insurance

How can a young guy save on car insurance?

Jack HungelmannDear Insurance Adviser,
I'm a young, single man about to start living on my own. I know that car insurance companies tend to hit young, single men with higher premiums than other groups of people. Is there anything I can do, or any sort of documentation I can show, that can get me a lower auto insurance premium?
-- Looking for a Break

Dear Looking,
Being a male of the species myself, I do remember -- not fondly -- the first time I had to pay for my car insurance at age 18. I couldn't believe how much the insurance company wanted! And I hadn't even done anything yet! It's a bummer for a young man just starting out, for sure. But there are some things you can do that can have a huge impact on your pricing, both now and in the future.

First, the good news:

  • Buy your auto insurance from the same insurance company as your parents to save 15 percent.
  • If you are a college student and are earning a 3.0 or better grade point average, you'll save up to 20 percent.
  • Take the bus or ride your bike instead of driving to work and save 15 percent.
  • Choose a safe, older vehicle to drive, one valued in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. That way, you only need liability coverage and don't need to insure the car for damage or theft. You'll save 35 percent!

Now the bad news:

  • Earn a couple of speeding tickets or cause an accident and expect to pay an extra 30 percent annually for three years!
  • Drink and drive and get a ticket for driving under the influence, and watch your rates double or triple for three years. And pay an extra 50 percent in the fourth and fifth year after the ticket.

As you can see, although you can't change your young-single-male status, you still can have huge impacts on your auto insurance rates both positively and negatively based on the choices you make as a driver.

One final tip: The biggest cost of all to you is an accident you cause in which there are serious injuries, and you don't have enough liability insurance to fully cover those injuries. Extra liability insurance is pretty inexpensive, even for your age bracket. Don't try to save any money on your car insurance by buying too little of this important coverage.

All the best!

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