Does Regular Car Maintenance Lower My Auto Insurance Premiums?

You want your car to be in top condition, so you take care of it with routine maintenance: checking pressure in your tires, having your oil changed regularly, immediately servicing any problems.

This means your car will be far more reliable and will give you many years of good service. But what about your insurance premiums? You get a break on your price for being a good driver; what about for being a good car owner?

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not look directly at how well you maintain your vehicle. After all, it would be almost impossible for them to monitor this type of behavior with any efficiency.

In order to monitor how often you change your oil or have your car serviced, an insurance company would need a much larger infrastructure—resulting in higher prices for everyone.

For this reason, insurance companies tend to assume that you are taking care of your own investment, and do not check on your maintenance habits unless there is some direct reason for them to do so.

However, maintaining your vehicle can have an indirect affect on your car insurance premium, because good maintenance means fewer accidents or problems—things auto insurance companies do look at.

For example, think about your tires. Many people neglect to routinely check the pressure and tread of their tires—with serious consequences.

If you do not check your tire pressure and tread, the chances of a flat or even a blowout increase significantly.

If you suffer a blowout and it causes an accident, your insurance company is definitely going to be interested in why the accident happened. You may find yourself with a higher premium simply because you neglected this routine maintenance.

Another indirect way maintenance affects your insurance rates is when your car is out of commission.

Even if you are having your car repaired, the insurance company still charges you the same premium, although you are not driving the car. If you have to have an engine or a transmission replaced due to poor maintenance habits, your car will be inoperable for some time; however, you will be paying your insurance premiums all the same.

This means you are paying for coverage on a car you cannot drive, and that is not good business.

If you have an accident or a breakdown resulting from poor maintenance, your insurance company will find this out, and it can affect how your payout is handled. If you deliberately neglect a vehicle, the insurance company can often refuse to pay your claim; this depends on the circumstances of the accident or problem.

For example, you may have heard stories of how someone left their keys in the car and the car running while they ran in somewhere “just for a minute.” When they came out, their car had been stolen, and the insurance company gave the person a hard time about paying for the car.

While this is not always true, and insurance companies rarely refuse to pay a claim at all, it means much more problem for the driver than if the car had been broken into.

This same logic applies with maintenance on your vehicle. If you fail to maintain your brakes, for example, letting them run down to the point that they barely function, and then you lose control of your car and hit someone, the insurance company is going to have some questions before paying out a claim.

It is even possible that they could refuse to pay the claim, based on the fact that you knew that your brakes were not working but drove anyway.

The best course is to maintain your car. You will have a better-running vehicle, you will have peace of mind, and your insurance company can safely insure you against true accidents.

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