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Changing Habits Can Reduce Insurance Premiums

Every human being makes lifestyle choices constantly throughout the day. Some are made on a conscious level, while others are made unconsciously. They all affect how safe a person is throughout the day, whether they are conscious or unconscious choices. People who live certain lifestyles are more likely to have accidents than people of different lifestyles. Insurers realise this fact, and so set higher premiums for those higher risk people. Some examples of lifestyle choices that affect your insurance premiums are:

  • Where you choose to live

  • Where you choose to work and what occupation you choose

  • Where you choose to attend school and what courses you choose to take

  • What hobbies, health maintenance programmes, and recreational activities you participate in

  • How you choose to manage your finances

  • What family lifestyle you choose to have or not have

  • Whether or not you smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs, or have pre-existing health conditions

  • What type and quality of vehicle you drive

How lifestyle choices affect safety

It may seem strange that such common lifestyle choices would have any affect on how safe you are. Yet, each of these choices do factor in to your daily risk management. If you live, work, or attend school in an area where there are numerous violent crimes occurring, then you’re in more danger than someone in a crimeless area. You’re also more likely to have your vehicle stolen or vandalised. Moreover, you’re likely to have little income and lack the means to make a higher income. This usually leads to poor financial management skills, which makes you more of a financial risk to insurers.

Statistics have revealed that 90%-95% of all road traffic accidents involve driver error to some degree. Frequently, these driver errors are due to the drivers’ inability to recognise potential risks and hazards, or are due to the drivers’ attitudes toward driving. Most are due to choices made because of lifestyles. This especially holds true when a person is driving or using a roadway in some other manner, such as for cycling.

For instance, a young man made the conscious choice of sleeping in late due to staying up late partying the night before. The same young man then made the unconscious decision to make up for the late start by driving faster on the way to school. The excessive speed and stress from hurrying to prepare for the day caused the young man to have an accident. He didn’t have time to stop when a child darted out between the parked cars. Thus, the youth’s lifestyle and choices affected his insurance rates.

Another example would be if the same young man had made a conscious choice to not party or stay up late the night before. He knew he had to be up early enough to allow abundant time to prepare for the day. He arose on time and left extra time to get to school without rushing. He chose to be an alert driver and so avoided the accident that would have occurred when a child darted out into the street. The young man wasn’t speeding, and wasn’t needlessly distracted. He was focused on his driving, and saw the child in time to stop his vehicle before it could hit the child. This choice also affected his insurance rates by allow him to maintain a safe driving record.

Changing lifestyle choices

Changing other lifestyle choices besides how late you sleep in can also eventually reduce your insurance premiums. Not only can your daily choices determine what speed you drive at, they can create other poor driving behaviours too. Your age and gender also help to determine some of these driving behaviours. Some lifestyle choices that are partially based on age and gender can lead to:

Ø Disregard of traffic control devices, such as stop signs and signal lights
Ø Failure to yield to merging traffic
Ø Rear-End collisions or tailgating
Ø Dangerous passing
Ø Dangerous turning
Ø Driving on the wrong side of the road
Ø Reading while driving, i.e. road maps or instructions
Ø Using electronic devices, such as a mobile phone or a navigation system while the vehicle is in motion
Ø Driving a defective vehicle
Ø Improper use/lack of use of vehicle lights
Ø Distracted driving
Ø Driving while impaired from alcohol, drugs, medication, stress, or fatigue
Ø Road rage and aggressive driving

There’s no possible way to entirely eliminate risks from your daily life. However, you can eliminate or reduce some of them. When you do make these lifestyle changes, let your insurer know what you’re doing to manage the daily risk factors. The more risks you cope with, the less risk the insurer has to worry about. Therefore, changing your lifestyle choices may eventually help to lower your insurance premiums.

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