Claim-free Driver Discount: Do You Qualify?

October 28, 2013

Save money on your auto insurance with a claim-free discount

Over the years you’ve been a claim-free driver. You obey the posted speed limit; heed traffic signals and stop signs, and haven’t been involved in an accident of any kind for more years than you can remember. You know you should be an ideal customer receiving the benefit of a good driving record. But does the insurance company reward you with a claim free discount?

In brief, you can save significant money over the years if you qualify for a claim-free discount. Let’s take a closer look at how claims affect your car insurance premiums, how you can qualify for a claim-free discount, and what it might be worth.

How to Qualify for a Claim-free Discount 

To qualify you for a claim-free discount on your auto insurance, insurance companies generally look at claims history for at least three to five years. It is important to note:

  • Carriers review the number of auto claims and severity over a period of time. Several small claims can indicate a pattern that causes a carrier to drop your policy.
  • Property damage versus bodily injury may also be viewed differently by your car insurance carrier, the latter being treated more severely.

Understand What Auto Claims Are 

Claims occur that may be covered under your auto insurance policy in several ways. There are at-fault auto claims and there are not-at-fault auto claims. The line between the two is sometimes fuzzy.

  • If you fail to stop at a stop sign and cause an accident, you are likely at fault and your record will be charged with the accident. Any claim will be paid by your auto insurance carrier.
  • If you are sitting in your parked car and are hit by a passing vehicle, you are likely not at fault. If the other driver has no car insurance, your policy will protect you under your uninsured motorist coverage.
  • What if you are driving and suddenly a car swerves into your lane, and you instinctively swerve to avoid the car but hit another car and also hit the car that swerved in your path? Both you and the driver who swerved in front of you may be liable and be considered responsible for car accident.
  • If you are found at fault for a collision while driving someone else’s car, the claim is charged against your record, not the car owner’s.

How to Minimize Your Risk of an Auto Accident 

These are time-proven ways to help you avoid auto accidents and claims:

  • Watch your speed and always observe driving conditions. As your speed increases so does your brake time. If you double your speed, brake time quadruples. If road and weather conditions are unfavorable, adjust your speed regardless of the posted speed limit.
  • Know what’s around you. When changing lanes, always check rearview mirrors and make sure another car is not in a “blind” spot.
  • Take a defensive driving class. An approved defensive driving class not only teaches good habits, it also may entitle you to a safe driver discount from your insurance company.
  • Avoid driving when tired. Also, check the effects that certain medicines may have on your driving ability.
  • Keep the inside of your car under control. Kids should be buckled up, distractions minimized, cell phones turned off. Some states are severely limiting the use of cell phones and there is more and more credible evidence that cell phone usage and texting cause accidents.

What a Claim-free Driver Discount Is Worth 

The claim-free discount can be as high as 20% off car insurance premium. Add to that the cumulative effect of years of the discount and you can readily understand the claim-free discount is significant. Remember, even if you may not qualify for a full discount, you may qualify for a partial discount depending on your record.

Insurance Discount Help Is Here 

As a driver, you understand that obeying traffic laws and being attentive behind the wheel are important for more than just your safety. Safe driving also can have a long-term impact on your auto insurance premiums and your pocketbook.

As your independent insurance agent, we work to find you the best coverage at the most competitive rates. Contact us today to find out if you qualify for a claim-free driver discount, and perhaps other savings that come with your well-earned status as a claim-free driver.

 

Call us at 303.798.2534 or send an email to fred@lautenbachinsurance.com

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