Money Saving Tips for Cheaper Car Insurance
Do you believe it’s really possible to find cheaper car insurance prices out there? I do, but it does not happen magically. You have to investigate in order to get information.
Television, radio and the internet are full of car insurance ads, each one claiming they’ll save you money over what you’re paying now. It can get confusing. Maybe some of them can do what they promise, or maybe not. How are you to know whether some new company really is getting you a great new deal?
There are some quick info tips which will most likely decrease what you’re currently paying. There are also some, not so quick, strategic ways to reduce insurance costs.
Car insurance is a little bit like the car you’re insuring. There are options and features available. You can elect to have them on your car or policy or you can exclude them and have the bare bones minimum. That absolute minimum coverage is determined by state law where your car is registered. Some insurance carriers might somehow sell you a policy which provides less than the law requires. This is not a wise money saving tip and will lead to big problems. Be legally covered, enough said.
Your best protection is to first be informed. In general terms, when you’re shopping for car insurance, or looking to reduce the cost of what you’re paying now, you need to know what your policy covers, what your benefits are.
How much are you paying for each section of coverage and for any additional benefits?
Do you want or need that feature at that price?
All of this requires some research so that you get informed. You will also have to make some judgment calls, and then some side by side, apples to apples, comparisons of different insurance companies’ prices. (Any company can reduce your cost by giving you less. Then you’ll pay less. However, that may not be the answer for you.)
Here are some ways which may instantly lower your rate.
Raise the deductible amount on your collision coverage. This is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for repair due to a collision. A very low deductible means higher premiums, but the insurance covers most every dent, scrape and paint repair. You’ll often save money in the long run, over the life of the policy, if you choose a higher deductible. But with body shops and mechanics charging $100 an hour and up, any time you have any work done it will cost you the amount of that deductible.
Raise the deductible amount on your comprehensive coverage. This portion of the policy covers loss by theft, fire, flood, earthquake, falling objects and the like.
With both comprehensive and collision deductibles you’ll want to consider the age and condition of the vehicle. If it’s new and/or in great shape you may want lower deductibles so you can get minor problems fixed and keep it in like new condition. If it’s older and doesn’t have many years left, consider balancing the money saved over time against your higher share of the repair. If the car is leased or financed, the lien holder (whoever you have the loan through) may require that deductibles be set at certain levels. That’s another piece of information you’ll need to gather before deciding about this.
Get rid of extra coverage options. For example, rental car reimbursement. This pays for a rental while your car is being repaired. If you have two or more cars you may not need this. Additional towing coverage: Towing, which is secondary to an accident, is usually part of collision coverage. Additional towing covers you in case of a dead battery, parking where you shouldn’t, of getting the car to the mechanic when there’s an engine problem. If you are a member of an automobile club which covers towing and roadside assistance, or drive a model that has roadside assistance and towing as part of the factory warranty, this is double coverage you’re not likely to need.
Make your car safer. Who knew the info that this could help? (Not me, until I researched this matter.)Insurance companies give discounts for additional air bags, car alarms, automatic accident notification, GPS systems, full sets and additional seat belts, daytime running lights and winter snow tires. Be sure to let the company know if your car has any of these.
How you drive discounts: Obviously you can’t instantly change your driving pattern to get instant discounts. However, you may be eligible for one or more discounts which aren’t being applied. Do you drive one vehicle less than ten thousand miles a year? Are you single with more than one car? Are you married with more than two cars? Are you receiving a good driver discount if eligible? How long has it been since your last ticket or accident? If it’s been a couple years, ask if they’ll adjust your rate.
Lifestyle discounts: Discounts may be given not just for how you drive, but also for who you are, what demographic you’re a member of. Good info to know! For example, if you have a teenage or young driver in the family who is an honor student, or living away at college more than a hundred miles from home, or if they’ve taken a driver education or driver training class, there may be discounts. The driver’s training class may also apply to adults for some companies. Your occupation or career or your employer or a membership in an organization or group may get you a discount from some insurers. Ask about any that might apply for you. They usually aren’t automatic. You have to ask for them.
Buying and payment discounts: The how and when of buying the policy can be a factor in what you pay. When you initially purchase insurance, if your credit score was poor, or you had a couple of moving violations in the previous year or two, or you didn’t own a home and now any of these factors has changed, different reduced rates may apply.
The area where you live, traffic patterns and how far you drive to work affect rates. If you’ve moved or are planning to, get a new quote. Multiple vehicles and/or multiple policies like car, homeowner, RV and renter’s insurance (called multi-line policies) are cheaper when bundled with the same company.
Don’t pay for vehicle insurance coverage by the month. Pay for six months at a time. Monthly payments can cost three to five dollars per month more. This is good info to learn about. Who wants to pay more if they don’t have to (!).
There are online sites which give side by side comparison of features and rates across multiple companies. The savings from comparison shopping can be huge for the little amount of time you invest.
Don’t be fooled by the loud ads claiming they will drop your rate. Do some info research. Find out the types of discounts that apply to you. Most of all know what you’re buying. That’s the best guarantee for getting a real value and cheaper car insurance.