It’s not that insurance companies are sexist.
Or that they expect all of their female customers to go barefaced and disheveled.
But if you use your commute as makeup application time, you’re a crash risk. In fact, applying makeup is actually more dangerous than dialing a cell phone--it's the fifth likeliest task to increase crash risk.
Talk about a dangerous tube of MAC lipstick.
About 3% of female drivers have had an auto accident while applying makeup, and 75% of those women are under 27 years of age, says Kevin Alsup, vice president of insurance at Foundation Financial Group in Florida. “We hear a lot about the dangers of driving and texting,” says David Miller, CEO of Florida-based Brightway Insurance, “but applying makeup while driving is just as dangerous.”
Whether You’re a Little or a Lot at Fault
According to Nancy Germond, an insurance expert from Phoenix, AZ, an insurance company might “forgive” your first auto offense if you have a good driving record. Otherwise, if the accident is deemed to be your fault, you can expect your rate to take an upward hike.
Germond says, “If you are at fault in an auto accident and your insurance carrier pays more than a small amount, your rates will undoubtedly increase,” says Germond. Although some companies forgive the first accident, most will charge you “whether you’re 1% or 100% at fault.”
Makeup-Related Crash? Your Rate Could Increase Exponentially
The number of separate accidents you’ve had is more important than the amount you’ve racked up in insurance claims, says Miller. A single accident may raise your rate $100 to $200 a year, whereas a second claim increases it by much more and a third will probably bump you into a higher price tier entirely. Miller explains, “Frequent accidents make insurance companies believe you’re likelier to have other accidents down the road.” On average, Insurance.com told us, "drivers with no violations pay $1,119 annually for car insurance. By contrast, drivers with three violations pay $1,713." So, if you end up regularly filing claims because of that eyeliner habit, you’ll be paying way more than the cost of new makeup in the end.
Makeup or No, How to Lower Your Rate
There are a few ways to lower your premiums, says Alsup. Here are some to note:
1. If you’re a student (or your teen is a driver), show the insurance company evidence of good grades: save between 10% and 20%
2. Take a driving course: save approximately 5%
3. Get a tracking gadget that records your driving skills and is evaluated by your carrier (Progressive offers one called MyRate): save up to 15% or more
4. Drive an older car: save up to 30% (newer cars cost more to insure)
5. Have a good credit score: what you need to know
6. Have anti-theft devices on your car: save up to 10%, according to Allstate
7. Get a car that’s equipped with anti-lock brakes: discount of 10%
8. Buy auto insurance from the same company as your home or renter’s insurance: save about 10% if your company has bundling policies
Note that if you’re already getting every discount you can, you may not get the full 10% off for good grades, says Alsup. “It may be closer to 8%.”
Keep Saving on the Road
We bring you a calculator to help you figure out how much you actually spend in gas: check it out.
Is AAA really worth it? Read on.