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When you’re looking to buy insurance, you’ll probably want the lowest price for the coverage you want. But insurance premiums aren’t always straightforward. There are several factors that can affect your insurance premium. Here are a few of those factors and ways to lessen their impact on your monthly payment.

Your age and gender

Obviously, you can’t do anything about this to lower your premium, but it’s important to note the discrepancies between ages and between genders. Typically, younger drivers are more likely to be in an accident because they have less driving experience. Rates are higher for young drivers, as well as senior drivers, who have slower reflexes than their younger selves.

Female drivers also pay less on insurance. Generally, male drivers (especially younger drivers) tend to engage in riskier behavior such as speeding or driving while intoxicated. The disparity evens out typically around age 30, but men tend to pay more again later in their lives. Some states have bans on premium disparities for both these variables, but there are very few who do.

Your driving record

Good drivers are typically rewarded with lower premiums. Some insurances take this to the next level by offering discounts for a clean driving record. Again, this isn’t something you necessarily have control of, but you can use it to your advantage if you do have a good driving record.

Accident forgiveness
A wrecked red car with a missing window and dislodged bumper.
Some insurances offer accident forgiveness.

Some insurances allow you to keep your premium after your first at-fault accident. The details can vary significantly between insurances. Some provide accident forgiveness for a monthly fee, some only offer it for customers who meet certain requirements.

Defensive driving courses

If you’re looking to lower your premiums, you might enroll in an adult defensive driving class. Classes are typically under $100. Not only will your premium be lower, but you’ll have sharpened defensive driving skills, and therefore you will be less likely to get into an accident.

Your deductible

Sometimes, with a bigger deductible, you get a lower premium. It’s a trade-off – so you’d pay more when you actually need to have auto body repair, but if you’re a safe driver, this may be an advantage.

Your driving record

If you have a good driving record, you’ll likely have a lower premium. Driving safer had multiple perks – not the least of which is your safety. But even smaller incidents like fender benders and dents, which may not say anything about your actual driving ability, could have a hand in your rising premium.

Your claims record and credit

Insurance companies have an interest in what claims you’ve previously made, and if you have low credit. Those with low credit tend to have filed more claims, more inflated claims, or have even committed insurance fraud. And the more claims you’ve made, the more of a risk you are to your insurer.

Type of vehicle

Some vehicles are more of a liability than others. If you drive a nice sports car, you’re more likely to be in an accident, statistically. Nicer cars tend to have higher insurance premiums, and cars with better safety ratings sometimes get lower premiums.

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