How Lifestyle Changes Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates

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There's a lot that can happen during a lifetime, and many of the milestones in your life can have an effect on your auto insurance rates, for better or worse. The following takes a look at some of these events and how they can either increase or decrease how much you pay for auto insurance coverage.

You're in College

It's no big secret that young drivers who have their own auto insurance coverage find themselves paying some of the highest rates of any insured group. After all, young drivers often represent a statistically-high accident risk, especially since 16-19 year-olds are at a 3 times greater risk of a crash per mile driven than 65-69 year old drivers.

Fortunately, maturity isn't the only thing that comes with age. As you get older, the amount of risk you represent to your auto insurance provider also drops significantly. As long as you keep your driving record clean, there's a good chance you'll see a steady drop in your overall premiums.

In addition, you may also qualify for high school or college student discounts simply for maintaining good grades while maintaining your auto insurance policy. However, most auto insurance providers require you to maintain a B average or better to remain eligible. You also won't be able to keep this discount once you've graduated.

You Get Into Your First Accident

Some people can go their entire lives without being involved in an auto accident, but others usually aren't so lucky. Being involved in your first accident can be frightening and frustrating in many ways, not to mention that your insurance premiums could potentially increase.

If you've maintained a solid driving record prior to getting into an accident, you may be able to benefit from your insurance provider's accident forgiveness program. With accident forgiveness, you won't be penalized for your first at-fault accident with rate increases, plus you'll be able to keep any discounts you've earned for maintaining a good driving record.

You Get Married

Tying the knot can also mean getting a break on your auto insurance. Recent studies have shown that married drivers are at less risk of being involved in an accident than their single counterparts. Since insurance companies like the sound of low risk, it's no wonder that married drivers wind up paying less for their insurance.

You Get Older

Wisdom isn't the only thing that comes with age. In many cases, you'll also see your auto insurance costs steadily decrease as you get older. According to experts, auto insurance premiums tend to drop steadily after age 25 and eventually bottom out at age 60. The reason? Older drivers usually drive fewer miles than their younger counterparts as they age and, as a result, tend to be safer drivers on a per-mile-driven basis. These factors translate into less risk for the insurance companies and lower insurance costs for older drivers.

Past age 60, however, older drivers may see their premiums increase once again. At this point, many elderly drivers are faced with poor vision, slower reflexes and even deterioration in cognitive abilities. These issues, along with physical fragility, can add up to higher crash involvement rates, resulting in higher premiums over the long run.