It’s way too early to think about your child driving, but that doesn’t mean your newborn won’t affect your car insurance. A change in your family status and driving routine means it’s time to check with your insurer to see if your coverage is keeping up. Here are seven things to consider.
You may be driving fewer miles.
If you and your spouse each commuted to work by car before your baby’s arrival and now one of you is staying home full time, you’ll probably see a reduction in the number of miles you drive each year, which could help you save on your premium.
Michael Barry, head of media and public affairs at the Insurance Information Institute, says there’s a reason why car insurance companies offer decreased premiums for people who drive fewer miles. “It’s all about risk,” he says. “The more miles driven, the greater the chances of being involved in an accident.”
Look for high safety ratings if you’re buying a family car.
If you decide your pre-baby mode of transport is too small, old or unreliable, set your sights on a new sedan, minivan or SUV. The bigger and sturdier the vehicle, the better it can withstand damage, keeping your family safe. It's important to note that larger, safer cars can be more expensive. At the same time, you may see some savings on your auto insurance if your car is equipped with certain safety features, such as passive restraints (standard), adaptive headlights, electronic stability control and forward collision warning.
Increase your rental reimbursement limits.
Rental reimbursement covers the cost of a rental if your car is not considered drivable after an accident. If you have an SUV or minivan, you’ll want to adjust your rental reimbursement limits so that you can temporarily replace it with a similar vehicle when you need to. Basic limits are typically $20 per day or up to $600 total,1 which may not be enough to cover a large-capacity make and model.
Raising your deductible could help you save.
If you want to reduce how much you’re spending on monthly bills in order to help with baby expenses, think about increasing your deductibles and lowering your premium payments. Keep in mind, though, that if you ever have an accident, you’ll be responsible for more damages out of pocket. Talk with your insurance company before you make any changes.
Make sure you’re protected in case of a breakdown.
A blown tire or an engine problem is bad enough, but even worse with a baby in the car. Make sure you have some form of roadside assistance. If you don’t belong to one of the major automobile associations, many insurance companies offer it as a feature of their coverage.
As your child grows, plan for more children in the car.
Did you know that if you’re found at fault for an accident, in addition to other damages, your liability insurance pays for injuries to passengers in your car? So, as your baby grows, you may want to consider increasing your liability insurance, since there’s a good chance you'll be transporting your toddler and their friends to and from daycare, school, playdates and other activities, and eventually to soccer games and school activities.
Don’t forget about other major milestones.
Events such as getting married, buying a home and having a family often can affect how much you pay for car insurance. As always, whenever events such as these happen, check with your insurance company to make sure your coverage is keeping up and you're saving all you can.