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If there is one item in my budget I hate more than everything else it has to be auto insurance. If you think about it, you can go years or maybe even your entire life without ever having to make a claim so it feels like you’re throwing good money away, but it will help your C.L.U.E Report. At the same time, this is really no different than every other type of insurance. You hate paying the premiums if you aren’t using it, but when something happens where you do need to rely on your insurance it can literally save your financial life.
So, since auto insurance is pretty important (and even required in most states) we have few options to escape the premiums. But, that doesn’t mean you should be paying more than you have to for coverage. Auto insurance is a competitive industry and there are dozens of companies looking for your business. If you shop smart and only get the coverage you need you can save big. Here are eight things that you can do to help keep your auto insurance costs to a minimum.
1. Comparison shop.
Not only do you have to rely on local insurance companies for coverage, but you can now browse the web for countless providers. In fact, many of the online companies may offer steep discounts compared to your local agents because they don’t have to staff as many local offices. So, take some time to shop around and get quotes from a variety of sources. It’s good to review your policy annually and see if there are better deals out there.
2. Drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars.
If you own a car that’s worth less than a few thousand dollars, you’ll probably pay more for the coverage than you would ever collect on a claim. Your bank can tell you how much your car is worth, or check out theKelley Blue Book for an estimate. There is no need to shell out costly comprehensive coverage premiums to insure something that’s relatively worthless.
3. Ask for higher deductibles.
When you file a claim, the deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance company kicks in. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 on collision coverage could reduce your cost by as much as 30%. That is a significant savings when you factor in the likelihood of actually filing a claim.
4. Ask About Multiple Policy Discounts.
If you own a home or have other property insured, be sure to check with them to see if there would be a discount by adding your vehicle. Most insurers offer substantial discounts that can range anywhere from 10-20% just for carrying multiple policies with them.
5. Drive an Inexpensive Vehicle
Generally speaking, the more valuable something is, the most expensive it will be to insure. Want to drive that shiny new luxury vehicle? That’s fine, but expect to pay a significantly higher premium than an older and less expensive model. There are plenty of benefits in buying a used car or something a little less fancy and lower insurance premiums are just one of them.
6. Location Matters
Did you know that living in a rural area instead of a city can make your auto insurance premium lower? That’s because insurers know that there is generally higher traffic, higher crime, and the greater chance of making a claim when living in a city. Now, are you going to pick up and move to the country just to cut your auto insurance bill a little bit? Obviously not. But if you are thinking about moving anyway it could be worth getting some quotes to compare the cost difference.
7. Inquire About Low Mileage Discounts
If you don’t have a very long commute and put fewer miles on your car than the average person, you might be eligible for a low mileage discount. If you aren’t on the road very much the insurer knows that there’s less of a chance of having a claim, so you can often get a discount.
8. Don’t Ignore All of the Safety Features
There are discounts for virtually every safety feature that comes on your car. Anti-lock brakes, front airbags, rear airbags, automatic seat belts, and even security systems can all be used to keep your premium lower. Usually, when you enter your make and model or VIN with the insurance company they will already know what most of these features are that come with your vehicle, but sometimes they are not all included or you may have added aftermarket products. Make sure you’re getting credit for everything you’re entitled to.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.
I would add two more obvious ones.
1. Don't speed. One little speeding ticket can cost you a few hundred dollars.
2. You can get a discount from the carrier if you place your home/renters insurance with them also.
I agree with all of this, but especially points 5 and 3. First, drive a cheaper car. This is a no brainer... saves money all around.
But besides that, the higher deductible is important too. It's not that often that you should be putting in claims, and really it should be for major collisions. If it's a $300 scrape you should just pay it, you shouldn't be worrying with making a claim. You pay a significant more amount of money to have a low deductible, the way it works is that you are basically forking a bunch of money over to the insurance company to give you back if (and only if you ever) make a claim. If you can afford to fork over that cash to the insurance company, you can afford to beat a $500 deductible when the time comes. By having a higher deductible, you get to keep your money and earn interest on it, instead of giving it to your insurance company to hold and possibly never give you back.
