Car insurance can be a frustrating monthly payment. The hope is that you never get into an accident, and if you don’t, you will have paid the car insurance company for nothing. However, if you do get into an accident, you’ll be glad you have insurance. Not to mention, it’s required by law in order to operate a vehicle!
Although you have to pay for car insurance whether you want to or not, it doesn’t have to cost more than it should. If you’re tired of paying the big bucks for your insurance, use these tips to find a more affordable plan.
One of the best ways to save a little money on your car insurance plan is to combine policies. According to CarInsurance101.com, married couples pay about 10 percent less on insurance than unmarried people of the same age. If you aren’t on your spouse’s policy, or they aren’t on yours, it’s time to combine.
In addition to combining car insurance, you can also combine other types of insurance to save. Some insurers also offer other types of insurance, like home insurance, and the more types you have with the same insurer, the more affordable it is.
Consider How Much You Can Afford to Spend
In an effort to play the lowest payments possible, you may choose the highest deductible insurance. It’s true that it will help you save money, but it may not help you save money in the long run.
It is important to choose your deductible wisely, which means knowing how much you can afford to spend if you’re in an accident. If you have a deductible of $1,000, but you don’t have $1,000 in your savings account, it can make things extremely difficult if you get into an accident. Although a plan with a $500 deductible might cost a little more every month, it can make getting a repair much more doable.
Know the Discounts You’re Entitled To
No other service provider offers more discounts than car insurers! That’s both a good and a bad thing. It means you can drastically reduce your monthly payments, but it also means there are so many discounts that you’re likely to overlook some that you could be taking advantage of.
A few of the discounts available include:
- Employer discounts
- Discounts for memberships, like AAA
- Accident-free discounts
- Defensive driver course discounts
- Discounts for getting good grades
- Discounts for safety features
- Discounts for low mileage
Ask your insurer for a complete list of discounts to ensure you’re taking advantage of everyone.
Work on Your Credit Score
You know your credit score can affect your ability to get an auto or home loan, but did you know it can affect your car insurance rates too?
Those with lower credit scores will generally pay more for their car insurance than those with higher credit scores. The reason why they consider your credit score includes things like wanting to know your history of timely payments, as well as the length of your credit history.
However, what is considered a low score and what is considered a high score can vary between insurance providers. It’s important to speak with your insurance provider about their specific credit score expectations. If you discover that you’re paying more due to your credit score, you should start working on increasing your score.
Pay Semi-Annually or Annually
Monthly payments can be a great way to set a budget. Breaking payments into monthly amounts can also be more manageable. The trouble is, it isn’t going to save you any money.
Your insurance company will charge more for the convenience of monthly payments. You can save a few percent on your premiums if you choose to pay your bill every six months or every year instead of breaking your payments up into monthly payments.
Consider Local Insurers
Chances are, you can name a couple of car insurers right now. Popular, nationwide names include Progressive and All State, but there are a lot more insurers out there that you might not know about. Many of these insurers even rank higher in customer service than the names you know.
If you want to lower your payments, or you simply want to feel like you’re being treated like a person instead of a number, look into car insurers near where you live. For example, NJM insurance is available to residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and it regularly gets five-star ratings. Erie Insurance operates in 12 states along the East Coast and into the Midwest and offers unique coverage options, like pet injury coverage.
Search for local insurers near you and compare their prices with national insurers. You may discover you can pay less and get better service from a name you aren’t as familiar with.
No matter what you do to try to save money on your premiums, none of that will matter if you find yourself in fender benders all the time. Premiums will go up if you’re in an accident, while telematic devices that are installed in your car and report your speeding habits back to your insurance company. Driving safe really is the best way to save on your car insurance.
Many insurers offer safe driver discounts, and accident forgiveness is becoming the norm for those who drive safely on a regular basis.
What does it mean to drive safe? A few safety tips behind the wheel that will help keep your insurance premiums low include:
- Do not multitask on the road. Do not use your cell phone, eat, or put makeup on behind the wheel.
- Assume other motorists may do something unexpected so you can avoid an accident that is caused by someone else.
- Always adjust your seat, mirrors, and climate controls before you start driving the car.
Car insurance is something you have to pay for, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay more for no reason. There are multiple ways to save, as long as you take the time to research the methods that will work for you.