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Monday, March 28, 2011

What is the Insurance Industry's Definition of a Safe Driver?

Every car insurance company uses a different set of factors to determine the correct insurance rate for a driver. The methods for assessing driver risk vary widely from company to company, but some factors are common to every insurance company. Of course, some rating factors are outside of your control. However, when it comes to the things you can control, most insurers agree that safe drivers have the following characteristics.

Good Credit Rating

Most car insurance companies consider a driver's credit rating as evidence of a safe driver. Maintaining financial stability shows that you are reliable, because you must pay your bills regularly and on time to gain good credit. People with better credit ratings are also more likely to afford the cost of regular maintenance, keeping cars less likely to cause an accident because of mechanical failure.

Number of Miles You Drive Regularly

Simply put, the less you drive, the less likely you are to have an accident. This makes you a better risk and a safer driver. If you normally take advantage of public transportation instead of commuting, your car stays safely in your driveway or garage more often. This significantly reduces the risk of an accident.

Safe Driving Habits

Of course, your driving history is one of the most important indicators of how safe you are behind the wheel. A clean record, with no collisions or moving violations proves you are a safe driver with good driving habits. Driving defensively and using reasonable caution on the road can keep you out of situations that would cause an accident and remove your safe driver standing.

Carrying Enough Insurance

The amount of insurance coverage you carry makes a difference. A safe driver makes sure he or she carries enough insurance should an collision occur. If you stick with the lowest minimum insurance required by the state, there is a good chance that a collision could quickly become more expensive than your coverage can afford. When a new insurance company looks over your past insurance coverage, they will see you were responsible about carrying adequate limits in the past.

Driving a Safer Car

The kind of car you drive can make you a safe driver too. When shopping for a car, look for one with multiple safety features. Safety items such as anti-lock brakes and side airbags make the car safer, and by extension, the driver. These proved to be more dangerous and are no longer used.

Different makes and models have different safety ratings, as well. Research the safety ratings reported for the types of cars you are interested in, and choose one that has the best rating.

Jessica Bosari writes for, a site that seeks to keep consumers informed about important insurance issues. A well-informed consumer is more likely to compare car insurance quotes to get the best rate.

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