Shopping Instead of Dropping


Economic recession has pushed many drivers off the road, at least when it comes to auto insurance. Majority of motorists nationwide are having a tough time paying premium rates as costs rose greatly during the height of recession.

Shopping Instead of DroppingJob losses and other financial difficulties made many drivers drop their coverage. But experts say driving uninsured is about the riskiest thing a car owner could do. They remind motorists that driving without car insurance is against the law for all but two states in America and could put them into greater trouble in case they meet an accident. Experts advise drivers to shop around instead for more competitive rates, so they can stay covered while saving money.

In 2007, 13.8 percent of United States motorists do not carry auto insurance policies. But experts say such figures were recorded before recession reached its peak. In 2010, the number of car owners without coverage is expected to rise at 16.1 percent. This is what a recent study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reveals. The Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization cites sputtering economy as the primary cause for the inability of many motorists to keep their policies.

The trend of dropping auto insurance has alarmed many state regulators, fearing the worse for their motorists. The state insurance commissioner for California called out to motorists this week to stay insured and seek out lower costs. Arizona’s commissioner made the same call, reminding car owners how risky it is to drive uninsured. Both states have an estimated 18 percent of uninsured motorists, tying for seventh place among all states.

Specialists, likewise, tell vehicle owners to remain covered, saying there are still many ways to keep auto insurance at a lesser cost. They note that rates vary widely among different providers so one can look for other insurers if his existing policy is already too expensive to renew. Experts say a local agent or broker, who represents several companies, can quote comparative rates so one can meet required coverage at the lowest possible price.

Looking for discounts is another recommended method of saving on costs. Having an excellent driving record, completing advanced training courses, and driving a car with safety features can help reduce premium costs. Experts also encourage teenagers to be good students since carriers offer discounts to students who maintain a B average.

One way of saving especially for motorists who live in states with pay-as-you-drive policies is by using their vehicle less often. Also, experts advise motorists to drop collision and comprehensive coverage if their car is near the clunker status.