Another tip that somebody told me about: If you're not required by law to carry uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage, find out if you'd do okay without it. She asked her insurance company and they told her that if someone without insurance hit her, as long as she had her own health insurance and collision insurance, she could be covered by those for damage to her car and her own medical bills, so it would be duplicating coverage. Worth checking into, to see if you could do without.
I am currently with geico and it really sucks they don't provide a multi-policy discount. I am going to check with a few others to see if I can get a better deal.
One of the most important things about insurance in general is that you must always shop around because after a year or two of renewing the same policy, we can get too comfortable and when that occurs we're missing out on some big savings! And it's so true that if the car is older, two way coverage isn't necessary... Simply taking that off, one can save so much more money on insurance.
Here's a site that helps you find good insurance rates. Check it out here:http://www.goinsurancerates.com/
So many people have high insurance rates because they don't take the time to access what their cars actually need. I have known people who carry comprehensive coverage on really old cars and for what reason I have no clue.
Here are the additional 8 Ways to SAVE on Auto Insurance
1. Comparison Shop
Maintain a good driving record and/or buy a safer car, your premium will go down. Plus, with some companies now charging lower rates, increased competition means better auto insurance rates for you! http://StarAutoInsurance.com can find the best auto insurance rates from quality competing insurers.
2. Make and Model of Vehicle
Auto insurance companies typically charge more for cars that are expensive to repair or don't perform well in accidents. So before you drive off the dealership lot, make sure your new car has been rated safe. Get a vehicle relatively cheap and easy to repair by your insurer. This will help minimize liability for both of you!
3. Inquire About Discounts
These cost savers can lower your Auto insurance premiums more than you might think. Combining two or more cars on one auto insurance policy, purchasing a car with multiple airbags or other safety equipment, installing anti-theft devices in your automobile, completing a driver's education course, insuring your home and vehicle with the same insurer, obtain a mature driver discount (for those between 50 and 65) and students getting good grades (for students under 25) will get you some savings as well.
4. Get the Highest Deductible you can afford
In the unfortunate event of an auto accident your deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket. After the deductible has been met your auto insurance company will cover 100%. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium, it's as simple as that. Just be sure you're able to absorb a larger portion of your loss.
5. Improve Your Driving Record
The more tickets and accidents you have, the more your auto insurance costs. So drive cautiously, improve your motor vehicle record, and inform your auto insurance company of the change. They'll reclassify you as a safer driver, and lower your auto insurance rates in the process!
6. Older Car? Drop or Lower Collision Coverage
Physical damage coverage reimburses you for damages to your own car. But if the vehicle you drive is several years old or worth less than $1,000 then dropping such unnecessary coverage can really save you money.
7. Your Auto Insurance Rates may fluctuate due to:
Adding or removing a driver from your auto insurance policy, replacing an older vehicle with a newer one, adding or removing a vehicle from your policy and increasing or decreasing the number of miles you drive annually.
8. Compare Reliable Auto Insurance Quotes
http://StarAutoInsurance.com is committed to helping you find the car insurance coverage that best meets your needs. Is it time for a new auto insurance policy? Whether your auto insurance policy is expiring, or you just do not feel like you are getting the cheapest auto insurance rate, we can help. http://StarAutoInsurance.com is the most convenient place to find the best vehicle insurance rates, no matter what your needs.
We provide a FAST - EASY - FREE quote process from all the major auto insurance companies.
I didn't know some of these. I haven't re-evaluated my policy since I bought my car 2 years ago. I think it's about time I ask for more discounts. Thanks for the tips.
You hit all the main points that I could think to save on auto insurance. Don't get tickets and cause accidents, those are obvious ones.
Good tips and something I will look into as I am thinking about getting a new car. Another tip may be to get a darker color car. For example, red corvette would have higher insurance than the same car in black.
You may be able to get a discount based on where you went to college, if you're an Eagle Scout or other life affiliations too.
In some places (Utah at least) you can also get a significant discount if you sign saying that you never drink or do drugs.