To save on car insurance payment is inevitable, and of course, an annoying expense that we all must bear. Car insurance must be done even if we don’t want to. But while purchasing auto insurance may be unavoidable, paying too much to insure our vehicles is a thing of great concern. And it must be carefully watched.
To that effect, there are some ways to decrease our car insurance rates, at least a little. Here are nine smart ways to save on car insurance that is well worth reviewing. Some of them might not be new to you. Taking the time to make sure you are following them could save you hundreds with a simple phone call.
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9 Smart Ways to Save on Car Insurance
1. Review Your Policy Annually
Reviewing your auto insurance policy on an annual basis requires you to be vigilant to ensure you are getting the best rate and to find out if there are any new or additional discounts available.
Don’t expect your insurance agent to do this for you, especially without you asking him to. Be your own best advocate when it comes to paying less for insurance.
2. Shop Around
It always pays to shop around. Even if you decide to stick with your current provider, who may have served you over the years, comparing prices and getting multiple quotes could be an eye-opener to you on what you could or should be paying. It will also give you more opportunities for negotiating rates.
Interestingly, choosing a cheaper premium may not always be the best idea. Determine what coverage you need, expect to require, and research claims procedures (such as time to respond, unique benefits, etc.), and then determine what type of relationship you want (face-to-face, web only, etc.). With this, you will have a much better way of comparing the cost to value.
3. Combine Insurance Policies
While shopping around is essential, it can also pay off a lot to carry all your various insurance policies with the same carrier to take advantage of a multiple-policy discount.
Also, bundling policies not only cost you less money, but it also makes life easier by giving you one reliable contact which is your agent for questions and insurance needs.
4. Be a Safe Driver
Being a safe and careful driver helps you pay less for insurance, as the best premiums and rates are offered to those without speeding tickets or accidents tarnishing their records. Also, many insurance companies give bonuses and credits for every additional year of safe driving.
And if you have a tarnished record already, there is still a way out. You can vow to become a better driver from now on, and the longer you can go without any driving infractions, the more likely you will be to get a discount.
Turn off your cell phone before getting in the car, eliminate other distractions as much as possible, and obey the speed limit and other traffic signs.
Sometimes going to traffic or driving school is one good way to keep tickets from appearing on your driving record. Be sure to inquire if this is a possibility in your area!
5. Increase Your Deductible
Increasing your deductible is a quick and easy way to get a lower rate. Yes, your deductible will cost more if you ever need to file a claim, but as a good driver, you may never need to. Even increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can save you thousands over the long run.
Of course, as all state policy expert reminds us, make sure it’s still an amount you can afford. There may come a time that you do have to make a claim. Remember too that changes you make don’t have to be permanent. If the deductible feels too high, you can always lower it again later on.
6. Drive an Older or Safer Vehicle
Often, we quickly get carried away by the beauties of a new car that we fail to consider how much our pretty new car is going to cost us. Thus, before purchasing a new or used vehicle, it is important to do a little research to factor in the cost of insurance.
Older cars are much cheaper to insure than new vehicles because their value is significantly reduced.
According to our Allstate analyst, age and value are not the only factors that come into play. The type of car could impact your insurance rates.
For example, safety aspects of certain vehicles may end up costing less, while an expensive car could cost more to insure because it can cost more to replace. You also may be eligible for discounts if your vehicle includes specific safety features or is deemed an economical car.
7. Drive Less
Vehicles that incur low annual mileage attract discounts from most auto insurance companies. In other words, if you own a car that doesn’t get driven much or if you can find a way to drive less, you can save a bundle.
There are many ways to do this. These include carpooling to work, moving closer to work, walking, bicycling, or taking public transit when possible — or becoming more efficient with your errands by bundling them as much as possible.
The added benefits of driving less also include less wear and tear on your vehicle, significant gas savings, and less risk of accidents.
8. Install Safety Features
While most newer vehicles come pre-equipped with standard safety features, installing additional security features to older cars can help significantly decrease your insurance premium.
Vehicles equipped with safety features can save you money on your policy. Examples are automatic seat belts, running lights, an alarm system or anti-lock braking system.
And, if your car doesn’t already have ABS installed in it, you should check to see if it would be worth the cost of installation. Insurers love the anti-lock braking system because it’s been tested thoroughly as a safety device and has a track record of effectiveness.
Anti-lock brakes are highly effective in driving conditions where you may need to brake hard. You can keep control of the vehicle better, especially when it comes to stopping on ice in a pinch.
Also, installing an anti-theft device could be helpful in reducing your premium and help you save more on car insurance. Confirm from your insurance agent to be double sure.
9. Take Advantage of Special Discounts
In addition to safe driver discounts, most insurance companies offer a variety of other discounts on auto insurance. While these do vary by state and company, just a few of the discounts that you may be able to take advantage of include Good Student Discounts, Senior Discounts, Retired Discounts, and Resident Student Discounts.
At Allstate, teen drivers can even take a Teen Smart driving class to lower their premiums. There can also be significant discounts available for paying early, paying in full, or paying through automatic withdrawal.
Furthermore, while some occupations are not at all favored by insurance companies, others may qualify for discounts. You can end up with a higher rate of insurance for jobs in such fields as journalism, real estate agents, sales representatives, and even entertainers.
You can lower your rate by giving your insurer information that is as accurate as possible.
A journalist, for example, may get a high premium, but if she gets listed as an editor, then she can get a lower premium. Whichever may be the case, do NOT be dishonest about your occupation or you may hurt your chances of qualifying for future claims. The occupation you state has to be reasonably close to what you do for a living.
While you may not enjoy taking the time to review your auto insurance policy, the thrill of an opportunity to save on car insurance should more than makeup for a few minutes of stress.
These nine smart tips are certainly a great place to start, but always remember to be your advocate and to seek out the best possible rate no matter what.