Car insurance is one of those aspects of car ownership that isn’t nearly as exciting as speeding down the freeway. Yet it’s mandatory for driving a vehicle in most of the United States, and in the event of an accident it’s something we’re glad we had – or wish we did. But good car insurance doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are five ways to cut your car insurance costs.
1. Shop around. You don’t have to stick with a particular company just because you’ve always been with them. Get quotes from several different companies and choose the one that best fits your needs at the price you can best afford. But, keep in mind that many companies offer discounts when you have both your car insurance and your homeowner’s insurance with them. You may qualify for even better rates if you have other policies with them as well. So take those discounts into consideration when you’re price-shopping; your current company may still have the edge because of multiple policies.
2. Ask about discounts. This may sound too simple to be useful, but give it a try. Many insurance companies do offer discounts for features you may already have, or things you may already be doing. Your company may offer discounts for anti-theft devices or anti-lock brakes on your car, or you may get a lower rate if you park your car in your garage instead of on the street. You may qualify for discounts if you pay your premium for the next six or twelve months all at once. These are only a few examples; talk to your agent and find what discounts are available to you.
3. Do you have a teenage driver? Invest in a driver’s education course and ask about other discounts. Unfortunately, car insurance rates generally go way up when you add a teenage driver to the picture. New drivers, of course, are more likely to end up in an accident, so they’re greater risks to insure. But ask your agent about ways you can reduce those costs. Insurance companies often offer discounts to teenage drivers when they’ve passed a driver’s training course. Another popular discount is available to teenagers who make good grades. So there’s yet one more reason to encourage your teen to do well in school.
4. Change coverage for older cars. If your car is getting old and significantly decreasing in value, it may make sense to drop full coverage and retain only the liability insurance. If you are at fault in an accident, liability will cover damages sustained by other vehicles, but it won’t pay for damages to your car. But, considering you’ll only receive an amount up to the current value of the car, the extra coverage may not be worth it to you.
5. Increase your deductible. You’ll want to be careful with this, because you don’t want your deductible to be so high that you’ll be in financial hot water in the event of an accident. But the lower your deductible is, the higher your premiums are. Look for that sweet spot in your coverage where both your deductible and premiums seem manageable.
Car insurance is probably an unwanted expense for most people. The good news is that there are ways you can make those car insurance payments lower.