New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Driving Record and Save Money on Car Insurance

New Year's Resolutions to Improve Your Driving and Save Money on Insurance
If you’ve been a little reckless behind the wheel over the past few years, you might be feeling the impact of your bad behaviour on your car insurance bill. You’ll never get around paying for insurance, but you can make it more manageable with a few changes to your driving habits. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:

1. Contest tickets. Getting a ticket isn’t what increases your premium – being found guilty of an offense is when it officially goes on your record and has the potential to raise your insurance costs. You are officially found guilty in one of three ways: when you pay your ticket; when you’ve contested your ticket in court and lost; or when you fail to pay your ticket in a certain timeframe. If you feel like you have a legitimate case to contest your ticket, though, doing so and winning will keep it off your record. In Ontario, for example, you’ll find instructions on the back of your ticket on how you can contest it, if that’ what you decide.
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2. Pay up. If you’re not contesting a ticket, or, if you’ve been found guilty after attempting to get the charge dismissed, make sure you pay your ticket in a timely manner. In some cases, ignoring a ticket could result in a license suspension, which would impact your insurance premium.

3. Keep your insurance company in the loop. Be proactive and make sure to update your insurance company as your record changes, so that you can take advantage of a lower premium when it’s time to renew. You’ll also want to loop them in when you make other life changes, such as moving, getting married or having a teen driver in the house. Depending on what change you’re making, you could be eligible for a discount. On the other hand, if you’re afraid you’re premium will be raised by your life change, you’ll still want to advise your company, rather than risk voiding your policy by withholding important information.

4. Adopt good habits. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but there’s no time like the present to start adopting better driving habits. From now on, resolve to buckle up, drive the limit, come to a complete stop at stop signs and lights, ignore your phone and other distractions while behind the wheel, and only pass other cars when it is safe and legal. Be extra mindful of speed and safely when driving in school zones and behind school buses, and always have your up-to-date insurance information in your glove compartment.

5. Prove it. So, you’ve made a real effort to change your habits, but other than waiting for your record to get clean, how can you prove to your insurance company that you’re a changed driver? Some insurance companies offer what’s called Usage Based Insurance (UBI), in which they use a device to track your driving habits (such as speed, acceleration and braking). In many cases, you’ll be offered a discount upfront just for participating in the program, and if you’re data shows that you’ve been a safe driver, you could be eligible for a discount when it’s time for renewal. UBI has the added benefit of making people better drivers, since they know that their habits are being recorded and there is a discount on the line.

6. Find other ways to save. If you’re waiting for tickets to be removed from your record, you can still find other ways to save money. The first is to shop around for car insurance. You might assume that with your record, you’ll have a hard time securing new insurance, but it’s worth comparing prices from other companies since different providers will offer different quotes for the same driver. In addition, you could talk to your current provider about changing up your payment plan so that you can pay your entire year’s payment in a lump sum for a discounted price, or about raising your deductible for a lower premium.

Why not make 2018 the year that you pay less for car insurance and set a few New Year’s resolutions to help improve your driving record and save some money. On top of having some extra cash in your wallet, you’ll also be safer on the road – and that’s an invaluable reward.


How to Buy the Right Home Insurance Policy

Home Insurance Policy
Buying a home is an expensive investment, but the feeling you’ll enjoy when you are safe in your new home is priceless. When it comes to picking out the right home insurance policy for your new purchase, don’t let the policy details dull your moment to shine. With just a few simple tips and tricks, buying the right home insurance policy can be as easy and exciting as walking across your new welcome mat for the first time.

Go Company Shopping

There is no one size fits all when it comes to home insurance. In order to get the policy perfect for you and your family’s needs, you have to do a little research. If the thought of hours upon hours of internet surfing scares you, fear not! Most insurance sites can give you policy quotes in minutes and a quick phone call to the company can have you a quote just as fast.

When looking at the policy, make sure to take note of all the details. The best way to keep up with all this new information is to make a chart you can easily turn to for a thorough and quick comparison. Try making an excel chart that lists the company name, deductibles, whether the policy uses replacement cost or cash value, discounts, and the cost for each kind of protection you are looking for.

Look At Your Location

Speaking of protection, your location is going to play a big part in determining your policy checklist. Even with as much research as you do picking a company, the companies do that much more, looking at the size, history, construction, and condition of your home, as well as surrounding landmarks, such as high-ranking fire stations.

The geography of your home’s location is a significant factor as well. Insurance companies will go through every possible risk with a fine-toothed comb and consider every possible scenario. Homes closer to the ocean will likely need higher hurricane and flood insurance, ones in California will need higher earthquake and fire insurance, and homes farther north will likely have the weight of ice or snow and sudden freezing listed as perils on insurance policies.
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Don’t Ditch The Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good discount these days? Now, you probably won’t be able to find them in the Sunday coupon section of the newspaper, but they are definitely out there. Many home insurance companies are happy to give out discounts if it means they get a new customer.

When making your phone calls and finding out about insurance quotes, make sure to take a few minutes to find out what money-saving opportunities they have available. Some companies will list these insurance discounts online, but sometimes you have to ask someone about them. Depending on where you live and the company you ultimately choose to commit to, you can receive discounts for bundling your auto and home insurance, installing certain kinds of locks and/or security systems, making home improvements, living in a gated community, and even not having any smokers in the home.

Get Only The Coverage You Need

Remember that information chart mentioned earlier? You can also use that to keep a running checklist of the policy items you are specifically looking for in home insurance. While it is crucial to have adequate insurance and cover all your bases, do not let insurance companies bully you into buying more than you need. After all, nobody knows what you need better than you (as long as you do your research, of course).

Before purchasing a policy, take a home inventory so you know the value of your possessions to prevent overpaying for insuring your belongings. You should also make sure to report any and all home improvements and consider increasing your deductible so that your annual premium is cheaper. Also, consider other types of coverage, such as dwelling, other structures, personal property, and liability.

Personality Matters

Having the cheapest premiums and highest discounts is not always the way to go. Look into reviews of the company to see how others’ experiences have measured up. Websites such as offer reputable reviews and recommendations. Once you have your companies narrowed down, schedule a time to meet with some representatives in person. At the end of the day, you want to put the future of your home in the hands of a company you can trust.

Get Started

Buying a home can be a complicated process, but it definitely does not need to be stressful. An investment of this size creates an even bigger and more invaluable reward. With these tips and a set plan, the reward for this process will leave you snug as a bug in your brand new home, safe, sound, and secure.

Author Bio

Gary Anderson is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience writing for many different industries, including insurance, he is an accomplished and published writer and editor. In his free time, he enjoys gardening.