Car insurance is one of the most expensive costs involved in driving a car, and it's not something you can avoid - a minimum level of insurance is required by law. That doesn't mean you have to blindly pay whatever your insurer quotes though, as there are several simple things you can do to reduce the cost of your premiums.
1) Shop around and buy online: Figures show that many people simply renew their current policies without shopping around. The internet makes it easy to compare prices from different insurers, so why not take advantage of this? Plus, you'll usually get a discount of 10% or more just for buying your policy online.
2) Policy type: do you really need a comprehensive policy with all the extras? Going for a third party fire & theft policy can reduce your premiums hugely, and is definitely worth considering if your car isn't an expensive model.
3) No claims discounts: Nearly all policies feature a discount that increases for every year you don't make a claim. The higher the discount available, the more you could save. Also look at insurers offering a 'no claims bonus for life' feature, where your current discount level can be fixed forever, even if you have to make a claim somewhere down the line.
4) Excess: The excess on a policy is the amount of a claim you have to pay before the insurer pays the rest. Choosing to have a higher than standard excess level will usually mean lower premiums.
5) Security: Fitting your vehicle with an alarm, immobiliser, or other security devices can lead to premium reductions. Parking you car off-road, for example on a driveway or in a garage, will also mean a cheaper policy.
6) Pay annually: Many insurers charge you interest for the privilege of paying in monthly installments. Pay annually if you can afford it to avoid this, or look for one of the companies who don't charge extra for monthly payment.
7) