5 Ways to Send Your Car Insurance Payments Sky-High

The more I drive, the more I’m aware of one thing: The roads are jammed with drivers who couldn’t seem to care less about the high cost of operating a motor vehicle. Racing to red lights, making like jackrabbits from stop signs, maniacally risking rollovers and head-on collisions, they appear intent on driving themselves to the poorhouse, with a stop in a hospital ICU along the way.

These drivers seem intent on sending their their car insurance payments through the roof. I’ve rounded up a quintet of ways to guarantee your car insurance rates drain your bank account.

Get a ticket for reckless driving: If you’re a motorist whose brand of devil-may-care driving would be viewed as outrageous even at a demolition derby, you’re one of the best bets for sky-high insurance premiums. The Uh-Oh! Calculator on Insurance.com lets users compute car insurance premium hikes resulting from 14 typical violations. Reckless driving results in an average rate hike of 22 percent, higher than a first-offense DUI, speeding 30 mph over the speed limit or any other offense. Reckless driving, you say? It’s more like reckless abandonment of your cash.

Cause an accident: Maybe you are one of the rash drivers above. Sooner or later your mindless motoring is going to catch up with you, and you’ll cause a crash. When you do, how do you think your auto insurance company will react?

Your insurer will probably raise your rates at your next renewal – with the percentage determined by your insurer. If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, I’d suggest slowing down and driving more carefully.

Owning a Mercedes-Benz CL 600 Coupe: Owning this 12-cylinder bad boy is a sensational way to send your ego, social cachet and insurance rates into the stratosphere.

You had better have plenty of disposable income even after you lay out $160,000 at the Mercedes dealership. That’s because even with a good driving record, you can’t hide from high rates in this car. The CL 600 has the dubious distinction of being the single most costly vehicle to insure among 2013 models, according to Insure.com’s. See the rankings.

Move to Louisiana: The Pelican State has plenty going for it, from Mardi Gras pageantry to jazz, Zydeco and tantalizing Cajun-inspired cuisine, to name just a few. But weighing heavily against the state are the highest premiums in the nation, according to Insure.com’s annual state-by-state comparison of car insurance rates. You won’t make out much better by moving to Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma or Washington, D.C., all of which are plagued by high average rates.

Add a teen driver: The day they get their driver’s licenses is the happiest day of many teenagers’ young lives. If their parents seem less euphoric, it’s no surprise. And that’s not just because drivers under 25 are four times more likely to die in a crash.

It’s also because adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy can result in insurance premiums escalating by 50 to 100 percent, according to Loretta Worters, spokesperson with the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group.

If you want to squeeze out the best rates possible after adding a teen driver, there are many possible strategies. They include shopping around for good student discounts, putting your teen on your own policy (if you have a good claims record), accepting a higher deductible, getting your teen a conservative sedan rather than a sports car, keeping the car in your name and seeking a rate reduction once he goes away to college.

And if you’re a Louisianan who owns a Mercedes CL 600 Coupe, has a teen driver and has just been cited for reckless driving after causing a crash?

They say bicycling is getting more popular all the time.

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014
About Jeffrey Steele

Jeffrey Steele is a Chicago-based writer who over a career spanning 23 years has written more than 3,000 articles, appearing in such publications as Barron's, the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News.

Comments

  1. Great article, makes me want to run out and get in an accident right now! On the serious side, if you read this correctly these are great tips to keep your payments lower.

  2. ginny Silhanek says:

    That other thing to remember in some states is to keep your insurance on a car even though you don’t have it (ie. flash-flood and totalled) if you intend to buy a car within a few months. I learned this the hard way since my insurance agent didn’t warn me of this. The remedy was notifying the insurance company that I wasn’t instructed appropriately. I asked to be reinstated in order to transfer the title to my next car without a huge penalty.

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