It’s a must have for anyone driving. And yes, it’s expensive.
But auto insurance doesn’t have to take you for granted. Many people are victims of obnoxiously high rates and figure there’s little to nothing they can do about it. In reality, half of drivers on the road today are paying too much for insurance. Why? Because of very little research.
With a little knowledge to back you up when getting an auto insurance rate, you could be saving hundreds of dollars per year. Follow these simple steps, and if any apply to you, you can benefit from a lower rate yourself!
1. Take a driver’s education course. If you are a new driver this will dramatically reduce your premiums…in many cases 30-40% lower than without the course. Studies have shown that defensive drivers do reduce the amount of accidents on our roads, so why not become one yourself.
2. Ask for “abstainer’s rates”. Are you a non-smoker and/or non-drinker? Your agent may offer discounts for abstainers. You’d be surprised to know that it can reduce your rate enough to make a difference!
3. Raise your deductible limits. Most policies have deductibles set at $300 or $500 in the event of a claim, but you are able to raise up the deductible paid on both your collision benefits as well as comprehensive loss benefits. For example, let’s say your rate is $1250 per year with a $300 deductible. Just by raising the deductible limit up to the maximum of $1000 (which you’ll only pay if involved in an accident or if car is stolen), that can bring the rate down to $1000 per year.
4. Eliminate collision benefits. Do you have an older, not so fancy vehicle? A huge savings would be to remove the collision benefits altogether. If you’re driving a 15 year old beater, they will not give you too much in the event it is wrote off, and chances are you’ll find parts at a scrap yard cheaper anyhow. Bear in mind, if your car has a lien on it, you will most likely me mandated to have collision.
5. Ask for family discounts. By going with the same company your parents or spouse is with, it could net you a few extra bucks. The same goes for multiple vehicles…if you have more than one, put all of your vehicles as well as your spouses together (if applicable) on a group policy.
6. Limit your driving. A very little known fact is that insurance rates will be lower if you do not drive to work. Seems strange, but it’s true. If at all possible, walk or carpool to work. Let your agent know that your vehicle is for pleasure use only. Reducing the amount of miles driven per year will reduce the rate.
7. Shop around. Call every company in your area to compare rates or even with companies out of your area. A very good idea is to get quotes online; some companies will offer online-only discounts for new customers. Payment can be easily made online as well as regular mail if the company you choose is out of town.
8. Obey the law. It shouldn’t have to be mentioned, but the best thing you can do to avoid high rates is by doing the speed limit, paying attention to traffic lights, and by all means buckling up. The less traffic violations that are handed out, the lower everyone’s insurance rates will be.
Do yourself and everyone around you a favor: be a sensible driver. Not only is it safer but it will benefit everyone with lower insurance rates. Your insurance agent is there to help, so help them out in return!