Get Cheaper Car Insurance in 9 Simple Steps
Buying car insurance can seem complicated and confusing; there are many factors to consider, countless elements that can impact your premiums. But in many ways, it’s just like purchasing any other product, as you want the best possible product for the lowest possible price.
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To get a cheap auto insurance policy, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Always Compare
Just because you have used a specific insurer in the past doesn’t mean you should use them again. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been good to you; it doesn’t matter if they offer what seems to be a reasonable rate.
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You should always compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the very best deal before you sign on the dotted line.
Compare offers from multiple different car insurance companies to see which one offers the cheapest car insurance coverage for your needs.
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2. Search When Your Circumstances Changes
Every time your circumstances change significantly, you should compare insurance costs and see if you can get cheaper rates by taking your services elsewhere. Here are a few of the big changes that have the most impact on insurance costs:
- You have purchased a new car
- You have multiple cars to add to a single policy (multi-car discount)
- You need to add or remove a driver (including a young driver)
- You have gotten married or divorced
- You have purchased a home or are moving to a new house
3. Get a Multi-Policy Discount
All major insurance companies (Geico, Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide, State Farm) offer discounts when policyholders purchase numerous different policies. This is known as “Bundling”, and essentially means you’re getting a bulk rate by combining policies such as home insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and more.
Homeowners insurance and car insurance offer the highest average discounts when they are combined, but you can save with life and renters insurance as well.
If you already have several insurance policies with the same provider, there’s a good chance the provider will offer you the best car insurance rates as well.
4. Check for Car Insurance Discounts
Car insurance discounts are offered by insurance carriers and, occasionally, guaranteed by the state. There are many different discounts available and these will depend on your age, job, driving record, and skills.
For instance, you can get a sizeable discount if you are in the military, live on a college campus or have good grades. You can also save big if you have completed a defensive driving course, as it proves that you’re a good driver and know how to handle yourself in difficult situations, thus reducing your liability on the road.
5. Choose Your Car Carefully
If you don’t already have a car, then choose carefully, focusing on safety features and anti-theft devices. Cars that have a high safety rating and are fitted with anti-theft devices are significantly less likely to be stolen and involved in a costly accident, so the rates drop quite significantly.
SUVs like the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback offer some of the best features and the cheapest car insurance premiums, but there are many smaller cars that fit into this category as well.
Conversely, if you buy an old car that doesn’t have an anti-theft device or any safety features, your car insurance premiums may increase by over 50% when compared to a newer vehicle.
5. Raise Your Deductible
When you increase the deductible, you reduce the insurer’s potential cost and can secure a lower rate as a result. Your bank balance will take a hit if anything does happen, but if you’re a safe driver, those lower premiums could save you a small fortune over a few years.
6. Improve Your Credit Score
Car insurance is another area in which a good credit score is key. A good or excellent credit score increases your chances of getting affordable car insurance, as research suggests that bad credit drivers are more likely to claim than good credit drivers.
So, increase your credit limits, clear credit card debts, pay off loans, and stop applying for new lines of credit. With a little effort, you can boost your credit score significantly in just a few short months.
7. Drive Carefully
It goes without saying, but if you want cheap car insurance you need to keep claims to a minimum. Every time you have an accident or receive a violation, your insurance provider will hike the price of your car insurance policy, potentially adding hundreds of dollars onto the annual cost.
A clean driving record is one of the single biggest factors in acquiring cheap car insurance, and it will also save you a lot of stress, hassle, and deductible payments.
8. Only Keep What You Need
Insurance is essential, but you may not need comprehensive coverage. If you have an old car that’s only worth a few hundred dollars, there’s very little need for collision coverage and you could save a small fortune by removing this coverage from your policy.
Liability coverage is still key, but unless you actually plan on fixing your car when something goes wrong, you don’t need comprehensive collision coverage. Speak with an insurance agent for more information on the types of coverage you need, including bodily injury, property damage, and liability insurance.
9. Limit Your Driving
The less time you spend behind the wheel and the fewer miles you drive, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident. It goes without saying, and it’s something that insurance companies will always consider when providing you with a quote.
If you drive very little, let them know; if you drive a lot, consider some travel alternatives and you’ll save money on gas as well as insurance coverage. The best rates are available for those who drive for less than 10,000 miles a year, but the number of miles and the available discounts will depend on your state and your chosen insurer.
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Bottom Line: Time Equals Money
If you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands, it’s tempting to just go for the first quote that you receive and get everything over and done with. But by devoting a little time and effort to the process, and taking just a few hours to compare, you could save yourself over $1,000 during the year!