A poor driving record is one of the best ways to cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. While insurance companies have good reasons for charging more to cover drivers with sketchy records, it can still feel unfair. While higher premiums are somewhat unavoidable if you have severe black marks on your record, you can still attempt to minimize your costs.
Most of the usual advice for finding cheap car insurance applies regardless of your driving history, but you can take some extra steps to reduce your premiums. Keep these three tips in mind if you're finding yourself buried under unaffordable premiums.
1. Sell Your Car
Selling your car might be an extreme position to take for a speeding ticket, but the situation can be different for severe infractions such as reckless driving or DUIs. These issues can result in significant increases in your premiums, and an expensive vehicle might compound the cost. You might find your rates exceptionally high for optional coverage such as collision or comprehensive.
If your current premiums are truly unaffordable, then selling your car and buying something cheaper may be a worthwhile option. Used vehicles are typically more affordable to insure than new cars, and buying a car in cash frees you from lender requirements to carry optional coverage. Downgrading while you wait for black marks to fall off your record is often a good option for these reasons.
2. Enroll in Monitoring Programs
Many insurers offer apps that monitor your driving habits in exchange for rate reductions. You may be eligible for these programs even if you have a poor driving record. In addition to immediately improving your rates, focusing on driving cautiously and legally can help you avoid future road incidents. As a result, you may find your rates decreasing over time simply by becoming a better driver.
Before enrolling in any monitoring program, always discuss the full terms and discounts with your insurer. Make sure the program will work for your driving habits and offer a discount significant enough to be worthwhile.
3. Switch Insurers
Shopping around every few years is always a good idea to get the lowest rates possible, but you should take special care if you have significant black marks on your driving history. In this case, it's a good idea to spend time researching companies that focus on high-risk drivers. These insurers may offer better rates or special programs to help you deal with your unique situation.
Everyone makes mistakes, so you shouldn't let your past driving record force you to deal with unaffordable insurance premiums. These steps can help you to save money as you embark on your journey to become a safer driver.