Top Ways To Save Money On Car Insurance
According to The Zebra, an independent insurance comparison website, car insurance rates continue to rise steadily across the country, with the average rate up 28 percent over the past ten years. The site’s 2022 State of Auto Insurance report sifted through auto insurance pricing data to determine that the current national average rate for an “average” driver, a 30-year-old single male driver with a 2017 Honda Accord EX, is $1,529 a year.
The average rate in Colorado is slightly higher, at $1,687 a year. That actually represents an overall decrease from the year before. Colorado is one of 13 states that saw a slight decline in auto insurance rates in 2021, the site reports, while 37 states and the District of Columbia saw increases. Louisiana had the largest price jump – up 42 percent – making it the most expensive state in the nation for car insurance.
To keep ahead of surging costs in Colorado, it’s important to shop around and understand how insurance companies come up with the rates they charge, which can vary widely from one person to the next and between vehicles, too. Insurance companies determine your rate based on a variety of factors, including what kind of car you drive, your driving record, and who you are — your age, marital status, even your credit score.
It’s tempting to respond to rate increases by reducing your coverage to the minimum required by law. But as we’ve pointed out in other posts, that’s a bad idea, for several reasons. A lack of uninsured motorist coverage, for example, can cost you dearly if you happen to be hit by a driver who carries no insurance. Rather than risk being underinsured, here are some of the suggestions the report offers for cutting down on your insurance costs:
1. Increase your credit score by one-tier. Pay down your revolving accounts, reduce your reliance on credit cards, and take other steps to boost your credit rating, and you can save as much as 17% on your auto rate.
2. Make your next car purchase a used car. Insuring a 5-year-old model costs about 27% less a year than going with a brand-new one.
3. Pay in advance. Many companies offer discounts of as much as 10% to customers who pay in full and online.
4. Use a telematics device. Check and see if your insurance company offers a reduction in price if you have an onboard device that monitors your driving habits. A safety-minded driver can save around 4% this way.
5. Bundle it. Combining your auto policy with homeowner or renter’s insurance can save you 5-10% in overall costs.
6. Keep your coverage up to date. Insurance companies often charge their highest rates to people who have been inconsistent about maintaining coverage. Having continuous coverage for six months or more can save you another 5%.
Important Steps You Must Take After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated is foolish, illegal — and deadly. Yet despite decades of public awareness campaigns and tougher laws, drunk driving remains the single largest cause of preventable deaths on America’s streets and highways, accounting for nearly a third of all fatal crashes. According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average 28 people a day died in drunk-driving automotive incidents in 2019, or one every 52 minutes.
Startling as those figures are, they actually represent a significant drop in the percentage of alcohol-related traffic deaths since the NHTSA started collecting data on the issue in 1982. Drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking excessively know they face harsher criminal and civil penalties than they did a generation ago, and other drivers are doing more to hold them accountable, including reporting suspected drunk drivers before they cause serious injury.
If you do happen to get hit by a drunk driver in Colorado, there are important steps you should take to protect your rights and help protect others from being injured by the same individual. Here they are:
1. Call the police. As in any car accident, your first priority is to check for injuries and summon emergency personnel if anyone is hurt. But even if the collision seems minor, it’s always a good idea to contact police and file an accident report. This is particularly important if you suspect the other driver has been drinking or drugging; the police can conduct sobriety tests and document the other driver’s condition. Don’t fall for earnest pleas from the other driver not to contact police and simply “settle this ourselves,” as that could be a ruse to evade detection and arrest.
2. Take pictures. Snapping a pic may be the last thing on your mind after an automobile crash, but it can prove tremendously useful down the line, documenting the damage inflicted on your car (or you) and resolving disputes about the circumstances of the collision.
3. Get the names and contact information of witnesses. It’s always helpful if there are other people who saw the traffic collision and are willing to provide a statement. It can be especially helpful in suspected drunk-driving crashes, as these individuals may have been in a position to observe the other driver’s behavior before or after the crash and provide valuable eyewitness evidence.
4. Document your damages. Keep track of your medical bills, car repair bills, time lost from work, and other costs associated with the traffic collision. This is important in every personal injury case, but even more so when you are seeking to hold a reckless and irresponsible driver accountable for his or her actions. The fact that the other driver is found guilty of driving under the influence does not automatically entitle you to compensation; you still have to prove your case.
5. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Not every car accident case requires the services of a personal injury attorney. However, when that case involves serious injury or an ongoing criminal proceeding against the at-fault driver for drunk driving, it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner. A savvy Colorado personal injury attorney will make sure you get a proper medical evaluation and will know how to assess the ways the car crash has impacted your life, including losses you’ve incurred that you may not realize are compensable, such as lost wages and pain and suffering. The Colorado personal injury attorney can also help guide you in cooperating with any criminal case against the at-fault driver while preserving your rights in a civil claim.
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The Car Accident Lawyers At FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise in serious injury cases have allowed us to grow into the largest personal injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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