Auto Insurance: Saving to Drive, Driving to Save

Check out the competition. Everybody seems to have “the best deal in town.” Find out for yourself. It would be to your advantage to get 3 quotes.

Along with price, find out how the prospective company is doing financially. Also, does the company have complaints against them? What is their reputation for customer service? A good indicator of this could be seen on your initial visit. For example, did they take time to answer your questions or did they try to whisk you away quickly? Taking note of these things could save you some regrets later.

Check insurance costs for the car you intend to buy. Your premium will be based on the particular vehicle’s sticker price, repair costs, overall safety record, as well as potential theft concerns. If your car features things that reduce injury risk or theft, like daytime running lights or anti-theft devices, your insurance company may offer premium discounts for cars with those features.

Ask for a higher deductible. For example, if you were to increase your deductible from $200 to say, $500, the cost of your collision and comprehensive coverage would be reduced anywhere from 15 to 30 percent. A $1000 deductible would save you more, perhaps more than 40 percent. Of course, you’ll want to be sure you could pay the deductible if you needed to file a claim.

Reduce coverage on your older car. It may not be financially sound to keep collision and/or comprehensive coverage on your old beater. Rule of thumb: Multiply your premium by 10. If your car is worth less than that amount, consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive. Checking Blue Book values will help you make this determination as well. You can check your car’s value online at http:/www.kbb.com.

Insure your home and car at the same company. Insurance companies are always looking for new business, and you might get a break if you buy two or more types of insurance from your insurer. If you have more than one vehicle, you may also get a reduction in your premium. Also, just recently, my wife and I received a reduced premium because we’ve been their customers a long time. Perhaps you can do the same. Still, don’t be afraid to shop around. You never know what you can save.

Establish/Maintain a solid credit history. Granted, this can be a challenge with identity theft running amuck. However, as much as it depends on you, pay your bills on time, don’t obtain too much credit, and most importantly, keep your balances either low or paid off as much as possible. Check your credit report regularly to note any errors needing correction.

Ask about Low Mileage Discounts. Maybe you drive far less miles than the average driver. Some insurance companies offer discounts, even if you carpool to work.

Look into a Group Plan. Check with your employer, any professional, business or alumni groups that you belong to and see if it’s possible to insure through a group plan through them. Some companies may offer discounts through them.

Other discounts may also be available. You can get discounts for your good driving record, such as no accidents or moving violations for a number of years. A defensive driving course may also win you a discount.

As long as we need to have insurance, we must pay for it. After reviewing these tips, however, you can see that we don’t have to pay too much.

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