Choosing Excellent Insurance Coverage

3 Things To Do Before You Apply For Auto Insurance To Help You Get Lower Rates

Auto insurance coverage rates are based on many factors, some of which drivers have no control over. Other factors, however, drivers do have control over -- and they can take steps before applying for coverage to adjust these factors in their favor. If you're going to be searching for new auto insurance coverage, here are some things you can do the month before you apply for coverage to help reduce your rates.

Check with Your Homeowners Insurance for Discounts

Many insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts, and lots of drivers take advantage of these discounts by getting their auto and homeowners insurance from the same insurer. These discounts can be substantial, so you won't want to miss out on a potential multi-policy discount.

To find out whether you'll be able to take advantage of a multi-policy discount by getting auto and homeowners insurance from the same company, ask your insurance agent to check your homeowners policy. They'll be able to tell you whether your insurer offers a multi-policy discount and how much it is if they do. You'll want to know this before requesting auto insurance quotes, as it may affect how much policies will cost you.

Pay Down Outstanding Debt

In 47 states, insurance companies are allowed to consider drivers' credit scores when calculating auto insurance rates. Drivers with lower scores are often assessed higher rates, because they're viewed as bigger risks. (California, Massachusetts and Hawaii are the three states that prohibit this practice.)

Paying down debt can help improve your credit score and, thus, reduce your auto insurance coverage premiums. Just be sure to pay down outstanding debt at least a month before applying to get auto insurance, as it can take a month for lenders to give the credit reporting bureaus updates on how much you owe.

Contest Any Traffic Tickets

If you've been issued any traffic tickets, you'll want to contest them before applying for auto insurance. Tickets are part of your driving history, and they can raise rates a lot. According to Forbes, just one ticket can increase your auto insurance rates by up to 22 percent.

Having a ticket reduced or dismissed will help keep your future auto insurance premiums from going up so much. It takes time to contest a ticket, however, which is why you'll want to begin fighting any traffic tickets you have at least a month before applying for auto insurance coverage.