April 10, 2007Just as auto coverage varies from state to state and even among agencies, life changes can also have direct effects on rates and options. In fact, three major events that impact your auto Just as auto coverage varies from state to state and even among agencies, life changes can also have direct effects on rates and options. In fact, three major events that impact your auto coverage include marriage, divorce or widowhood, and reaching the half-century mark in age. While you should reexamine any policy on an annual basis, these three life events will certainly give you reasons to appraise your policy with the likely chance that your rates have dropped.
Marriage and Auto Insurance
Marriage is, of course, a major step by all standards. The flurries of planning a wedding, combining households, and preparing for the future are a large part of the process. It's also important to think about insurance, including auto coverage. Many advantages exist and you should ask questions of your existing carriers as well as comparison shop.
- Combining both spouses' cars on one policy can save money.
- In addition to multi-vehicle discounts, if you own a home, further reductions are possible with multi-line policies.
- Males at or under the age of 25 will often see a significant reduction in premiums upon marriage.
Keep in mind that you should also carefully review your existing coverage. Be sure that it is adequate for both you and your spouse. In particular, examine the liability portion. You want to maintain a reasonable amount to protect the added assets of a joined household.
Divorce, Spousal Death, and Auto Insurance
The trauma of divorce or spousal death leaves many individuals with priorities other than auto insurance. Ending a marriage or losing a partner can have a great impact on the cost of premiums and the amount of coverage needed. Divorce and widowhood affect auto coverage in many ways.
Insurance companies base coverage on where a vehicle is garaged when not in use. A change in residence may nullify any payout in the event of an accident if an ex-spouse is living elsewhere. In a worst-case scenario, you can face policy cancellation. If the vehicles are classified as joint property, then you will typically maintain a single policy with your spouse until the final divorce papers are signed and distribution is made.
Assets also change and this will affect the coverage benefits of a vehicle insurance policy. In the event of a divorce or spouse's death, you should take the time to review collision, comprehensive, liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist portions of your policy. Consider add-ons such as towing and repairs, rental coverage, and gap insurance. Any of these are potential windfalls if you're dealing with an accident as a single person.
Reaching a Certain Age and Auto Insurance
Studies show that drivers aged 50-65 are among the safest on the road. This can often result in greater auto insurance benefits. Any individual reaching the age of 50 should notify the auto insurer and ask about possible discounts and the advantages of policy changes.
Seniors who participate in safe driving programs are often eligible for policy discounts. Staying on top of health issues can also reduce the risk of accidents. These include:
- Vision testing
- Heart monitoring
- Diabetes testing
- Addressing balance problems
- Adopting an overall doctor-guided exercise program.
Seniors can also derive savings from spending less time on the road. Retirement often means less annual logged mileage, which may reduce premiums. After a certain age, however, these benefits may not be applicable. Beginning at age 70, for instance, statistics reflect a higher incidence of traffic accidents.