Of the various costs associated with owning and driving a car, auto insurance is one of the most frustrating.
Each month, we throw money at a company that offers seemingly nothing in return until you need it.
Sure, auto insurance may be a necessary evil, but it is necessary. Not only is it a legal requirement in all U.S. states, but it also offers serious protection in the case that you’re in an accident or cause damage to another vehicle or person.
Just because insurance is necessary doesn’t mean you have to overpay. Luckily, there are some ways to keep your protection up while keeping your premiums down. Here are five tips you can use to lower your rates.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Shop Around
It’s pretty easy to find an insurance company and then stick with that policy for years. You make your payments and essentially forget about it. Unfortunately, pretty much every insurance company out there will find a reason to raise your rates whenever they can, even if you haven’t been in an accident.
When you shop around, you get a fresh look at your coverage. Just make sure you compare your desired policy apples to apples with new insurers. It’s easy for something to look less expensive when it really just doesn’t offer as much.
Make it a habit to shop around 1-2 times per year. Switching providers won’t hurt you, but it could save you some money.
1. Safety First
A tried and true method for keeping your rates down is to be a safe driver. When you’re involved in auto accidents or get moving violations, your monthly premiums are going to go up. These incidents can also stay with you for years, which results in more money lost over the years.
Just remember that an insurance company is assessing your risk on the road. A clean and safe driving record will help ensure they give you their full available trust and low rates.
Don’t Forget Your Credit Score
While it may seem like your credit history shouldn’t play a role in your auto coverage, insurance companies do take note of your credit score. It may not be fair, but these companies equate good driving with excellent money management.
Take some time to review your credit score and deal with anything bringing you down. From there, just focus on paying bills on time and not opening an excessive number of new accounts.
4. Discounts Everywhere
Insurance companies offer a plethora of discounts, even if they don’t advertise them. Their sales agents are happy to get you into a discount program but may not bring these options to your attention unless you ask.
Some common examples of discounts might be for those who rarely use their car. These folks may get a low-mileage discount. Your carrier may also offer discounts for military members, owning a car with certain safety features, and more. Take some time to research your options and save.
5. There’s No One Size For Everyone
One of the most critical elements of getting driving insurance is knowing that there are no cookie-cutter options. Just like how you don’t want to overpay for your insurance coverage, you also don’t want to pay for elements that you don’t need.
For example, let’s say you have an older car that’s been paid off for years. The value of the car might be low enough that it doesn’t make sense to have a collision policy. You can also play with your deductible to find a happy place where your monthly payments are lower, but you’re deductible is doable when necessary.