There are a number of strategies you may use to save on car insurance. Once you know how much is car insurance for you, you can put some or all of these tactics to work.
1. Take Advantage of Multi-Car Discounts
If you obtain a quote from an auto insurance company to insure a single vehicle, you might end up with a higher quote per vehicle than if you inquired about insuring several drivers or vehicles with that company. Insurance companies will offer what amounts to a bulk rate because they want your business. Under some circumstances they are willing to give you a deal if it means you’ll bring in more of it.
Ask your insurance agent to see if you qualify. Generally speaking, Multiple Drivers must live at the same residence and be related by blood or by marriage. Two unrelated people may also be able to obtain a discount; however, they usually must jointly own the vehicle.
If one of your drivers is a teen, you can expect to pay more to insure them. However, if your child’s grades are a B average or above or if they rank in the top 20% of the class, you may be able to get a good student discount on the coverage, which generally lasts until your child turns 25. These discounts can be 1% to 40% so be sure to show proof to your insurance agent that your teen is a good student.
Incidentally, some companies may also provide an auto insurance discount if you maintain other policies with the firm, such as homeowners insurance. Allstate, for example, offers a 10% car insurance discount and a 25% homeowners insurance discount when you bundle them together, so check to see if such discounts are available and applicable.
2. Pay Attention on the Road
In other words, be a safe driver. This should go without saying, but in today’s age of increasing in-car distractions, this bears mentioning as much as possible. The more mindful you are, the more accidents or moving violations you’ll be able to avoid—events that raise your insurance rates. Travelers offer safe driver discounts of between 10% and 23%, depending on your driving record.
For those unaware, points are typically assessed to a driver for moving violations, and more points can lead to higher insurance premiums (all else being equal).
3. Take a Defensive Driving Course
Sometimes insurance companies will provide a discount for those who complete an approved Defensive Driving Course . Drivers may also be able to reduce the number of points they have on their licenses by taking a defensive driving, accident prevention, or other course.
Make sure to ask your agent/insurance company about this discount before you sign up for a class. After all, it’s important that the effort being expended and the cost of the course translate into a big enough insurance savings. It’s also important that the driver sign up for an accredited course. Every state has its own rules about accredited defensive driving courses, and GEICO allows you to check what they are by state on its website.
4. Shop Around for Better Car Insurance Rates
If your policy is about to renew and the annual premium has , consider shopping around and obtaining quotes from competing companies. Also, every year or two it probably makes sense to obtain quotes from other companies, just in case there is a lower rate out there.
Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean good, and going with the lower-priced company isn’t always the wisest decision. That’s because the insurer should also be considered. After all, what good is a policy if the company doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay an insurance claim?
To run a check on a particular insurer, consider checking out a site that rates the financial strength of insurance companies. The financial strength of your insurance company is important, but what your contract covers is also important, so make sure you understand it. Insure.com’s site bases its insurance company ratings on data assembled by Standard and Poor’s.
5. Use Mass Transit
When you sign up for insurance, the company will generally start with a questionnaire. Among the questions it asks might be the number of miles you drive the insured automobile per year.
If you use your vehicle to commute three hours to work every day, you will generally pay more in insurance premiums than someone who only drives one mile a day. If possible, try to use mass transit to rack up fewer miles, keeping in mind that you will usually have to decrease your mileage significantly before incurring a discount. Ask your insurance company about the company’s different mileage thresholds, so your efforts won’t be wasted.
Also, check with your provider to see how many miles they have you currently driving, as most can give you an improved insurance quote.
6. Downsize Your Vehicle
Buying a huge SUV may sound exciting, but insuring a 5,000-pound, top-of-the-line vehicle can be more expensive than insuring a small (but safe) lower-cost commuter car. Some insurers will offer a discount if you buy a hybrid or an alternative fuel vehicle. Farmers, for example, offer a 5% discount.
You can feel good about protecting the environment and save money on insurance at the same time. Find out the exact rates to insure the different vehicles you’re considering before making a purchase.
7. Increase Your Deductibles
When selecting car insurance, you can typically choose a deductibles, which is the amount of money you would have to pay before insurance picks up the tab in the event of an accident, theft, or other types of damage to the vehicle. Depending on the policy, deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. The catch is that, generally speaking, the lower the deductible, the higher the annual premium.
Conversely, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Ask your agent how your premium might be affected if you raised your deductible. It may make the annual premium better by several percentage points and put some money back in your pocket, or the savings may be minimal. If you are reluctant to file smaller claims to avoid the risk of pushing up your premium, raising the deductible may be a particularly sensible move.