When you own a car, you must have car insurance, and you will be grateful you have it if you are involved in an accident. However, you don’t want to pay any more for insurance than is required, and you shouldn’t have to. You can save money and get cheap car insurance without breaking the bank if you understand what factors influence your rates.
Having adequate car insurance is both wise and prudent, but there is no question that it adds to the cost of driving. The good news is that premiums may vary by hundreds of dollars depending on several factors.
Check your coverage at renewal time to ensure your insurance is in step with your needs, and follow these practical steps to get cheap car insurance for yourself.
Shop around for insurance for your car
Prices vary from company to company, so you need to shop around. Get at least three quotes from different car insurance companies and various types of insurance companies—those that sell through their agents, those that sell through independent agents, and those that sell directly to consumers through the phone, the app, or the Internet. Ask friends and relatives for their advice based on their experience, and do your due diligence by researching the company before committing.
Understand auto insurance to the extent that you can ask the prospective insurer informed questions. Anyone you talk to should take the time to respond to your satisfaction. Remember, these are the people you’re going to rely on if the worst happens, and you need to make a claim.
Keep in mind that the lowest price is not always the “cheapest” option. Ensure that the company you choose is reputable and that you’re comfortable with the service you get from the insurance professionals you’re talking to. Your state insurance department or online consumer information website may provide information on consumer complaints by a company to help you choose the right insurance company to meet your needs.
Compare car insurance rates before buying a car
Having a great car insurance rate is just the start. It makes sense (and cents) to compare your current rate per year. It’s easy to do online, and it’s only a few minutes away. And comparing prices isn’t going to damage your credit score.
Auto insurance premiums are based, in part, on the price of the car, the cost of repairing it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts on features that reduce the risk of car theft or personal injury or on cars known to be safe. When comparing car insurance quotes for new or used vehicles to purchase, make sure to look at what each will cost to insure.
Raise the deductible
By choosing a higher deductible for your car insurance, you can significantly reduce your premium costs. Of course, be sure that you have enough money set aside to pay the higher deductible if you have a claim.
Reduce your old car’s optional insurance
As a rule of thumb, if your older car is less than ten times the insurance premium, collision and comprehensive coverage may not be cost-effective. To find out if this is true for you, check the value of your car.
Bundle your insurance policy or stick with the same company
Many insurers will give you a discount if you purchase two or more types of insurance from them—such as homeowners and auto owners—or if you have more than one vehicle insured.
Some companies offer long-term customers a price break. There are no guarantees, so do your homework and compare the costs of a multi-policy discount from a single insurer with the purchase of insurance separately from different companies.
Maintain a good history of credit
Establishing a good credit history has many benefits, including lower insurance costs. Many insurers use credit information for car insurance pricing policies. (Research shows that fewer claims are made by people who manage their credit effectively). To be sure you’re getting the credit you deserve, it’s a good idea to check your credit record regularly to make sure all the information is accurate.
Consider the car you drive
The type of car you drive has a significant impact on car insurance premiums. Before paying, you can estimate the cost of car insurance by providing the model and making your car available to the car insurance provider. You may also call an established insurance carrier or agent.
Take advantage of discounts on low mileage
Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive less than the average mileage per year. Low mileage discounts may also apply to drivers who work with a carpool.
Ask for group insurance
Some companies offer reductions to drivers who receive insurance through a group plan from their employers, professional, business, alumni groups, or other associations. Check with your affiliated organizations to see what they’re offering.
Seek further discounts
There are other discounts your insurer may offer to policyholders. For example, some companies offer discounts to those who have not experienced any accidents or traffic violations during a specified period or who have taken a defensive driving course. If you have a young driver on your policy who is a good student, has taken a driver’s education course, or is away from college without a car, you may also be eligible for a lower rate.
Ask your insurer what discounts you may be eligible for, but keep in mind that your policy’s final cost is essential. A company offering a few discounts may still be able to give you a lower overall premium price.
An obvious tip, but one with a little bit of a surprise. By preventing injuries and traffic fines, you can keep premiums down. But you can also reduce your premiums by allowing those carriers to track your driving habits. Progressive is offering Snapshot and Nationally is offering SmartRide. You’ve just plugged a computer into your car for a couple of months. The system tracks such driving patterns, such as hard breaks, idle time, and day-time versus night-time driving. Based on the findings, you might see a significant drop in the cost of car insurance.