15 Tips for Saving Money on Car Insurance
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In today’s economy, consumers find themselves trying to cut costs every way they can. Unfortunately, car insurance is one of those unavoidable expenses that every driver needs. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to pay an arm and a leg for car insurance.
Unlike most purchases, a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher quality when it comes to auto insurance. A cheap car insurance policy from a more competitive insurer can provide you with just as good, if not better, service and coverage than with a higher priced competitor.
Older Drivers get Discounted Rates
When a driver turns 25, car insurance premiums tend to go down due to the amount of years the driver has been on the road. This discount, however, is not automatically offered to newly licensed drivers that are over 25 years of age. Newly licensed drivers that meet this age requirement typically have to wait several more years in order to receive a similar discount.
The Experienced Driver Discount
Similar to the 25 and over discount, adult drivers that have been licensed for three years will often experience a decrease in their car insurance rates. Typically, this discounted rate is only offered to drivers with a clean driving record. If violations are on file, a driver may have to wait an additional three years in order to show a clear driving record.
Married Drivers get Reduced Rates
While it is a controversial practice, many car insurance companies offer cheap car insurance premiums to married drivers. Drivers who are married are statistically shown to be safer drivers than their unwed counterparts. The trick to getting a discounted rate based on your marital status is to find just the right company, as not all providers use this criterion when calculating premiums.
Hold Multiple Policies with the Same Provider
An easy way to lower your car insurance premiums is to bundle your insurance policies with one provider. Typical policies that can be bundled include multiple vehicle policies, homeowners’ insurance, renters’ insurance and life insurance, among others. Drivers that bundle their policies can expect to earn a 20% discount across the board.
Choose a Higher Deductible
As with health insurance, choosing a higher deductible will lower your car insurance premium. This allows you to save money on your monthly payments. However, it will require you to pay a higher out-of-pocket expense when submitting a claim. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep enough cash in savings in order to cover the cost of the deductible.
Improve your Credit Score
Like with most things in modern times, your credit score also affects your insurance rates. Many consumers are unaware that most insurance companies are taking their credit scores into account when calculating their car insurance premiums. Increasing your score may help lower premiums. A simpler alternative is opting for a provider that doesn’t factor income proxies (income proxies take your credit score into account) into rate calculations.
Shorten Your Commute
Drivers that commute short distances or use their cars sparingly may be eligible for cheap auto insurance. If someone in your household becomes a stay-at-home parent, starts working from home, retires or opts for carpooling, be sure to notify your car insurance provider. This change may allow you to qualify for a low-mileage discount.
Get the Appropriate Amount of Coverage
When insuring new cars and luxury car models, a higher amount of coverage is necessary. However, older cars that can be easily replaced and hold little monetary value may not need as much coverage. It is recommended that drivers with older cars drop collision and comprehensive coverage.
Secure Your Car
Vehicles equipped with security systems cost less to insure. A quality alarm system helps ward off car break-ins and burglaries; therefore you’re less likely to file a claim when a car is armed with a security system. In turn, this makes you a lower risk for insurance providers.
Avoid Installment Payments
Paying your premium in full for a six month or one year term may help you save. Typically, insurance providers offer a discount between $50 and $200 for paying in full. Additionally, some companies charge a small surcharge for allowing customers to pay in monthly installments. So, paying in full not only may help lower your overall premium but also avoid additional fees.
Compare Car Insurance Rates
It’s always a good idea to shop around when purchasing car insurance. Request quotes from multiple companies and be sure to get at least one quote from a small, local insurance provider. Contrary to common belief, many small insurers offer rates that are often competitive with major providers.
Be a Safe Driver
Diligent drivers are rewarded for their safe driving with reduced car insurance rates. This is by far the most well-known way to save a buck on insurance premiums. However, being accident-free may not be enough to qualify for this discount. Avoiding tickets and all violations is often a stipulation set by insurance companies in order to receive this discount.
Drive a Statistically Safe Vehicle
The decade-old rumor that red cars cost more to insure is no myth. One of the factors that may help lower your rates is driving a statistically safe vehicle. This means driving a vehicle that is less likely to be stolen and a car model and color that often attracts responsible drivers.
Ask for Additional Discounts
It never hurts to ask whether you’re eligible for any additional discounts before committing to a policy. Because each insurance company structures their discounts and promotions differently, you may find that you qualify for discounts you didn’t know were available. For instance, some companies offer discounts for students with good grades.
Learn more about car insurance discounts.
Enroll in a Safe Driving Course
Taking a defensive driving course is a little-known way to save on auto insurance. You may be a great driver with a clean driving record, but insurance companies like to see on-paper proof that you’re educated on the best driving practices. Similarly, drivers over the age of 55 may be eligible for discounts after completing an accident-prevention course.