There’s no doubt that owning a car can be expensive. On top of the cost of gas, regular maintenance and repairs (not to mention buying the vehicle itself!), you still have to pay insurance each month. The good news – you can lower your car insurance costs with a little shopping around. Here’s what to keep in mind as you hunt for your best rate.
1. Be A Safe Driver
By avoiding speeding tickets and accidents, you’re sure to save on your premium. Most companies will reward you for every three years that your record remains clean and clear.
2. Cut Down On Your Mileage
It goes without saying – the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to have an accident. Consider carpooling or taking public transportation when you can to lessen the wear and tear on your car, and your time behind the wheel.
3. Reduce Coverage On An Older Vehicle
If your vehicle is an older model, and you’ve since paid off its purchase, consider dropping your collision insurance. This will significantly lower your monthly costs, and the payout for such a car’s depreciated value would likely be too low to make coverage worth it.
4. Bundle Your Insurance
Looking to insure both your car and home? Ask your insurer for a package deal – similar to bundling your internet and phone, this can score you a nice discount from your insurance provider.
5. Increase Your Deductible
Choosing to increase your share of the cost of a claim can decrease your premium quite substantially. Talk to your insurance broker about your options.
6. Check Your VIN Number
Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. Be sure that your broker has the correct Vehicle Identification Number for your car, which is a unique code that specifies the car’s make and model. After all, you wouldn’t want to be paying a higher rate for a car you don’t even own!
7. Pay In One Lump Sum
When shopping around, be sure to ask your insurance broker about an annual versus monthly rate. Often you can save money by paying up front, since you won’t see those extra fees.
8. Protect Your Vehicle
The easiest way to lower your insurance rate is by protecting your vehicle. Install a qualified car alarm, and keep your vehicle in a garage. As well, some insurance companies will even offer you a lower rate if you etch your vehicle’s VIN number on its windows.
9. Skip The Extras
Many insurance premiums automatically include roadside assistance and car rental coverage. If you don’t need them, be sure to have them removed from the policy. Always read your policy thoroughly before signing.
10. Exclude High-Risk Drivers
Insuring high-risk drivers can increase your insurance costs dramatically. Either have high-risk drivers excluded altogether, or in the case of teen drivers, ask about good-student discounts and the benefits of taking a safe driving course.
When it comes to insurance, the key to cutting costs is doing your homework. Shop around, compare policies, do your homework and always ask questions.