The insurance industry is equipped with armies of actuaries and underwriters whose primary job is to crunch figures all day. However, your insurance agent is the master interpreter of these numbers and understands how your driving record fits into the big picture or doesn’t. Continue reading to learn the top four things your agent knows about renewing your auto insurance policy that you don’t.
Not All Tickets Are Created Equally
One of the most FAQs is regarding the effect of traffic violations on your automotive insurance premium. Simply put, not all traffic tickets are created equally. Your agent understands which tickets will not affect your rate, such as equipment, non-moving violations and parking tickets. At the same time, they know which tickets will cause your rate to go up and by how much. To determine changes when renewing your auto policy, agents use the company’s surcharge schedule, which explains the offenses related to the points and their value. Afterwards, your points are added up to determine whether your rates will increase and by how much.
While you may have forgotten when you were last ticketed, your agent knows. Each time you renew your auto insurance policy, your agent pulls and reviews your driving record. As a result, they can see the date of your last violation, when it will drop off your driving record and how long it can affect your premiums. A consistent FAQ is the length of time a driving infraction can continue to affect your premiums, which can be anywhere from three to seven years.
How to Lower Your Premiums?
One of the most FAQs around the insurance industry is how to lower your insurance premiums. While there are several available discounts, they are not commonly spelled out on a company’s website, but your agent can tell you what is offered. Some of the most common discounts are:
- If you bundle insurance products, such as home insurance, auto insurance and life insurance.
- If you take a driver improvement course to remove or reduce points
- If you renew your policy early or prepay the policy
- If your child goes off to college
- Going paperless
In addition, you should speak to your agent about the safety features on your vehicle that can possibly earn you a discount. You should also ask about the mileage threshold to receive a low-mileage vehicle discount. Many insurance companies offer discounts based on your local affiliations or where you work. Since there are a multitude of available discounts in the insurance industry, make sure you speak with your agent to see which discounts you qualify for.
Are You Insurable?
While you may consider your fourth accident in four years as nothing major, your agent understands the real deal. Your agent is fully informed of the company’s standards for not renewing a policy holder and can tell at a glance whether anything in your driving record will prevent you from being able to be renewed at the end of your policy. Several issues may cause an insurer to send you a non-renewal notice at the end of your policy, such as:
- A DUI
- Several claims or accidents within a time period
- Multiple traffic offenses
- License revocation or suspension
- Insurance fraud conviction or leaving the scene of an accident conviction