kids don’t affect your coverage needs
debunking a car insurance myth
Unlike many major life changes — such as marriage, divorce, moving to another state, or buying a home — having a baby won't immediately affect your car insurance rate one way or the other. However, the latest addition to the family will most likely cause some major insurance-related changes.
While many of those changes can mean increasing your coverage, you can also find a few great savings opportunities.
Saving on car insurance … because of your baby
As any parent knows, having a baby changes life completely, leading to a host of new decisions that will directly impact your car insurance rate. Here's our list of baby-related life changes and how they'll affect your car insurance.
The new set of wheels
While many brand-new dads might bemoan the fact, a baby's arrival often leads to buying a new (bigger, safer) car. First there's the car seat, the diaper bag, the legion of baby bottles, and years from now there are sleepover friends, soccer teams, and school projects. Even if you're just jumping from a 2-door roadster to a family-friendly 4-door sedan, that increase in size may mean a boost in safety too.
We go in-depth on the topic elsewhere, but simply put, car length and weight have a huge impact on a car's crashworthiness. So, generally speaking, the larger the car, the safer it is. And since car insurance companies are all about safety, you may see a decrease in your car insurance premium due to that new minivan or SUV.
Now, you can't just assume that bigger always means safer. To ensure you get car insurance savings and a safer ride, shop around for both. You may want to start your list of potential new cars with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Picks. Select a few favorites then get car insurance quotes to see how safety can translate into more money in the bank.
Don't forget the safety features
Another factor to consider when deciding on a new car is its safety features. If you're basing your list off the IIHS' Top Safety Picks, you're already looking at safety-feature-rich rides. Driver, passenger, and side air bags; electronic stability control (ESC); and antilock brakes (ABS) will almost certainly come standard on those vehicles. And if you're not too keen on their Top Safety Picks, you can still find a safe vehicle on the IIHS site (using the form at the upper right). Look for models with the following features to nab discounts from Esurance:
- Antitheft devices
- Daytime running lights
- Antilock brakes
- Air bags
But don't feel limited to what comes standard. You can add numerous devices to your car, such as antitheft devices like the low-tech Club or straight-out-of-sci-fi telematic devices like LoJack®, to keep your family safe and your car insurance rates low.
Tie the knot, insurance style
If you and your partner have stuck with your own car insurance policies until now, it might be a good time to
cement the union with a joint policy. Check with your insurer to see if they offer multi-car/multi-driver discounts. If you're an Esurance policyholder, doubling up on a single Esurance policy will most likely lower your rate, even if you're not married.
Buy a home (or condo)
If you haven't already crossed this item off your "building a family" checklist, you'll be pleased to learn that becoming a homeowner will probably net you a homeowners discount on your car insurance. Esurance offers a Homeowners discount in most states where we provide insurance.
Just keep in mind that your car insurance company won't know you bought a home, so be sure to call them about this and other life changes that will help you save money on your car insurance.
Revising your limits, deductibles, and coverages
Many new parents experience a change in their social lives. After all, as fellow parents become friends, play dates, multifamily outings, and, eventually, soccer-team taxiing might soon follow. With more passengers in the car, it makes sense to up your liability limits — just in case. If an accident happens, you'll probably want to have enough insurance to cover any and all damages, since you'll be personally responsible for any damages that exceed your limits.
Your deductibles may warrant a look too. As your finances change, it's worth thinking about how your deductibles — and the premiums they affect — will fit into your budget. Since your car insurance premium varies directly with your deductibles, think about whether you'd prefer to:
- Lower your deductibles and thus raise your monthly (or biannual) bill, or
- Raise your deductible and keep the deductible amounts in your savings account
Play around with your deductibles to see how much it would impact your premium, then decide if it makes more financial sense to pay a bit more on your monthly premium and less out of pocket if a claim occurs, or if you'd rather keep your bills lower and pay a higher deductible.
Finally, there are a few coverages (some of which might actually be required in your state) that you may want to add if you don't already have them:
Kids can mean changes to your car insurance
Though the little ones won't directly affect your rates or coverage needs, they do bring about a host of changes that warrant giving your car insurance another look.
If you need expert aid in reviewing your changing car insurance needs, don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). Our auto insurance savants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can check out our Coverage Counselor® to get started.
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