How Much Does Driving Experience Influence Auto Insurance Rates?

How Much Does Driving Experience Influence Auto Insurance Rates?

Insurance is all about risk. Two people can buy the same auto insurance policy from the same insurer and pay very different premiums if one of them appears to be a riskier driver than the other. One of the factors that insurance companies consider when quoting someone a price on an auto insurance policy is their driving experience. Generally speaking, younger drivers with fewer years behind the wheel will pay more for auto insurance than older drivers who have long records of safe driving. However, a lack of experience is only one of the reasons that a younger driver will pay more for their auto insurance premium than a more experienced driver, all things being equal. Younger drivers tend to show increased rates of impaired driving and other dangerous driving habits – particularly young men. There are twice as many collision-related deaths among 16 to 17-year-old drivers than there are between 18 and 19-year-old drivers, and 3 times as many collision-related deaths of drivers between 18 and 19 than there are for drivers who are 20. It’s a sad statistic and, unfortunately, the jury is out as to whether or not the major factor in these collisions is a lack of driving experience or if it’s age-related. An experienced driver’s lower insurance premium will only be enjoyed temporarily. As people age, their risk of getting into a traffic collision increases, and people will have to pay larger premiums for their auto insurance once again. No matter how old you are, or how much driving experience you have, the best way to keep your premiums down is to drive safely...
Do I Alert my Homeowners Insurance Company if My Dog Bites Someone?

Do I Alert my Homeowners Insurance Company if My Dog Bites Someone?

Dog bites are extremely common. According to the CDC, about 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the US, and most of the time the dogs bite little kids. Aside from bites, dogs can inadvertently injure someone by knocking them down – especially if they’re riding by unawares on a bicycle. Dog-related injuries, whether bites or otherwise, account for hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance payments every year. As a matter of fact, in 2016, that number was around $600 million. That being said, making sure your homeowners insurance protects you when you’re liable for dog-related injuries is a must. The big question though, is not whether you should make sure you’re covered, but when you should choose to tap into that coverage. When it comes to minor incidents, it might be easier and cheaper to leave your insurance company out of the loop and just pay out-of-pocket for any medical care needed for someone who was injured by your dog. A trip to the urgent care, if necessary, will cost far less than an increase in your homeowners insurance premiums. However, you need to be careful that not reporting a dog bite to your insurance company doesn’t violate the policy. If your dog bites someone, and then does so again later and your insurance company finds out, you may be denied insurance coverage for not reporting the first incident. Ultimately, if you’re ever unsure as to whether or not you should file a claim, your independent insurance agent can always help you out. Knowing the ins-and-outs of your homeowners insurance policy, as well as filing claims,...
Talking or texting while driving could soon become a moving violation

Talking or texting while driving could soon become a moving violation

If you’ve lived in California for any length of time, you’re well aware that driving while talking on your phone or texting is against the law. The talking part wouldn’t apply if you are using a hands-free device or your car’s hands-free option. But short of that, you will be facing a fine if caught. The fine for a first offense is $20 and subsequent fines are $50. But once assessments are added in, the total for a first offense is actually about $150 and a second offense can cost you more than $250. And if state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, gets his way, you’ll be dealing with more than that. The California state Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1030 last month. Authored  by Newman, the measure would make distracted driving a moving violation, not just an infraction. Under current California law, a conviction for abusing the law does appear on your driving record, but it doesn’t add a point. If SB 1030 gets signed into law the fines would stay the same but the violator would also get a point on his or her driving record. And that can cause your insurance rates to go up. “Current penalties in California don’t go far enough to deter dangerous distracted driving behavior,” Newman says on his website. “Every year thousands of people statewide are seriously injured or killed in collisions caused by distracted driving. These collisions are 100 percent preventable. SB 1030 adds an additional deterrent to this dangerous behavior to prevent more senseless injuries and deaths.” According to AAA, texting while driving increases the odds of a crash by 2 to...