Reducing your Auto Insurance Premium

“Great news… I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to…”

If you are considering switching car insurance companies in search of a better rate, remember that you may already be entitled to a lower premium with your current auto insurance company.

Before you make the leap, see if you qualify for any of the following discounts:

Multiple Car/Policy Discounts: If you insure more than one vehicle with the same insurance company, or even carry another policy like home owners or renters insurance, you should be saving at least 10%-25% on your total premium. See if your carrier has already given you this discount, and if not, find out why.

Driver Training Discounts: Have you taken or would you be willing to take a driver training course? If so, you may be able to save a good chunk of change. Consider that New York offers a nearly $40 yearly discount for taking a driving course every three years. If you’re an elderly driver, this could save you 5% to 15%. Contact your auto club or state motor vehicle department for information on accepted training programs.

Student Discounts: If your child is listed as a driver and is a student, you might be entitled to a student discount, especially if your child receives good grades or is enrolled in a school driver’s education program. Keep in mind that you will probably save money by listing an adult as the primary driver, and your child as a secondary or occasional driver. Also, if your child is a college student living over 100 miles from home and the car stays at your home, you could save up to 15%.

Special Equipment Discounts: Does your car have a theft deterrent system, air bags, anti-lock brakes, or other safety equipment? If so, make sure your insurance agent knows about them and is giving you the proper discount.

Lower Use Discounts: Do you drive your vehicle less than 7,500 miles per year? If so, make sure your policy reflects that. Think about car-pooling or using public transit for your commute. Not only could it save you some money on your car insurance premium, but you’ll be helping the environment too. That’s loads of good feelings just waiting to happen.

Increase Your Deductable: Is it feasible to increase your deductable for a lower premium? Raising your deductable from $500 to $1000, for example could save you 5%-15%. However, make sure you’ve got the money in the bank to cover the extra gap should you need it.

Eliminate the Collision Part of Your Coverage: Collision coverage will fix your car if it’s in an accident. If you’re driving an old beater, does it make sense to pay for insurance to replace it? Only you can decide that one

Finally, if your insurance company just isn’t cutting it, shop around. The internet makes it easier to compare and get quotes from several different companies, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make some calls. It helps to have your current policy information in front of you. You’ll want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, because a standard policy with one company may be slightly different than a standard policy from another. Give yourself plenty of time to find a new company before your old policy expires. Don’t cancel your old policy or let it lapse without having a new one in place.

Car insurance is necessary and it’s the law, but there is never any reason to pay more than you absolutely have to. Try the steps above to make sure you’re not throwing good money at bad insurance premiums.