When it comes to car insurance, a big expense for many of us, ageism is a common issue.
Today’s millennials are still seen as ‘young’ in the eyes of insurance providers and, as everyone knows, young drivers often have to pay more.
Of course, if you’re smart, there are a few ways around this. Don’t be afraid to challenge your provider on a few points and improve your individual case.
Another way to showcase your driving capabilities is to take additional courses. After all, if points on your license (for bad driving) can increase your premiums, why can’t efforts to showcase better driving be rewarded?
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Speak to your provider about any courses, such as advanced driving, that can result in a lower premium. You should also ask how long this discount lasts for, to ensure the cost of the course is worth the savings. Some providers might expect you to renew courses every so often.
The biggest problem with insurance policies is that companies use your profile as statistical data. As long as you’re within a certain age range, companies look at what a person of that age is most likely to do, regardless of your individual driving skills. The only way to work around this is to provide them direct data about your own capabilities.
Telematic insurance policies do just this, using a smart box to record how you drive. This can prove that you only drive so often, or you always keep within speed limits. Drive well and you’ll receive a better policy. If your current provider isn’t offering this, there are plenty of others that do.
Limit Your Vehicle
Similarly, your vehicle will also be treated based on its high-speed ability. You might never go above the speed limit but, if your vehicle can go in excess of 100 mph, you have the physical means to do so.
The simple solution? Ask your provider if they acknowledge speed limiters. These devices cap your car’s speed so, even if you wanted to, you could not break past a certain range. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes these devices encourage safety, so many insurers will take note.
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Record Your Maintenance
While they might not say it out loud, car insurers expect you to keep your car in good condition. If they can argue that a certain feature was not well maintained, they can use this to raise issues of liability.
The workaround for this is to keep all of your records. Every time your car passes a test in the garage, keep the records. Also keep track of everything you do, whether it’s topping up the oil, adjusting the tire pressure or replacing the battery. You can use all of this to show how well maintained (and safe) your vehicle is. When it’s time to renew, this can be a strong negotiation tool – and you should always negotiate, rather than accepting the first offer at face value.
Similarly, you should never make any drastic changes to your car without talking to your provider first. Even something as simple as changing tire size may invalidate your policy, so never make these changes without enquiring. This way, your provider can’t claim they were not aware as an excuse to get out of paying after an incident.
Is It Better To Replace Your Vehicle?
Ultimately, you may sometimes find that your policy just isn’t justified by the costs. For example, paying a first party policy for an older car can often be a hindrance more than it is a benefit.
Let’s assume, for instance, that your car costs around $700 to repair but you can also find a (slightly) newer car for around the same price. Well, either option is good, so what about your insurance? If you have high excess, you’re offering to pay a lot of money for a vehicle that might as well be replaced. A replaced car is arguably more reliable and may even come with a cheaper cover – do some quick math and figure out how much a newer vehicle would cost you in the long run.
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Don’t be afraid to make the change when the time is right, or switch to a lower, cheaper insurance policy on your existing car. Knowing when to repair or replace your vehicle is a worthwhile skill to master, as insurance companies will more than happily take your money, regardless.
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