Auto insurance is one of the prices we pay to own a set of wheels, an essential (and in most states, legally mandated) cost. Yet car insurance can become expensive, especially as you add vehicles and drivers to your policy. You can keep costs down and enjoy the benefits of cheap yet reliable car insurance coverage using these simple tips and tricks.
Always Shop Around
When you go to buy something, do you grab the first bottle you find or scan over the shelves to find a decent brand at a reasonable price? It’s always wise to weigh your options and shop around, whether it’s for something as minor as shampoo or significant as car insurance.
Every insurance company offers its own price structure and benefits, so make sure you get at least three price quotes before settling on your car insurer. You can also ask friends and relatives for recommendations, review your state insurance department’s consumer information, and consider the amount of coverage offered for each price you see.
Boost Your Credit
Mortgage lenders and credit card companies aren’t the only ones to check your credit. Car insurance companies also review your credit history to formulate your total insurance policy cost. They assume that customers with higher credit ratings are more responsible and will likely file fewer claims. This means that a low credit score is like a scarlet letter, stamping you as a riskier customer. Higher risk equals higher policy premiums, higher deductibles—higher costs all round.
You can combat this nasty rep by building and maintaining a stronger credit score. Pay your bills on time, keep your credit card debt under 30%, and dispute errors that may be dragging down your score. Even small steps can make a big difference in boosting your credit score.
Raise Your Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you need to spend before your insurance coverage goes into effect. A lower deductible requires less money out-of-pocket when you file a claim, but it increases the number of premiums you must pay each month. If you opt for a higher deductible instead, you could shave a hefty portion from your monthly bill. Just be sure to have the amount of your higher deductible set aside to cover any unexpected claims.
Other Simple Life Hacks to Save on Car Insurance
You don’t need to sell out to a questionable insurance company to find a rate you can afford. Consider these other tricks to reduce your monthly insurance bill:
- Ask for discount opportunities, such as taking a defensive driving course
- Find companies that offer discounts for being accident-free for a certain period or having low annual mileage
- Go to the issuer of your other insurance policies. Companies often offer deals for current clients who bundle their coverage
- Reduce collision or comprehensive coverage on older cars that are worth less money
You might grumble every month as you pay your car insurance premiums—but you sure won’t be grumbling the next time your insurance policy covers the cost of your damages after an accident. And, with a bit of strategy and perseverance, you have the best of both worlds: saving hundreds of dollars a month and enjoying a car insurance policy that has your back.
Don’t wait to get out of debt! Read this: A Complete, Step-By-Step Guide to Get Out of Debt.