Here are the best ways we know of to help you save on car insurance:
1. Be a Good Driver
Some auto insurance carriers will offer you up to a 20% discount on your premium for meeting certain driving requirements; usually related to an active license status and a limited number of points or accidents. In some states, like California and Massachusetts, there are even laws that make good driver discounts mandatory!
2. Check State-Run Low-Cost Insurance Programs
If you live in California, Hawaii or New Jersey, and if your household income is close to or less than the poverty level, you may qualify for state-run low-cost or no-cost insurance programs. Policies under the California Low Cost Automobile Program, for example, cost less than $400 a year and cover about 12,000 low-income drivers at any given time.
3. Work with a Knowledgeable Agency
Having access to people who know the industry can be a valuable asset in many ways. Work with a professional you can trust and count on to know the things you don’t.
4. Pay the Premium in Full
When you pay your premium in full, you avoid paying additional monthly billing fees or having to use premium financing. Paying in full can save hundreds of dollars over a twelve month policy!
5. Get an Annual Policy
There may be additional savings for choosing an annual policy over a six month policy. Also, having your driving record and credit score ran every twelve months and not every six months is a good thing.
6. Make EFT Payments
Usually, you can get a discount for having your monthly payment(s) automatically drafted each month. As long as you are aware of the date your payments are due, this is one of the best ways to avoid fees and keep your policy in force with no lapse.
7. Regularly Review Your Policy
In order to make sure that you’re taking advantage of possible discounts, you should review your policy if you’ve changed vehicles, recently moved, added or removed a vehicle, added or removed a driver, or had a significant change to your number of annual miles. Here is more on how to read a car insurance policy.
8. Look for a Muti-Car Discount
Sometimes, insuring two cars can be the same price as insuring one! If not the same price, adding another car to your current policy usually does not cost as much as having two separate policies.
9. Look for a Multi-Driver Discount
Adding additional good-driver(s) to a car insurance policy can actually help decrease your premium. Most of the time, you will be able to add additional good-drivers to your policy for little to no additional premium.
10. Check Your Credit Score
Research shows that people who effectively manage their credit have fewer claims. Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Only Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California have laws in place banning the use of credit scoring.
11. Ask for Mileage Discounts
Especially in states that don’t allow the use of credit scoring to determine rates, mileage can be a huge factor in determining insurance premiums. You may need to provide proof of mileage to your insurance company, but the savings can be worth it.
12. Keep an Active Drivers License
The lowest premiums are typically given to drivers who have maintained an active license for extended periods of time (usually 5-15 years). This group is considered to be one of the safest drivers on the road. Typically, the longer you maintain a valid license the lower your rates will be.
13. Upgrade the Security on Your Vehicle
Exactly where you park your car at night can be a big factor when calculating your auto insurance premiums. You may qualify for a discount just for locking your vehicle in a garage or adding an anti-theft device.
14. Take a Defensive-Driving Course
These classes typically include a review of traffic laws, environmental hazards, defensive driving techniques, basic car maintenance, and drug and alcohol education. If you take a defensive driver class, you may lower the chances of having an accident and pay less for car insurance.
15. “Bundle” Your Insurance
Need to insure your house(s), car(s), motorcycle(s), and boat(s)? Ask about discounts for having multiple policies with the same carrier. Basically, the more you insure the more you should save.
16. Look for Membership and Employee Savings
Ask about military, school, employment, credit union, and federal employee discounts. There are many car insurance companies that offer savings for being a member of a special group or organization.
17. Take Advantage of Good Student or Senior Discounts
Students currently enrolled in school often receive a discount on auto insurance rates if they can demonstrate good grades, as many companies feel conscientious students make conscientious drivers. Similarly, providers are also known to value the wisdom of an experienced driver, offering auto insurance discounts to drivers over 50 as a result.
18. Comparison Shop when You Buy
Regardless of if you do this on your own or have an agent or broker assist you; make sure you compare as many companies as possible. Some companies have tools that allow you to quickly and easily compare rates from multiple different insurance providers.
19. Comparison Shop when You Renew
Insurance rates change like gas prices and do so frequently. In addition, changes in your life and driving situation can also affect your renewal rates. Make sure you compare what it costs to renew your current policy with the cost of switching. You may find a lower rate elsewhere.
20. Ask for Green/Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Discounts
With a rising trend in fuel-efficient vehicles, you may be able to drive in the carpool lane by yourself and score a discount on your car insurance for going green.
21. Ask About a Marriage Discount
Statistically speaking, people who are married tend to be safer drivers than their single counterparts. In the world of car insurance, safer driving typically translates to lower rates.
22. Move to a Lower Crime Area
The location of your home as well as your daily commute to the workplace is taken into consideration by insurance companies when determining your car insurance premiums. Here is more information on car thefts and insurance premiums.
23. Shop for Insurance Prior to Buying a Car
It’s almost common knowledge that the car you drive affects how much you pay for insurance. By comparing insurance first, you’ll be able to factor in the additional cost of insurance to the total cost of the car.
24. Check for Loyalty Discounts
The definition of a loyal customer and qualifications will depend on your auto insurance company. If you’ve been with the same provider for two or more years, it’s in your financial interest to inquire about a loyalty discount.
25. Keep Your Information Up-to-Date
Because insurance is based on many personal factors, it is important to remember to update your policy information. If you don’t, there are discounts for things like changing your address or getting married that you may miss out on.
26. Understand the Value of Your Vehicle
Knowing how much your vehicle is worth to the insurance company will help you obtain the best coverage for your situation. Properly insuring yourself and your vehicle can save you thousands.
27. Reduce Coverage on Older Vehicles
Though you always need liability coverage, and probably a lot more than the state minimum, dropping collision and comprehensive insurance can be a smart way to save money. You should only consider doing this if the actual cash value of your vehicle is no longer significant enough to justify the additional premium.
28. Pay Your Policy On-Time
Late fees and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees can add up. If you don’t pay your premium in full and make monthly payments, make sure you understand how your payment schedule works and stick to it. Be aware, the specific terms and conditions for how payments are processed will vary from company to company.
29. Carry Adequate Amounts of Insurance
Not having enough insurance can leave you financially responsible for any amount of damage you cause beyond your policy limits. Protect your assets and finances by being properly insured.
30. Reduce the Number of Claims You File
Even if you are not at fault for damages done to your vehicle, filing a claim with your insurance company can affect your rate. Most companies will look past the first claim but repeated filings can have a negative affect on your premiums. Try limiting your claims to major occurrences to avoid additional charges
31. Call Your Current Company
A simple phone call to your existing insurance provider asking what options exist could result in all sorts of discounts on your current policy. It shouldn’t hurt to double check.
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