We’ve all heard the commercials with the cute little green gecko claiming that the secret to saving vast amounts of money on your car insurance policy is making a simple phone call to request an insurance quote. While it would be great if getting the best possible rate and saving money on auto insurance were that simple, the truth is that it requires just a little more work than that. Putting forth the effort can be well worth your time though as you could be leaving money on the table that could go right back into your pocket. Here are some of the best ways to make sure that you are getting the right auto insurance coverage for your needs at the lowest possible price. Follow these tips and you will find that your car insurance can be much more affordable than you may have thought.
Start By Evaluating Your Insurance Policy Coverage Needs
Before you ever begin shopping for insurance, it is important to know ahead of time exactly what coverage you are looking for so can be sure you are comparing like policies. Start by figuring out what the state minimum required coverages are for your location and then build your policy from there. Decide if you will be needing full comprehensive coverage for your vehicle or just liability insurance. This can make a huge difference in the amount of money you will pay for your policy. As a general rule, most new cars or cars with an outstanding loan balance on the vehicle will be required to have comprehensive coverage. If you have an older car with a low replacement value, you may find that liability insurance only is the way to go. Next, take a look at the features and upgrades available too you such as full auto glass replacement, roadside assistance, towing, medical, property damage, etc. Make a list of the features that are important to you and order it by how important each one is to you and your family. Once you have decided what you want your policy to look like, you can then start shopping for quotes from different auto insurance providers.
Best Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance
As consumers, we never want to overpay for anything but especially for something that involves an ongoing monthly bill. Here are some areas to focus on to cash in on savings that might be available to you.
1. Your Deductible
Most auto insurance companies will allow you to set your own deductible. The deductible is simply the amount of money you will be responsible for directly out-of-pocket if you have an accident. As a general rule, the higher the deductible you select; the lower your payment will be. Just be sure to select an amount that you are capable of paying if you were to be involved in an accident.
2. Your Credit Score
While many of us would make the argument that our credit score has absolutely nothing to do with our driving record, the insurance companies don’t see it that way. Many companies are now charging more money for the exact same coverage to customers with lower credit scores. Not all companies use credit score in their risk analysis so if your credit score is less than perfect, you may want to select a company that doesn’t use credit history as a policy pricing factor.
3. Your Driving History
Your driving record is one of the biggest factors in how much you pay for car insurance so you want to make sure you keep it as clean as possible. Things like accidents have the largest impact but even speeding tickets, being caught driving under the influence of alcohol, or excessive traffic citations can lead to huge rate increases. With that being said, if you are a safe driver and have an excellent driving record, be sure to ask your insurance company what discounts are available for safe drivers. Yes, you do have to ask! The insurance company will not always apply it automatically to your policy.
4. Bundling Multiple Drivers and or Policies
One great way to save on your insurance is to bundle multiple cars, drivers, and insurance policies with the same insurance provider. If you and the other members of your family are currently insured through different companies, you could be missing out on extra savings that may be available to you by grouping your policies together.
5. Your Status as a Student
Currently enrolled as a full time student? Most companies will offer a discount for that but you have to be sure to ask for it.
6. Your Annual Mileage
Did you know that a large part of your policy premium is based on the amount of driving you do. Ask your insurance company how much you could save by keeping your annual mileage below certain levels. You may be surprised at what a difference it can make!
7. Where You Garage the Vehicle
Location also plays an important role. If you live in a high crime area or an area with a history of accidents, you are likely to be charged more. Investigate what effect switching your primary address to a second home, parents house, or work address might have. The key here is they will want you to make that the primary storage location for your vehicle.
8. Your Car’s Safety Features
Features like daytime running lamps, anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes, and airbags can also lead to significant savings. Be sure to let your insurance company know about any of these features your car or truck has and ask what discounts are available.
9. Your Payment History
Some auto insurance companies are starting to offer discounts for long time customers with a good payment history. Check with your provider or insurance agent to see if your company offers these discounts and if you currently qualify.