Owning a vehicle can be quite expensive. In the year 2017, the average cost of owning a vehicle was about $8,400, according to NerdWallet, Inc. This means that each month, car owners have to fork out $700 for transportation. While much of this cost goes toward an auto loan, other expenses include fuel, maintenance and repairs, and registration fees.
Another monthly expense of owning a vehicle goes toward auto insurance. Unfortunately, for drivers in Denver, insurance is much more expensive than across the rest of the state. While the average auto insurance premium in Colorado is about $857 a year, the cost goes up to $1,263 for men and $1,355 for women in the city of Denver.
The good news is that even if you're a car owner in the Mile High City, you can easily reduce the amount you pay for your auto insurance premium. Learn three ways to do just that.
1. Be a Good Driver
Being a good driver can help you pay less for your auto insurance premium. This is due to the fact that the rate you pay often coincides with your driving record. Being a good driver means always driving defensively, which gives you the best chance possible of avoiding accidents.
If you do get into an accident and the claim is over $2,000, you can expect your premium to increase by 41%, according to insuranceQuotes.com. If you happen to make two accident claims in one year, your premium could increase by 93%.
Along with driving defensively, the following are some other ways to be a good driver:
- Follow all the traffic laws.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Never go over the speed limit.
- Never text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
By keeping your record clear of at-fault accidents, you will pay less for auto insurance.
If your driving record is affecting your premium, you can try to clear it by contesting tickets you don't think you should have gotten, taking a state-approved driver safety course, and not getting any violations in a specified amount of time so that points can be removed from your driving record.
2. Improve Your Credit Score
Did you know that your FICO credit score affects how much you pay for auto insurance? According to Consumer Reports, auto insurance companies look at your credit history in order to determine whether or not you'll be likely to file a claim.
If your credit score isn't up to the standards of the car insurance company, they may decide to charge you more for your premium. Drivers who have a good FICO credit score, instead of one that is very good or excellent, can expect to pay anywhere from $68 to $526 more each year.
In Colorado, car owners with a clean driving record can expect to pay $1,121 with excellent credit and over $2,773 with poor credit. Because your credit score plays such an important role in determining how much you'll pay for car insurance, it's a good idea to wait until your credit is excellent before getting a new quote on car insurance.
If you want to improve your FICO credit score and pay less for car insurance, make sure to pay off your credit card balances and pay all your bills on time. One more way to improve your credit score is to thoroughly examine your credit report and remove any errors that you find.
3. Discuss Safety Features
If your car has certain safety features, you should discuss them with your car insurance agent so that your premium will be reduced. While newer innovations, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning systems, might not currently save you money, the following safety features will:
- Anti-lock brakes: This anti-skid braking system prevents the wheels from locking up while braking and could save you up to 10% on your premium.
- Airbags: This restraint system inflates extremely rapidly during a collision, helping to cushion the blow. Airbags are located in the front and/or sides of the vehicle, and the more your car has, the more you save.
- Daytime running lights: These lights automatically go on when the vehicle is started and can help to increase the visibility of your vehicle. They can also help you save about 1% on your premium.
- Other money-saving safety features include an electronic stability control system, automatic seat belts, a blind spot detection system, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. For older vehicles that don't have any safety features, you can still decrease your premium by adding an anti-theft system or car alarm.
By being a good driver, having an excellent credit score, and telling your insurance agent about the safety features on your vehicle, you can easily reduce your auto insurance premium. If you need a quote for affordable auto insurance, contact L.A. Insurance today.