There’s two incontrovertible truths about car insurance: number one, you have to have it, and number two, it’s a significant expense. Luckily, there are four easy ways you can take a bite out of this unavoidable expenditure.
1. Learn how to drive safely–then do it!
It’s not a shock that insurance companies prefer safer drivers (don’t we all?), but some of the ways you can show your provider that you’re a safe driver might surprise you.
First, there are a variety of courses you can take. If you have a teen in the house, completing a driver’s ed course may open up discounts. A number of states also offer guaranteed discounts to drivers who take an online refresher course on driving safety, and no matter what state you live in, odds are great that your insurance provider will give you a discount for completing an online course on defensive driving or a traffic school course. Read more about guaranteed discounts here.
Of course, all of this learning will only help you if you apply it behind the wheel, so be sure to keep your speed down, your eyes off your phone, and your following distance a solid three seconds. (Read more about following distance here.) These simple rules of the road will help keep you from tickets and collisions, which is vital, because a single insurance claim raises car insurance costs by an average of 41 percent! Follow the rules, drive safely, and be careful. Your insurance company–and everybody else!–will surely thank you.
2. Take advantage of the available discounts.
Your performance behind the wheel isn’t the only thing insurance companies keep an eye on, though, and they’re often willing to issue a variety of discounts.
Safer driver: some carriers will issue a discount as high as 35 percent for drivers who go five years without a collision! Discounts are also available for people who drive less than 5,000 miles per year.
Good grades: if you’re in school, keeping your grades up can help keep your rates low. Each provider has different rules for this, but full-time students with at least a B average are usually eligible.
Smarter vehicle: sports cars and trucks/SUVs have special risks associated with them (and don’t even get us started on motorcycles), so insurance companies prefer sedans. Lower-risk options are cars that are unlikely to be stolen or harder to steal, cars with a higher safety rating, and cars that are cheaper to repair. You can even earn car insurance discounts for driving a car with added safety features: airbags, antilock brakes, or anti-theft devices.
Lifestyle: insurance companies offer discounts to certain groups, such as military personnel, national clubs, college alumni associations, and married people.
3. Manage your policy carefully.
Tweak your car insurance policy to fit your situation and your needs. The following are a number of options you can use to keep your costs down.
Multiple vehicle: insure more vehicles with the same provider for lower premiums.
Multiple policy: savings are available when you combine auto and home or renter’s insurance with the same provider.
Deductible: a higher deductible will usually mean lower premiums.
Old car: a completely paid-off vehicle with low resale value may not need comprehensive or collision insurance. Dropping this coverage can save money.
Occasional driver: list teens without their own car as “occasional” drivers, not as “primary” drivers–this will save a lot of money over time.
4. Try a quote!
Speaking of your insurance provider … have you thought about shopping around? We get it: shopping for car insurance may not sound like your idea of a great time. But the fact is, you could save a chunk of money by comparing multiple policies, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing so.
We’ve recently partnered with Answer Financial to offer free insurance quotes. It takes about ten minutes, and all the questions are things you’ll know off the top of your head. NOTE: if you already have insurance, it’ll be helpful if you have a copy of your policy handy. And if you don’t already have insurance, you owe it to yourself to make sure you pick the right policy.
Take ten minutes and see how much you can save!
Answer Financial(R) Inc. offers insurance products and services through its insurance agency licensed affiliate Insurance Answer Center, LLC (California License # 0B99714); in New York as Insurance Answer Center, LLC, an Insurance Agency; in Michigan as Insurance Answer Center, LLC, an Insurance Agency; and in Missouri as Answer Financial. Answer Financial affiliated agencies are not insurance companies, but act as agents for certain insurance companies. Answer Financial’s affiliate Right Answer Insurance Agency, LLC (CA License #0H52358) operates as an insurance broker in California and an agent in all other states. Answer Financial is paid commissions and may receive other performance-based compensation for its services. The compensation received by Answer Financial and its employees may vary by insurance company. Not all insurance products and services are available in all states. Rates are subject to change.
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