Even if you are the most conservative driver on the road with a great driving record, car insurance will still take a bite out of your budget. Nonetheless, there are additional actions you can take to try and get a better rate.
Whether simply asking a provider for a discount to strategies that will specifically reduce costs. A few companies may offer auto insurance discounts for those in specific careers, such as educators, healthcare workers, or military members.
One of your options is to change your insurance provider. Insurance contracts are not carved in stone, so if another company is offering better options for your wallet, it’s at least worth your time to investigate the possibility of securing better rates.
Comparison shopping is always a good place to start, even before asking your provider for a discount so you’ll know if the discount is your best option.
Ways to Get Affordable Auto Insurance
1. Shop Around
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to shop around. There is a lot of competition in the insurance sector, so let that work to your advantage. Check if you are eligible for any state-sponsored insurance options available in your location.
Never be satisfied with one or two quotes but get multiple quotes and let providers know that you are shopping around as they may throw in some extras. Asking from the get-go about discounts that you may be eligible for, may save you money and time when shopping for the best rate.
Consider regional or local insurers for lower rates, don’t assume a large national insurer will give you the best deal, and never assume that a specific company will offer the best rates. Depending on your characteristics, you may be surprised at who offers the best price.
This also includes reviewing your policy options when it’s time to renew a policy. Reevaluate what coverage you require and whether your current provider still offers the best rates.
2. Consider Bundle Insurance Policies
If you like a particular company, consider bundling your insurance policies to get a better overall rate on all of them. You may want to bundle auto insurance with home, renter, or life insurance.
When all policies are with the same company, many providers will give you a 5% to 10% savings on your policies, but with several policies included, you’ll be saving a considerable amount of money annually.
This concept can also be applied to multi-car insurance. If you are insuring more than one family car under the same policy, beware! Each driver needs to have a pristine driving record, or your rates may be increased due to a family member’s accident.
3. Garage Parking
Surprise! Where you park your car matters. Insurance companies consider street parking and even public parking garages to be higher risks for accident damage, vandalism, or property loss.
Parking your car in your garage or a private garage lowers those risks, and rates will reflect this.
4. Technology to the Rescue
Lots of insurance providers now will offer discounted rates to drivers that agree to use a telematic device during driving.
Driving defensively, respecting speed limits, slower acceleration, and soft braking will get you a discount if the company is permitted to monitor your driving habits.
Any action geared to increasing safety should net you a discount. It may be as simple as putting snow tires on your car in the winter.
5. Take a Driving Course for Defensive Driving
Taking a defensive driving course is not only advisable for the newbies on the road but experienced drivers as well. For insurance providers, you are potentially less of a risk if you have completed such a course. Your company may offer a discount for drivers having completed this program.
6. Verify if you are Eligible for Group Rates
Do you belong to a club or an association? Are you a member of a professional society, the military, credit union, or other? Some insurance providers will stipulate group rates.
See if your place of employment has established a group rate for its employees. When you shop, ensure that you verify if the provider has group rates and your eligibility.
7. Make a Lump Sum Payment
Many drivers prefer to pay insurance rates on a monthly, quarterly, or semestral basis. However, many insurance companies will discount those drivers who make an annual payment. This could translate into a savings of several hundred dollars.
8. Pay-per-Mile or Usage-Based Policies
If you don’t drive very often and have a great record, consider one of the many programs available that let you save money.
Allstate offers a “Milewise” program as does Nationwide with its ”SmartMiles”. These programs are geared to people that drive less than 10,000 miles a year.
Also, consider suspending or canceling car insurance if you will not be using your car for a while.
9. Increase Your Deductible/Reduce Your Coverage
A deductible is what you will pay out of pocket if you have an accident before your insurance covers the rest. Most providers will include a basic deductible of about $500, so if accidental damage is $1000, you pay $500 and the provider pays the remaining $500.
If you increase your deductible to $1000 or more, your premiums should drop in cost. Just make sure that you have the money stashed to pay your deductible in case of need. You can also limit your insurance to the minimum required in your state if you feel comfortable doing so.
10. Consider the Make of Car you Need to Insure
You may not want to run out and change your car, but if you are in the market for a new car, consider acquiring one that is less expensive to insure. Luxury cars, sports cars, and even some SUVs may cost you more money to insure. If you are planning on downsizing or switching vehicles, keep this in mind.