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How Long Does It Take for Car Insurance to Lower Rates?

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Dozens of car insurance providers operate in the United States. Many are small, regional providers that cater to individuals with specific demographic profiles. Some of these companies may solicit business from reckless young drivers who don't mind paying high deductibles in exchange for low premiums. Others go after older, more affluent drivers who tend to avoid accidents and other types of trouble. Still other car insurance companies cater to a range of different drivers. In general, these larger, more inclusive companies tend to mount national ad campaigns and offer gimmicky promotions at regular intervals throughout the year.

Regardless of the inclinations of your specific car insurance provider, you may be baffled by its pricing schemes. You may have heard that insurance companies regularly reexamine their policyholders' driving records and demographic profiles to determine whether their premiums remain up-to-date. If your rates haven't changed in several years, you may be wondering whether your insurer has stopped doing this. Before you call your provider's customer-care hotline and ask about this potential oversight, you'll need to ask yourself a few key questions. You'll also need to review the events of the past few years to ensure that you're not missing an important piece of information.

First, think about your recent driving record. If it's been a long time since your last accident or traffic citation, you should be alarmed by your static policy. Most insurers calculate their premiums using a 60-month "look-back" period. In other words, providers only care about the accidents and citations that have occurred within the past five years. In some states, the look-back period may be even shorter. If you've driven safely for the past several years, you may be able to convince your insurance company to readjust your rates.

Next, think about any life changes that you've experienced during the past several years. If you purchased your policy as a teenager, your rates may still reflect this. Once you turn 25, your car insurance premiums should start to drop precipitously. However, your insurer may intentionally be prolonging the moment at which it begins to make this change. You might be able to speed the process along by lodging a well-placed complaint with your customer-care department. Aside from your age, your marital status may play a major role in lowering your car insurance premiums. If you've gotten married within the past few years, make sure that your provider is aware of this fact.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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