Miley Cyrus in Moving Violation

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Finally the tabloids have some dirt on squeaky clean teen sensation Miley Cyrus. Sometimes she does not wear a seat belt!

The 15-year-old Hannah Montana actress and pop star can be seen riding unbelted with her father Billy Ray Cyrus in the back seat of a Range Rover (F) during her new 3-D Disney (DIS) film: “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.”

Bad move, says Consumer Reports, who reported Cyrus’ reckless riding on their website, especially since 65% of 13-15 year olds in fatal car accidents in 2006 reportedly failed to buckle up. Seat belt avoiders are somewhat bad company, too. The last famous seat belt-free starlet was Britney Spears, whom paparazzi photographed in February 2006 driving with her safety strap off and her son Sean Preston, now 2-years-old, also unbuckled and seated on her lap.

Cyrus, who is just months away from qualifying for her driver’s license, should be more careful, says Michael Barry of the Insurance Information Institute, especially if she wants to keep her car insurance premium low. “Obviously you want to have a clean driving record,” says Barry. “You don’t want too many points or moving violations or you are going to pay a higher rate. The 16-25 age range is the prime time for accidents. The rate is already higher for them.”

If you are looking for car insurance, good credit is as important as a good driving record. “They look at whether you pay your bills on time and if you are using credit wisely,” says Barry about the publicly available credit reports that insurance companies review. “Auto insurers found that people who manager their finances well file fewer and less expensive claims.” 

Agents suggest drivers start their insurance rate research on www.INSweb.com (INSW) which collects information such as where drivers live and how often they use their automobiles, and then sends quotes via email. Auto insurers’ websites can also be a good resource. Companies such as AllState Insurance (ALL), Geico (BRKA), and Progressive (PGR) are among those with good online resources. Drivers can also telephone local to agents to compare prices. Expect to pay as low as $700 a year on up to $2000 annually,” says Barry. “The average is around $1100 a year.”

According to Barry, drivers in some states, such as New York and California, can also contact their state’s insurance department. For example in New York the URL is www.ins.state.ny.us. “Other states have these too, you get quotes based on what part of the state you live in,” says Barry. “Urban regions price higher than rural areas because there are more people and cars. There is a greater chance of a robbery or vandalism.”

Overall auto insurance prices are fairly stable and some have even gone down, says Barry, thanks to improved technologies such as airbags and anti-lock brake systems. “The severities of injuries are a lot less then five or ten years ago,” says Barry. Especially for those who wear seat belts: That means you, Miley!

 

 

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