Rising premiums may leave you wondering what you can do to save money on auto insurance. While you can’t control all of the factors influencing your premiums, there are a number of cost-saving strategies you can use:
Ways to Save:
1. Maintain a clean driving record. Your driving record is one of the largest factors that insurers consider when determining your auto insurance premium. You should always practice safe driving by eliminating distractions, focusing on your surroundings and driving defensively.
2. Take advantage of discounts. Most insurers offer a wide range of discounts. Ask your insurance agent what discounts may be available to you—such as good driver or good student discounts, or taking driver’s safety courses.
3. Shop around. Every insurance company has their own way of determining your premium costs based off your personal information. Work with your insurance agent to request quotes from various insurers. This will allow you to see who is able to give you the best pricing for your desired coverage options.
4. Choose the right deductible for you. Having a higher deductible will reduce your premium costs since you’ll then be paying more out of pocket if you file a claim. If you have a clean driving record, haven’t been at-fault for any accidents and can afford to pay a higher deductible, you may want to consider choosing a high-deductible plan.
5. Reduce and report your mileage. A big component of your premium costs depends on how many miles you drive per year. If possible, try to limit your driving. And if you have reduced mileage, make sure to contact your insurer to let them know—you could potentially cut your insurance rate.
6. Choose a car that’s easy to insure. Vehicles that have lower safety ratings and are more expensive to repair typically have a higher premium. Ask your insurance agent about the different premiums available for each model of the vehicle you are considering in order to determine which car is the most cost-effective to insure.
7. Maintain a good credit history. Most insurance companies will look at your credit when determining your premium. You should routinely check your credit report for inaccuracies, keep credit card balances low and make all credit card and loan payments on time.
8. Bundle your policies. Most insurance companies will offer you the option to bundle multiple policies together in order to save money. For example, many companies offer substantial discounts if you bundle your home and auto policy with them.
9. Consider Location When Estimating Car Insurance Rates. It’s unlikely that you will move to a different state simply because it has lower car insurance rates. However, when planning a move, the potential change in your car insurance rate is something you will want to factor into your budget.
(The graphic above displays the percentage of uninsured motorists in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.)
10. Change how you pay your premiums. Insurance companies love when you make their job easier, and they’ll thank you with discounts and lower premiums. One way to do that is to change how (and when) you pay for your insurance.
For example, you can:
- Pay in full: Instead of paying monthly premiums, pay for your insurance six months or a year at a time. It’s almost always cheaper this way since it doesn’t cost the insurance company money to process your payments every month. Pro tip: Put a little money in your savings account each month so you’re ready when the bill is due.
- Set up automatic payments: Some insurers will give you a discount for going paperless. Plus, you won’t miss payments and you’ll have one less piece of mail to go through. Win-win! Again, make sure you save a little each month so your automatic payment doesn’t accidentally overdraft your bank account.
- Pay in advance: Don’t procrastinate! Some insurers offer discounts for paying premiums a month or so early. (At the very least, you’ll avoid all those crappy late fees.)
- Pay as you go: If you drive less, you should pay less! Drivers who commute or travel less can get great discounts. Driving a lot? You can cut down on your driving (and your insurance rates) by carpooling with coworkers, using public transit, or relocating closer to work.