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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Having a baby is one of the most important life-changing events a person can experience. Having a child will impact a person’s life forever, and it’s a time of both great joy and immense stress. Like many other important life events, it may also have an effect on your auto insurance. Fortunately, it usually will not cause your rates to increase. Indeed, it often has the opposite effect: Parents of young children generally pay less for car insurance than other people.
Behaviors of Safe Drivers
Car insurance companies determine rates by reviewing statistics about drivers and making guesses about their risks based on driving behaviors. Drivers who are considered to be at high risk of having an accident will pay more for insurance than those who are at a lower risk. Certain behaviors are associated with high-risk driving:
— A history of accidents
— Traffic violations
— DUI convictions
— Driving a high-performance car
— Being uninsured prior to obtaining a policy
Other behaviors are associated with low-risk driving:
— Being married
— Having good credit
— Being a student
— Driving a car with safety features
In other words, save driving is often associated with other types of responsible behaviors. Drivers who are mature and responsible in other areas of their lives are usually considered to be safer drivers, and this is often statistically true as well. This is one reason why your auto insurance costs decrease after you get married, especially for men; single men get into more accidents than married ones, so they pay more for insurance as a whole.
Why Parents Pay Less for Insurance
In addition to signifying a more responsible lifestyle, having a new baby may have indirect effects on your auto policy:
— New parents may not drive as much. Having a baby reduces your free time substantially, and you may spend more time at home, especially for the first year. If your insurance company realizes that you’re not doing as much leisure driving, your rates will decrease. This is especially true for women who may take a long time off work or even quit the workforce in order to stay home.
— Parents often buy vehicles with good safety ratings. Whether a minivan or a four-door sedan, a new parent’s vehicle is usually both safe and practical, two things that lead to low rates. People who trade in their sports cars for minivans will see a dramatic decrease in premiums.
— Parents are often homeowners. Of course, not all parents own their own homes, but many do, and owning a home helps to decrease the overall cost of a car insurance policy. If you buy your home insurance from the same company as your car coverage, you can get a discount on both by taking advantage of a multi-policy discount.
— You’ll be more likely to drive safely. Drivers with babies on board are less likely to speed or break traffic laws. They also may be more aware of the road around them and more likely to drive defensively. Simply put, having a helpless life in your hands can inspire you to be a better driver, which will reward you in low coverages as well as general safety.
With a new family member on the way, it’s time to assess your policy and see if you need to make any changes. Be sure to discuss your situation with your agent to see if they have any suggestions for updating your coverages. For example, it might be a good idea to increase your first-party medical coverages when you find out a baby is on the way; after an accident, any pregnant woman should always get checked out by a doctor, and the car insurance can assist with that cost.
You should also make sure that your car insurance coverage will pay for car seats. Most insurance policies do cover the replacement of car seats that are damaged in a covered accident, but you should double-check your policy prior to bringing the baby home. Any accident, even a very minor one, can cause stress on a car seat that will require it to be replaced, and replacing one can be very expensive if you must pay it out-of-pocket.
Most of the discounts associated with having a baby are one-time benefits. Your rates will not be as deeply affected by subsequent children as your first infant. Nevertheless, you can enjoy many of these factors for many years, at least until your child gets their first driver’s license and your rates rise once more.