How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance if You Have a Bad Driving Record

Getting cheap auto insurance can be difficult if you have a few blemishes on your driving record. You may be shocked at the high rates you are quoted from multiple providers. Don't despair or settle for those rates without making an effort to get a better deal.

Learn to Be a Safe Driver

While you can't undo past mistakes, you can prove that you will do better in the future. One way to accomplish this is by taking a defensive driving course. You can look online or ask your insurance agent about safety classes that could help lower your insurance premiums.

Taking these courses can reduce your rates, especially if you have received traffic violations. A defensive driving class can also help if you have been involved in claims from accidents during which you were found at fault.

Ask about Other Discounts

You may be able to offset some of the cost of increased premiums by getting other discounts applied to your policy. For instance, you may be able to reduce your overall insurance rates by combining your homeowner's insurance and car insurance policies.

If you are still in school, don't forget to mention your grades. Many car insurance companies reward policyholders who have good grades by reducing their rates.

Other discounts that are common with insurance providers include the following:

» Customer loyalty – length of time with one company

» Affiliations with clubs, employers or schools

» Multiple car discount – consider switching your insurance so that everyone in the household is under one provider

» Military affiliations or active military duty

While most car insurance providers ask questions to determine which discounts you qualify for when you first sign up, they won't know about any changes that qualify you for reduced rates if you are already a customer. Even if you have no intention of switching providers, it is a good idea to contact your current insurance company and ask about special discounts.

Shop Around

If you have taken all of the steps you can to reduce your rate and you still aren't happy with the price, consider shopping around. Get quotes to find out who offers the best rate. Look for companies that specialize in high-risk drivers. Even though their rates will be higher than what you would pay for a policy with the best rates, they are often lower than with other companies.

You can use an online site that provides information from multiple insurance providers. The benefit of using such a site is that it enables you to save time and still get more accurate pricing. You input your information once and then receive quotes from multiple providers. It takes less time than if you went to each provider's website and asked for a quote.

Using a car insurance quote comparison site also allows you to find out about smaller, local providers that you may not know about with a general online search. You may end up finding a great deal that you would miss out on otherwise.

While you may not always be able to get cheap auto insurance if your driving history has problems, you can get a better deal if you shop around. Ask about discounts and be willing to prove yourself to reduce your premiums.

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