Unfortunately, auto insurance is one of the necessities in life. In most states, automobile owners are required to carry certain amounts of coverage in order to operate their vehicles, and there is little choice in the matter. But, the good news is, you can definitely find some ways to save money on car insurance so at least you don’t end up paying more than is absolutely necessary.
Here are some of the easiest ways to save money on your car insurance.
Make sure that you are comparing rates from several different companies before settling on the one that has the best rates and options for your needs. Auto insurance rates are not standard, and different companies are going to charge different rates. You would be surprised to discover that some people can save up to $500 per year, just by switching to another company and keeping the same coverage amounts.
It definitely pays to comparison shop for car insurance! Just remember that going with a lesser-known insurance company may not be the best option, so as you compare rates, make sure you are at least comparing reputable insurance companies.
Many insurance companies offer pretty hefty discounts (up to 10-20% in some cases), when you combine your auto policy with a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Some health insurance companies even offer discounts when you consolidate your policies. You could end up saving big by doing this, so make sure you check into this option. If you find that you are paying less by keeping both policies with different companies, don’t get talked into consolidating—it is often a great solution, but there certainly are exceptions to this!
Ask For Discounts
Talk with your insurance agent about possible discounts. There are most likely some that you are not aware of. Your agent is definitely interested in keeping customers, so it is likely that they will work with you to have as many discounts applied as possible, so that you save money and are not tempted to shop around. Often there are safety discounts, multi-car discounts, discounts for taking online driving courses, even discounts that are related to shorter commutes. Check them all out, because, chances are, some will apply to you! Don’t assume that your current rate is the best you can do, see if there are any more discounts that your agent can apply to save you a few more bucks.
Check Your Coverage
Take some time to go over your current auto insurance policy and determine whether your coverages are where they need to be. Discuss what you need to have with your insurance agent, and check the rates for different deductibles or different levels of coverage. If you drive an older vehicle, or if you have paid the loan off, you may not want to carry collision coverage, since you may be less likely to have minor damage repaired.
Sometimes changing your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Sure, if you have a claim, you will have to come up with the cash, but, for most people it makes more sense to keep that extra $500 in a savings account in case of emergency, instead of paying it to the insurance company. Not everyone needs to carry towing or roadside emergency coverage, either, so choose wisely if you want to keep more money in your pocket.
Also, choosing a car you can afford is important. Different cars are going to have different insurance rates. Do you really need that fancy sports car? If you do, then just be prepared to pay a lot more for your auto insurance. Buying a “sensible” vehicle, with a middle-of-the-road value is going to be much more affordable when it comes time to pay insurance. Be sure to check with your insurance agent regarding the rates before you purchase any vehicle, just so you know exactly what you are in for.
Fix Your Credit
Many insurance companies figure in your credit rating when determining the rates you will be required to pay. Simply put, those with better credit scores tend to be more responsible and, therefore, less likely to file a claim that will cost the insurance company money. Check your credit report to make sure everything is accurate before you apply for auto insurance, and, if your credit needs boosting then take the necessary steps to bring your score up. It will save you money! Being accountable and responsible will make you a better customer for the insurance company, and your rates will reflect that!
Most of us want to keep as much of our money in our pockets or bank accounts as possible. While paying for car insurance may not be a choice, you may be able to make some choices that help save you a few bucks (or a lot of money!). With most people trying to trim extra spending and save a little more, going over your auto insurance may be a great way to find a little extra in your budget!