Insurance Agents Should Educate About What Can Drive Up Auto Premiums

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  • These days, many consumers across the country may be paying more than they’d like for their auto insurance, but may not realize that it’s their own actions which are getting them into this situation. As such, it might be wise for auto insurance agents to do more to let people know the kinds of driving behavior that will lead them to pay for more for their coverage than they otherwise might have to.

    Of course, the biggest driver of auto insurance rate increases is being ticketed or arrested for driving under the influence, according to a report from Forbes. In many cases, the average penalty paid by drivers for putting themselves in that situation is a premium increase of about 93 percent. Not far behind that, though, is a citation for reckless driving, which carries an average cost increase of 82 percent.

    The dropoff after that, however, is considerable, the report said. Careless driving tickets can lead to increases of 27 percent, and other moving violations carry different penalties which vary by severity. For instance, those who receive a ticket for driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit can expect rates to increase 30 percent, while those between 15 and 30 miles an hour over that level may see them increase 28 percent. Any other speeding citations for less than that could see premiums rise by an average of 21 percent. Failure to stop or yield to pedestrians will typically boost costs by 19 percent, while driving in the carpool lane with a single passenger will raise them 18 percent.

    On the other hand…
    The good news for drivers is that many insurance companies can be flexible, the report said. Those who tend to have good, safe driving histories over a period of a few years may have their violations ignored if they were relatively minor, such as a relatively small speeding violation. Moreover, many states allow those who complete safe driving courses to have such infractions removed from their records, and in doing so can likewise slash their premium hikes.

    The more agents can educate consumers about the ways in which they might be able to keep their insurance costs down, the better they might be able to retain those clients and keep them satisfied with their coverage. That can also help to increase good word of mouth about their companies.