainly every year, at the least. This will keep you informed on who’s offering the best rates to suit you. Additionally, if your provider knows you’re an active insurance shopper, they’re going to want to keep you happy and not lose you (a loyalty discount may even be available).
Review your auto insurance when your life changes
Other factors can influence your insurance updates. For example, a change of address. An important consideration is if your current provider will cover you in your new area, whether you’re staying in-state or moving further away.
An update based on address change could see you benefit from low-mileage insurance. If your move leads to driving below the average number of miles every year (a variable number based on Federal Highway Administration figures), you could change this factor on your auto insurance to save some money on premiums.
For example, moving to a new house may take you closer to a new workplace or everyday shopping locations. It may result in you becoming part of a carpool and leaving your vehicle at home. Fewer miles can mean less costly insurance, but you may well be required by your provider to verify your adjusted yearly mileage.
Check with your provider to see if this reduction exists, and what their own take on a driving limit may be. If you’re wondering how to calculate your mileage, an app like this one can help gather verifiable numbers. Don’t forget to give your insurer your new address.
How other moving factors may affect your auto insurance
Moving may mean you’re now co-habiting (or living alone). The former may see you able to combine auto policies with a partner, while the latter might mean the reverse. It also pays to be aware if you’re now living in an area with lower/higher crime rates or one that is more/less prone to natural disasters.
How age can mean an update
Being particularly young at the wheel can make auto insurance expensive, as can being over a certain age into our 60’s. If you’re a younger driver, it’s still possible you could update your policy and save some money. Some providers offer student driving discounts that, if you qualify, can positively affect your insurance rates.
For drivers in their 20’s and beyond, age can be a good thing if you’re ticking off the years with little to no incidents on your driving record. For every year that goes by without an accident or other driving problem, see if you can update your premiums with your insurer. You’re showing them that you’re consistently responsible on the road, so your premiums should reflect this.
As we go through life, it’s common to change our car. Perhaps your new model will be more insurer-friendly than your old one (such as the large family vehicles). Such cars have good insurer profiles because they’re generally driven by parents or other conscientious adults with responsibilities. These vehicles are also typically more robust in construction and can better cope with accidents.
Your current vehicle also gets older every year, so make sure you’re not paying as much for insurance as when it was new. Whenever you switch vehicles, check in with your provider to see if you can update your premiums accordingly.
Credit scores can affect your auto insurance quote
This isn’t a factor generally known among drivers, but insurance companies can take your credit history into account when setting your premiums. It’s a highly variable quantity in your insurance, but it can be a costly one. Floridians may be looking at as much as an extra $158 per month.
Like any upswing in your credit profile, an update could be due for your auto insurance if your credit history has improved. Check with your insurance provider to see just how much the past can affect your policy’s future.
Be proactive in reporting changes
The key factor in successfully updating your auto insurance is to mention any life changes to your provider. The responsibility rests primarily on the policyholder to keep their insurer in the loop. Providing current life, domestic, employment, and even school information will help your provider adjust your premiums accordingly.
Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated agency providing an array of insurance services to meet the individual needs of our customers. If you need information, call us at 305-648-7070 or contact us with any questions or comments.