8 Best Ways to Find Cheap Auto Insurance
If you are paying more than you’d like in car insurance every month, you may be able to turn that around if you take a few simple steps. After reading some of our tips below, you may be able to save a couple of hundred dollars a month at the very least, probably more. Some of the ways you can lower your insurance rate may take some time but some of them may translate to savings right away. Whatever you do, make sure you’re not overpaying for car insurance ever again!
Comparison shopping is the way to go. You can’t expect to get a low rate without some research and footwork. Well, maybe the footwork part you can skip if you visit SmartFinancial.com. When you go to the SmartFinancial site, you enter some information one time and you instantly get several free auto insurance quotes to choose from. This is the fastest way to shop around or you can spend hours, even days, doing the footwork and getting quotes directly from the carriers you’re interested in. Don’t forget that there are insurance carriers other than the big name companies too. With that said, make sure you’re getting coverage from a reputable company, not a fly-by-night company who may not pay claims if you do find yourself in an accident. You also should never make any assumptions about which company will charge less. For instance, Geico may be the cheapest insurance carrier for you in one state and a more expensive one in another state. There are also different formulas each insurer uses to determine a rate, so you never know which may benefit you the most until you get several car insurance quotes and compare rates. Another mistake people make is they compare rates for unequal coverages. Don’t focus on price alone. Make sure that you are comparing the same coverages and make sure you are buying the insurance you need.
Don’t Forget Discounts
Discounts can add up to big savings, especially if you have a military connection. If you’re a good student or safe driver without any violations on your driver’s license, you may qualify for a savings as well. There are many discounts you may be unaware of, and if you don’t ask you may not get them. For instance, if you have two or more cars on one policy, you qualify for a multi-car discount. If you bundle your car insurance with homeowners or renters, you qualify for a big discount too. Other discounts: Pay upfront for the year or six-months, go paperless with bills and documents, install anti-theft or safety features on your car or buy a car with them already installed, check professional organizations to see if they offer discounts with any carriers. Your job may entitle you to a discount and so do advanced academic degrees. If you were single when you signed on and are since married, you’ll get a rate reduction if you alert your agent of this change. Some carriers offer loyalty discounts too, but don’t assume your current carrier does. Always compare car insurance rates.
Get the Right Car
Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. Typical factors taken into consideration are the following: the value of the car, car-crash safety, cost of parts and more. Another factor is how often the car is stolen. For instance, the Honda Accord is an affordable car, which should be cheap to insure but is not because it’s the most frequently stolen car in the country. The Honda CR-V, on the other hand, carries some of the cheapest insurance rates -- so go figure! Some cars are particularly prone to getting vandalized for parts too, so it’s good to do a little research to see which vehicles are the cheapest to insure. You’ll also probably end up with a less stressful purchase.
Raise the Deductible
Anytime you raise your deductible, your premiums go down and vice versa. Liability insurance doesn’t have a deductible. It simply pays out whatever damages or injuries you’re responsible for. However, collision and comprehensive coverages apply to your own car and damages or injuries you may sustain in an accident that was your fault. The deductible is the amount you’re responsible to pay before your collision or comprehensive coverages begin to take care of the balance. Typical deductible amounts are: $250, $500, $750 and $1,000, but different carriers offer different options so check to see what your options are. Also, note that if you choose the $1,000 deductible, you’ll be paying less in premiums each month but you’ll also be responsible for $1,000 worth of damage if you cause an accident.
Leaving less of a carbon footprint and saving money on gas are not the only reasons to move closer to work (easier said if you’re renting, of course). The less you drive, the less you pay in insurance. If you can work it out properly, you’ll get a huge break if you drive about 5,000 miles a year. Another way to save if you rarely drive is to buy usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance. Allstate’s Drivewise, Progressive’s Snapshot and State Farm’s Drive Safe & save are all programs in which you let the insurance company track your driving. But remember, if you’re a daredevil during those 5,000 miles you put on your car per year, you will be penalized for it.
Get Rid of It
The “it” you need to get rid of is excess insurance you simply don’t need. For instance, say your car is worth $1,000. Aside from knowing you’ll probably need a car soon, you should forego collision insurance because you’ll probably spent that $1,000 on a deductible if you plan on getting whatever damage you caused fixed. It makes more sense to put away that monthly charge on collision and/or comprehensive and starting an emergency fund with it -- or a car shopping fund.
Moving violations like speeding tickets and running red lights end up being a huge burden on your car insurance rate. Avoid getting pulled over like your life depends on it because your wallet certainly does. Be especially careful in parking lots because the myth about parking lot accidents being no-fault is just not true. Also, just avoid driving while impaired under any circumstance because a DUI will mean financial disaster. The fewer bumps and scrapes you get while driving, the less you pay in insurance. Yes, it’s really that simple.
Improve Your Credit
In many states your credit determines your car insurance rate. Contact your agent to see if yours is being used for your car insurance rate. If it is, you’re entitled to a credit report. Check that report and correct any discrepancies you see. You may also notice you have some lingering balances you may have forgotten about. Anything that is weighing down your rating can be corrected. It just takes an effort and some time but it’s worth your while to get started on improving your credit score right away.
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There are times throughout the year when you can land a good deal on a car. But the best month is December and if you can wait to shop until the second half of the month when a car dealer’s sales quota deadline is closing in all the better.
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