How To Get The Most Out Of Your Auto Insurance Coverage
With so many auto insurance companies vying for your business, there are now many ways to save on your car insurance premiums without sacrificing coverage.
Tips to Save Money on Car Insurance
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes
When looking for a car insurance company, take the time to shop around and compare rates. You can easily do this by getting car insurance quotes online, or, if you prefer, by phone.
Every insurance company will offer different quotes based on their system for weighing rating factors.
The more companies you compare, the better your chances of finding affordable car insurance.
After narrowing your list down to a few auto insurance companies with competitive rates, you'll want to do some research. When doing so, be sure to:
- Contact your state's insurance department for complaint ratios.
- Investigate the company's surcharge fees.
- Low insurance premiums may be offset by exorbitant surcharge rates that are automatically applied to your insurance rate following an accident, regardless of how minor.
- Ask car repair shop managers for recommendations.
- These people deal with car insurance companies on a daily basis and may be able to provide valuable insight into which insurers are easiest to deal with during a claim.
Know What Coverages You Need
Most states have set required minimums that your car insurance policy must meet. While some drivers may be fine with just meeting the legal requirements, most drivers could benefit from purchasing more than the minimum.
If, for example, you have valuable assets that you could lose in an accident-based lawsuit, you may want to buy higher liability limits than your state requires.
Additionally, you should try not to buy more insurance than you need. For instance, if you you own a vehicle with a considerably low cash value you might not financially benefit from collision and comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, if you're loaning or leasing your car, you might be required to have it.
Opt for a higher deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium. The savings between a $250 deductible and a $1,000 deductible can be, depending on your provider, several hundred dollars.
Remember when choosing your deductible to make sure you are comfortable paying the amount you choose. For some drivers, paying $1,000 in one lump sum after an accident is not a viable option. Paying a little extra in your premium for lower deductibles may provide peace of mind that you'll be able to pay in the event you must submit a claim.
Consider Your Car Choice
You can expect to pay higher insurance premiums for:
- Vehicles with high sticker prices.
- Vehicles with high theft rankings.
- Vehicles with low safety ratings.
- New vehicles.
Maintain a Clean Driving Record
If you're considered a low-risk driver (least likely to cost the insurance company money) you'll be rewarded with low insurance rates. Conversely, you can expect high premiums if you have a driving record checkered with traffic violations and/or accidents.
Maintain a Good Credit Rating
Before shopping for car insurance, check your credit rating for errors. Based on your state and car insurance company, your credit-based insurance score may be used to set your rates. Your credit-based insurance score is a picture of your credit that helps the insurer determine your likelihood of experiencing an insurance loss.
Not all insurance companies inspect credit ratings, but those that do claim that, based on statistics, there is a proven direct correlation between a driver's credit history and the probability of making an accident claim.
Inquire with your auto insurance company if it offers discounts for multiple insurance packages. Many insurance providers offer reduced insurance premiums for combining policies, such as auto and homeowners.
Also, if you own several vehicles, ask about discounted insurance packages for multiple vehicles.
Defensive Driving School
Inquire with your car insurance provider if it offers discounts for enrolling in a defensive driving course. If offered, check if you must enroll in an approved school.
In some cases, you may be able to take an online driving course, which will allow you study on your own time.
Install Anti-Theft Devices
Most car insurance companies will offer financial incentives for installing anti-theft devices. These generally include:
- Car alarms.
- GPS tracking devices.
- Window sketching.
- Ignition shut-off devices.
- Steering wheel bars.