If you own a car, it’s important to make sure you have car insurance in case something happens. It’s also required by law to have a certain amount of car insurance in a lot of states. That said, the reality is that car insurance can also be expensive sometimes, and it’s hard to know where to start trying to cut costs. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to control the cost of your premiums and save money over time.
1. Find Cost-Effective Insurance
Cutting on the price of auto insurance should never come at the cost of the quality. That’s why it’s important to find discounts when looking for the best cheap car insurance that will suit your needs. In order to do this, you need to think about the rates for average annual premiums of different insurance companies, the discounts they offer, how customizable their policies are, and how customer-oriented their services are. You can do this research yourself, or you can find articles online that have already done the research and simply see what results they’ve come up with.
You can also see which insurance companies offer the best services depending on your lifestyle. Some are very retiree-friendly, while others focus more on providing car insurance deals for military families. By finding out which company sees you as their target group, you’ll be able to find a policy that is cheaper than average and still perfect for your needs.
2. Check Your Credit Score
A lot of insurers use a customer’s credit score as part of their rating system. By checking your credit and getting it in the best shape possible before applying for car insurance, you can save a ton on rates. It’s important to remember that you should never feel bad about your credit score – everyone needs a bit of help in managing finances from time to time.
However, in the context of getting economical car insurance, the truth of the matter is that you can save a lot of money by simply making sure your credit score is in top shape. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a few blemishes on it, but that you need to be able to prove that you’re paying off your debt regularly and that your credit is in good enough shape for an insurance company to want to give you a policy.
In a lot of cases, just making sure you’re paying off credit as soon as they arrive in your inbox can be enough to give you a discount.
3. The Coverage You Need
Insurance companies are there to provide you with insurance, but they are also there to sell their product. In many cases, they’ll try to get more money from you by selling you a policy that isn’t completely necessary for your needs. If you have a brand new car with an excellent safety rating, for example, it might not be absolutely crucial to get a very comprehensive plan on your insurance.
By checking out what is and isn’t covered in the policy, you can save yourself a lot of money while staying protected. Or if you have a reliable mechanic that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg, you probably don’t need to get the insurance that offers discounts for car repairs either. Take a look at your driving habits, and decide what’s really necessary for your car insurance to cover.
4. Multi-Policy Discount
If you have multiple cars or both a car and home, inquire about whether you will qualify for a multi-policy discount. This gives you one combined rate instead of two separate ones, and it applies when you’re covered for both cars and houses on the same policy. A lot of insurance companies will provide discounts for loyalty or for being a good customer if you’ve had them for a long time.
If your insurance company doesn’t provide these, it might be time to look elsewhere for a better fit. However, this is not always available in every state or local area, so make sure to ask beforehand. Whenever you change a policy or make any changes to the paperwork, call your insurer and ask about your rates before doing anything else.
5. Usage-Based Car Insurance
Another option that some insurance companies are now offering is called usage-based car insurance. Instead of giving you an overall rate for your policy, the insurer will base their rates on how much you drive. If you take public transit to work every day and only use your car for weekend recreation, you might not need a policy that covers accidents or damages on the highways. By asking an insurance company whether they offer usage-based policies, you’ll get an idea of what kinds of rates are available to you.
Additionally, the way you drive your car will impact your rate. If you can limit your speeding tickets, excessive acceleration or braking, and other behaviors that might end up hurting you financially, then it will be to your benefit in the long run. Some insurance companies offer special rates for teenagers or students that are low enough to be affordable, so if you fall into one of these categories, find out what kind of discounts are available to you.
6. Insurance Claims
If you want to save money on rates but don’t feel like changing the coverage on your policy drastically, then consider how often you make insurance claims. A lot of people find that by making a claim only extremely important issues, their rates will remain low and affordable. This might be difficult for some people, especially if they have a very old car or one with a lot of problems, but it’s an excellent way to save money in the long run.
If you think you might have to make a claim soon, it’s best to speak with your insurer about what kind of rates you can expect. Most insurance companies offer discounts for being accident-free for several years, so if you have to file a claim just before your discount is set to expire, then it might be worth it for you to take advantage of it.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save money on auto insurance. Whether you have a brand new car or an older model that will need repairs, take advantage of the discounts available to you as much as possible. If your insurance company doesn’t offer specific kinds of rates for certain situations, then it might be time to find another insurer that can offer exactly what you require. By cutting your auto insurance costs, you’ll save money on the policy itself and also save money by avoiding accidents or claims that could end up costing you even more.
Featured image: Unsplash (Charlie Deets).