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Auto insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of reasons: speeding tickets, traffic violations, car accidents, age, location, car-type, etc. The amount of variables that go into determining a rate are nearly endless. However, despite the variables, there are several means and methods for controlling and securing your car insurance rate.

Avoid Speeding Tickets and Traffic Violations

This goes without saying. The most common cause for insurance rate hikes are due to the occurrence of speeding tickets and traffic violations, which, depending on age and history, can increase rates to the point of cancellation, either voluntary of compulsory.

If you should happen to receive a ticket, there are several options for lessening the increase in insurance rates.

Defensive Driver Course Attendance

Many car insurance agencies offer to waive or forgive a ticket if the offending-driver attends a 3-6 hour "defensive driver" course. These programs function as refresher courses for adult drivers, stressing the basic rules and regulations of driving, as well as strategies for motorists to avoid tickets, whether as a result of stress, impatience or ambivalence.

Traffic Court

Though few cases are ever decided in the favor of a motorist in the wrong, attending your traffic court hearing can allow motorists to an opportunity to appeal for a reduction in traffic penalties and points issued against their licenses.

Research Rates Before Purchasing Car

Sports cars and large trucks aren't the only car types that come with higher insurance rates. In fact, motorists might be surprised to learn what vehicle makes and models and, perhaps more importantly, which factors increase insurance rates.

New Car Make/Model

Since new car makes and models lack a claims history, car insurance companies generally assess a rate based on retail price and performance values, oftentimes making the insurance rate considerably higher than a comparable car of the same year that has been produced for longer than 5 years.

Theft History

Cars that rank high in the Highway Loss Data Institute's theft-losses list will trigger higher insurance rates.

Vehicle Safety

Larger cars, minivans and other cars with high crash-test ratings tend to cost less to insure, while large SUVs like the Hummer H2 cost more due to the damage they inflict on other vehicles and, incidentally, the injuries they can inflict on other drivers.

Lock the Rate

Most auto insurance companies determine premiums as many as four times each year. While this can be beneficial for motorists with points and offenses against their licenses and those about to receive an age-based premium discount, but for most this can be an expensive nuisance. To prevent rate fluctuation, motorists should seek car insurance companies that offer annual or bi-annual insurance premium contracts.

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