The 7 deadly sins of car insurance

As a driver, you can forget about greed and gluttony. Instead, you need to beware of other deadly sins that could mean you’ll have a devil of a time when it comes to purchasing auto insurance.

Having one of these black marks on your record can mean your insurer will move you from being a standard or preferred driver, who pays lower rates, into the high-risk category.

  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving recklessly
  • Having a bad driving record
  • Bering a serial skinner
  • Failing to pay your car insurance bill
  • Having a crummy credit score
  • Driving the wrong kind of car
  • Adding a teenage driver

Committing one of these sins will raise your rates, but it gets even worse when you’re guilty of committing several sins. If you have a lapsed auto insurance policy and a lousy credit score, you’ll probably wind up paying more than someone with a lapsed policy and good credit, Suarez says.

About one-fifth of all private auto insurance sold falls into the high-risk or nonstandard category. Both specialized carriers, as well as special divisions of major insurance companies such as Nationwide and Progressive, sell these types of policies.

Gusner recommends that you shop for new car insurance every time your policy is about to renew. By doing so, you may learn that the speeding ticket you received is no longer considered by your auto insurer when determining your rates, or that your credit has improved, or simply that another insurance company sees you as a better risk.