To drive legally in every state, you need to have financial responsibility or proof of car insurance. Every state has a minimum level of insurance coverage for drivers. However, to be adequately protected, experts recommend that you purchase more than the minimum coverage.
There are many factors that insurance providers look at to determine the cost of your auto insurance. First, let’s look at who is considered to be a “new” driver. According to insurance companies, you are a new driver if you fall under one of the following categories:
- Teen drivers who recently got their license
- Immigrants and foreign nationals
- Older drivers, driving for the first time
- Drivers of all ages with a long-time gap in driving and insurance coverage
Do New Drivers Pay Higher Rates for Auto Insurance?
The short answer is yes, and here is why. One of the factors insurance companies look at is driving experience or driving history. Most new drivers don’t have that; therefore, the insurance companies consider them as high risk.
Foreign nationals might have experience driving in their respective countries, but the driving rules are not usually the same. For example, if they are from a country with left-hand driving, such as England, and have chosen to live in America, where right-hand driving is the norm. This means that it is their first-time right-hand driving, and the driving risk is higher. Your driving history in your current country is what matters, so you are considered a new driver if you do not have any.
What Information do You Need to Get Insurance for the First Time?
Insurance providers will need your personal information, and if someone else is listed on the policy, they will need their personal information.
- Driver’s license
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Education level
- Driving history
- Insurance history
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Date of purchase of the vehicle
- A licensed person who is legally registered to drive the vehicle
- Year, make, and model of your car
You should know that some cars have higher insurance rates than others. Having the year, make, and model of your vehicle will help you get a more accurate insurance policy.
How to Choose the Best insurance for You
Do Your Research
There are numerous auto insurance companies to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to pick one as a first-timer. Before rushing to make a choice, take your time to research various companies near you. You can do an online search of the best auto insurance companies in your area or ask your friends and family for recommendations. You can always get help from an insurance agent if the process is too complicated for you.
As you already know, car insurance for new drivers is more expensive. However, that does not mean that you can’t find one with affordable rates. It is advisable to compare quotes of at least three companies before you decide on one. Fortunately, you don’t have to visit every office. Most insurance companies can give you a quote online. In fact, many end up choosing Freeway Auto Insurance as they are known for exceptional insurance at affordable rates.
Consider Staying on a Family Auto Insurance Policy
Do you have the same permanent address as your parents? If so, it might be cheaper to stay on that insurance policy rather than getting a stand-alone policy. Lucky for you, even if you decide to get a stand-alone policy, there are affordable options.
Take Full Advantage of Discounts
As a new driver, there are several discounts that you may be able to take advantage of, such as:
- Student discount
- Safety equipment discount
- Student away from home discount
- Military or occupation discount
- Multipolicy discount if you have homeowners or renters’ insurance
- Young drivers discount if you take a defensive driving course
These discounts can significantly reduce your policy’s cost. It is wise to familiarize yourself with them to fully understand how they can help you get affordable insurance coverage.
Factors that Affect the Price of Your Insurance
- Personal characteristics – Including age, marital status, and sometimes your occupation
- Your car – Besides the make, year, and model of your car, insurers also consider the likelihood of it being stolen
- Where you live – Apart from the minimum coverage required by the state, insurers look at crime rates in your neighborhood and population density
- Type of coverage – The more coverage you have, the higher the cost of insurance. For example, you will pay more if you add liability and collision coverage
- Your credit score – Some insurers look at your credit-based insurance to know the probability of you filing for a claim. Note that credit-based insurance is not the same as your typical credit score. Also, if you have poor credit, you are likely to pay higher car insurance rates. In some states, like Hawaii and Massachusetts, using credit scores to determine policy rates is banned.
With these tips, you are now ready to start shopping around for the best and most affordable car insurance for you.