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8 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance Rates

In today’s society, owning a car is a normal part of life. With car ownership comes several expenses: your car payment, fuel costs, maintenance, etc. However, one of the biggest expenses you’ll incur as a car owner is auto insurance. Auto insurance rates seem to increase steadily, leaving car owners wondering how to cut costs without cutting out federally required insurance. Luckily, there are a number of ways to reduce your expenses in regard to car insurance. save money on auto insurance

1. Shop Around

This is potentially the biggest way to save on your insurance costs.

With so many insurance providers in the market today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by your options. But if you do a little homework, you’ll be able to find a company that meets your coverage needs AND budget needs. Make sure you find out how to choose the right car insurance.

The easiest way to find a good deal is to go online and get quotes from several different insurance companies. Most providers have websites with forms to input your information. After submitting details about yourself and your vehicle, it’s possible to receive a number of quotes in a relatively short amount of time. Most of the time you can get an estimated quote automatically, or at least within a few hours. Sometimes the company will have an actual agent contact you with a quote, which could take a bit longer. However, within a day or so you can compile a large sampling of quotes from which to choose. This little bit of effort can result in a big payoff.

When comparing quotes, make sure to compare “apples to apples,” so to speak.

Try to compare quotes that include very similar amounts of coverage, deductibles, etc. By doing this, you will get a better picture of what kind of value you can get for your money. You might be surprised at the wide range of prices available for what is basically the same amount of auto insurance.

2. Ask for Information on all Available Discounts

After picking a few of the best quotes and thereby narrowing your options a bit, a good idea is to call the selected insurance companies and actually speak to an agent. While on the phone, be sure to ask about any discounts the company offers for which you may qualify. You might be surprised at the sheer amount of discounts there are. Of course, these vary a great deal from company to company (and even from state to state), but you can expect a few hidden discounts you may not have known about. Some examples of these discounts are:

  • Good driving discount, for drivers who have had no (or only a few) traffic violations or automobile accidents
  • Good student discount, for drivers still in school who keep a high GPA
  • Defensive driving discount, for drivers who complete a defensive-driving class and receive a certificate
  • Loyalty discount, for drivers who have been with the same insurance company for an extended period of time
  • Group discounts, which offer a certain percentage off for members of certain groups

3. Raise Your Deductible

Drivers can save a substantial amount of money by simply raising their deductible. This means if you were to submit a claim, you would be responsible for paying a higher amount of money upfront. If you are a cautious driver with a good driving history, however, this may be a risk you would be willing to take. If you decide to raise your deductible, it’s a good idea to make sure that in case of an emergency you would have the extra cash needed on hand. Choosing a deductible that you would be unable to pay, even though it would lower your insurance premium, would be pointless if you ever had to submit a claim.

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4. Drop a Bit of Coverage

Different states require different amounts of coverage–it’s also good to note that if you have a loan on your car, the note-holder sometimes requires a higher amount of coverage than your state does, so be sure to check that you are in compliance with both parties. If you find you are paying for coverage that is over the state-required limit, dropping some of that coverage could potentially save you a small bundle of cash. When dropping coverage, however, carefully weigh the risks that are associated for no longer carrying that coverage and make informed decisions on what is personally necessary for you to feel safe in case of an accident. Sometimes things like liability or medical assistance amounts can be reduced in order to save on your premium, but you want to know for sure that if an accident occurs, you’ll be covered to the degree you know is necessary.

5. Make Sure Your Credit Report is Clean

Many insurance companies run a credit report before offering an insurance quote. This allows the company to asses your financial responsibility. Any bad information on your credit report could result in denial of coverage or a raised premium.

auto insurance credit reportBy regularly checking on your credit report, you can make sure all of the information is accurate and that any negative issues are quickly fixed. Taking care of your credit score can have a multitude of benefits outside of just dropping the price you pay for auto insurance, so make sure you stay on top of it.

6. Bundle Your Insurance Policies

Several insurance companies offer coverage on more than just auto insurance. Check to see if you could get a discount on your premiums by combining several insurance policies under one provider. By adding your home insurance to the same company that provides your auto insurance, you can often save money on both premiums. The more you are able to bundle (auto, home, motorcycle, boat, renter’s, etc.), the more you should be able to save. Check periodically with your agent to see if you can either bundle more or get better discounts for the bundles you already have in use.

7. Get a “Safe” Car

When buying a new car, do a little research to determine those with the lowest (or highest) theft rates. Knowing which cars are deemed “safer” by insurance companies can help deflect insurance costs on down the line. Talking to your agent can help you determine which cars to steer toward, and which cars to avoid. Alternatively, many insurance companies offer information on their websites which can show you the theft and collision rates of different car models. These fact sheets can also tell you which models have been deemed “safer” than average, thereby guaranteeing you a lower auto insurance premium.

8. Keep Your Driving Record Clean

By simply driving safely, you can ensure that your premium stays low. Traffic violations and speeding tickets can hike up the price of your insurance, but by driving cautiously, you can avoid these pitfalls. In the same way, a wreck can really increase the amount you have to spend on your auto insurance. Consider if small claims (a small scratch on the door, perhaps, or a little ding in the bumper) are really worth filing. If you can fix these small problems out of your own pocket, you will save yourself the time and hassle of filing a claim, and you’ll save money since your monthly premium won’t increase. Obviously, larger accidents or those accident wreckinvolving other drivers should be reported, but sometimes it’s a good idea to take care of a small problem by yourself.

Clearly, there are several ways by which to save money on your auto insurance. With a little time, investigation, and planning, you can lower your out of pocket expenses easily. Check with your company often to see if any new discounts or policies will make it easier for you to save, as insurance companies change what they offer on a fairly regular basis. Remember these tips and you will be well on your way to paying less for your insurance.

Make sure you use our comparison tool to get free quotes on many different auto insurance providers and save today!

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