Money-Saving Auto Insurance Advice
You need auto insurance to drive a car in America; there's just no getting around it. But buying insurance for your vehicle should not include spending a fortune that deflates your wallet like a nail in a tire.
Your auto insurance premium is based on many factors. Some are beyond your control, such as your age and where you live. However, there are many premium-controlling factors that you can apply. Here are seven:
- Raise your deductibles. The classic "I'll accept more of the financial burden from an accident if you lower my premium" approach is as good today as ever. But raising your deductibles to save money on your premium isn't much good if you can't afford the deductible. Raise, but do so with caution.
- Consider dropping physical damage coverage on older cars. "Physical Damage" coverage is a commonly used collective term that encompasses both Collision and Comprehensive coverage for your car. This is a good idea if, and only if, the value of your car is low, i.e., less than $1,000. But only consider this action if you are financially able to purchase a replacement car if yours is totaled in an accident because that's what you will have to do without "Physical Damage" coverage on your policy.
- Ask about discounts! It never hurts to ask. Ask your insurance company about discounts for good drivers (i.e., accident- or citation-free for three or more years), good grades for students, reduced annual mileage or even a change of career. Companies may offer valuable discounts for things you never thought of...ask away!
- Think twice, hot rod! Buying the car of your wildest dreams is great. But if the cost of insurance is an issue, remember that cars more susceptible to theft or pricey repairs can cost a bundle to insure.
- Drive safe. Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. A clean driving record can work wonders on your auto insurance premium. As corny as it sounds, simply slowing down; avoiding aggressive driving, such as tailgating; driving with your lights on during the day; and staying off the cell phone are proven ways to dramatically reduce accidents.
- Know your credit score. Maintaining a clean credit report and having a great credit score show insurers that you're a responsible person.
- Know your claims history. A large amount of claims on your insurance record can raise some red flags and increase your insurance prices. Educate yourself on when to make a claim and understand how many claims, even if they are small, can hurt you.
ADDITIONAL SAVINGS TIPS
Everyone buying car insurance also can benefit from two other age-old methods of keeping your hard-earned dollars in your pocket:
- Do some shopping. There are likely numerous auto insurance companies that would like to do business with you. Give several of them a shout and see what they have to say. Getting multiple quotes is a proven way to save a few bucks.
- Start with your current insurance company. Chances are you have at least some other type of insurance (e.g. home, life, boat, etc.) with your current company. The first call to make should be to a company you already do business with in some capacity. Multiple-policy discounts are some of the easiest and biggest money-savers.
Apply these tips and you'll reap the savings that you can put to better use, like buying a new car.
Learn how easy and convenient shopping for auto insurance can be. Get your free auto insurance quotes today!