Insurance providers give discounts to safe drivers, good students

Most of us know the feeling we get when we take that first meeting with our insurance company. You get that sinking feeling in your stomach, and even more  in your bank account.

I decided to contact my insurance agent, Christel Manson at State Farm, to get to the bottom of this madness.

Manson said, “Actually, Iowa has some of the lowest rates in the nation.  Rates depend on where you live, what you drive, your age, driving record, coverages you carry,and the total number of policies you have with the company.  The more you use a policy, or the more moving violations you have, the higher the rates.  But overall, the rates here really are lower than the rest of the country.”

According to MSN Money, New Jersey has the highest rates in the country. Some people pay up to $1,182 a year for insurance, while Iowa ranks the lowest, averaging around $600 a year.

Manson also said, “The higher the deductible a person carries, the lower their premium.  Also, the more policies you carry, the better your driving record and the longer you have been with a company, the better your rates will be. Young drivers staying ticket and accident free save an additional 15 percent per payment period, while the Good Grades discount (3.0 GPA and above) saves you 15-30 percent per pay period.”

I think that we should all aim for a GPA of 3.0 or higher so that we can save money and get good academic recognition. It saves me about $80/month, so it is definitely worth trying.

Remember that your parents can always take away your keys. I think we should act with the utmost respect so that we can keep our cars.

Manson said, “From a premium stand point, I suggest new drivers get a car that they do not have to carry full coverage insurance on. Full coverage insurance normally costs twice what liability insurance does, so if you can buy a car that costs around $2,000-$3,000 and doesn’t require a loan, your premiums will be lowest.”

I don’t think that we need brand new cars, as we are relatively new drivers, and an added benefit is that your insurance will be much lower.

When I took the meeting with State Farm, I found out that even different body styles of cars would have different rates. According to the insurance companies, the majority of boys are reckless, and would speed up the car to a dangerous speed, and thus, wreck it. I do disagree with different rates for guys and girls. I think that the majority of boys know that driving is not something to be taken lightly.

I have also done the other discount they offer for us teens, which is where you complete a little booklet called a “Steer Clear” and all you do is fill out five questions before you drive and five after. There are such questions as “Where are you going from/going to?” and “Did the trip take the expected time?” As you can see, i’ts really very easy.

There are also two parent evaluations they have to fill out, grading your driving on a scale from one to 10. You just have to do this for 20 trips and watch a short DVD, and then you’re done. I would guess from my own rate that this saves you about 10 percent off my monthly rate.

As you can see, insurance is something that you must have in Iowa, but if you take the time to investigate, you can shave a significant savings from the costs of caring coverage in the event of a fender bender.

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