Imagine yourself driving a two-month-old car from work one evening, You slow down at an intersection, tapping on the steering wheel lightly while listening to your favorite music from your car stereo. That is when it happens: another car had lost its brakes and swerves toward you in the oncoming traffic. You steer your car sharply to the curb where it hits a tree. Visibly shaken but safe and in one piece, you try to clear your head as you stepped out of the car. Surveying the dent on the hood and bumper, you know you’re going to need to have those damages fixed. Your auto insurance comes to mind which is a sigh of relief because it is less expensive compared to the one I had in the past.
Lucky for you, you got your auto insurance in the nick of time. The real catch is, are you getting your money’s worth from your auto insurance policy? Finding affordable auto insurance that fits your needs can be tricky. You have to understand how the business works so you won’t get caught empty-handed when the going gets tough.
Here are some of the things you can do to make your auto insurance less expensive:
Shop around for quotes. While it is true that reading reviews online and recommendations made through the word of mouth save time and energy, it is also good that you go over the policy yourself. You need to find out which auto insurance company offers the best and most competitive rates. Looking around and getting quotes from various insurance providers help you make your auto insurance less expensive because when these providers lay their cards on the table, you have the power to pick the most economical insurance policy for you.
Be a safe driver. The accident scenario in the first part of this article may not have happened to you since it was just an example. However, being mindful of your responsibility on the road is important and though you cannot really say that accidents will never happen to you, you can only hope you would not have to use your auto insurance. If you are an accident-prone driver yourself, chances are you will be paying more compared to a driver with a spotless record. There are times also when you have to deal with an auto insurance specialist if you are considered a high-risk motorist.
Use pay-as-you-go insurance. Is your car parked in the garage most of the time? If you don’t drive a lot because you prefer public transit like subways that could make your commute faster during rush hour, you might want to switch to a car insurance plan that offers a drive-per-mile scheme. The concept is easy. Your auto insurance company will ask you to enroll in their usage-based program, you will then allow them to track your driving through a device that transmits data to their system, and then you will be billed on how much you drive. It has been used before and others confirmed that it is cost-efficient. One such insurance policyholder mentioned that since he drove less than 5,000 miles last year, he got a generous discount and estimated his savings of about 30%.
Choose convenience over charm. We all want to drive expensive fast cars at one point, I get that. It is safe to say, however, that convertibles have higher insurance rates compared to regular cars since having a speeding driver is already a given, and repair costs including spare parts vary. Although having a luxury car does not automatically mean more expensive auto insurance premiums, you should double-check those rates before buying. But if my auto insurance alone will cost me an arm and a leg. I’d rather stick to my definition of convenience.
Protect your credit score. Although some states do not give legal authorization in using credit ratings for an auto insurance application and pricing, you cannot let your guard down just because you live in a state that has leniency. Paying your bills on time, if you can, will save you from further costs. Typically, an auto owner with a poor credit score can pay double the amount compared to an auto owner with a good credit history.
Modify your deductibles. You usually have the choice of how much you want to pay for your part of your insurance claim. Auto insurance policies vary from state to state and this goes with minimum deductibles as well. Keep in mind that the lower your deductible, the higher you usually pay in an insurance claim. You can raise your deductible to cut costs but you cannot reduce your premium if your auto insurance company has set the minimum deductible. Whether you want to increase or decrease your deductibles, you can choose the one that fits your needs. If you are not sure about how deductibles work, you can ask your auto insurance agent for a comprehensive list of how much it costs and the coverage if they have multiple deductibles for circumstances like car accidents, auto theft, and car damage.
Take advantage of rewards programs. Some insurance policies may or may not allow a policyholder to earn points just by being a loyal customer. After a year of staying with the same auto insurance company, they could get discounts immediately after. A friend also said he earns points for referrals. In general, auto insurance companies are aware of the importance of customer retention. Some earn points for being a clean driver which happens to be a win-win situation for them and their auto insurance company. No insurance claims mean no hassles of breaking down those insurance charges. Others get a 5% discount on their auto insurance policy for zero accident records for the last 3 years and the discount could take up to 10% if, in another three years, they will maintain the status of being a clean driver. Some rewards programs are as simple as gift cards you can use in Target or Seattle’s Best for $25 and it may not be a lot but it will still help your savings. You can also sell these gift cards if you want to.
Go online. Just like how your regular customer service provider advises you when they are in a queue, they will request you to go to their website instead of talking to them over the phone. Some auto insurance companies offer discounts when you buy your car insurance policy online.
You can do it with my current auto insurance provider should you renew your policy or should you consider getting a new insurer. There are those with apps that make the transaction smooth.
Talk to an Independent Insurance Agent. If doing everything all by yourself seems daunting, you can always turn to an independent insurance agent or agency. They can do the legwork or search for you through the vast number of insurance carriers they have access to. Doing this is not only saves time but also allows you to tailor-fit your policy with your needs.
Ready to lower your insurance premium? Call us toll-free at 1-877-658-2472 today and you can have your existing policy reviewed.