If you own a car, you’ll need to buy car insurance. But why pay more than you need to? Here are a few ways you can save on your car insurance policy.
Have you reviewed your car insurance policy lately? If not, chances are good that you’re paying too much. Here are five things you can do to save.
Ask for discounts.
Have you been with the same auto insurance company for a long time? You may qualify for a loyalty or renewal discount. Does your car have certain safety features to it, such as air bags or a car alarm? Your insurance company may have a car-safety discount. Are you a low-mileage driver? There may be a discount for that as well.
The point is, you’ll never know unless you ask. So take a minute to talk with your insurance agent to see what discount programs they have and how you can take advantage of them.
Be a safe driver.
We’ve all heard of the serious accidents that can occur when we text, make a call, eat our lunch, or do anything that can distract us while we’re driving. Maintaining a good driving record could not only qualify you for a safe-driver discount, but could also keep your premiums from increasing. It’s standard for insurance companies to raise your premium by 40 percent after your first at-fault accident.
Maintain a good credit history.
As with so many things, a poor credit score can raise your car insurance rates. Many insurers will use your credit history to evaluate your risk for filing a claim.
Take the time to review your credit report. (By law, you are eligible to receive your credit report for free once every year, which you can obtain at annualcreditreport.com.) If you notice any errors, collect any documents that can prove your position and contact the credit reporting agency. If your report is accurate, consider these tips to improve your credit score.
Adjust your policy.
Review your insurance policy at least once a year to determine if you still need the coverage that you currently have. If you have an older car, it may make sense to drop collision and comprehensive coverage. (Generally, if your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, then it probably makes financial sense to drop this coverage.)
You can also increase the deductible on your policy, which is the amount of money you’ll need to pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. Before you do this, however, make sure that you can afford the increased cost you would need to pay.
Bundle your policies.
You may be able to save money by purchasing your car insurance from the same company that issues your homeowners or renters insurance. Many insurers will provide a discount if they can sell you two policies.
Other ways to save
There are other ways you can save on your car insurance as well:
- Shop around. The Internet makes it easy to comparison shop for car insurance rates. Sites like InsureMe and esurance can provide you with quotes from multiple companies.
- Your occupation could save you money. For example, doctors and teachers are found to generally get into fewer accidents. Check with your insurer to see if your job could save you money on your car insurance.
- Talk with your insurance agent before purchasing a new car. Every car make and model is rated by auto insurers, taking into account cost, safety and theft data. This rating then affects your premium. Check with your insurer to see if the car you are considering purchasing is considered high-risk.
- Your place of residence could save you money. If you’re considering moving, keep in mind that car insurance costs tend to be lowest in less populated areas. Check with your insurer to see what the different premium costs could be for the various neighborhoods you are considering.
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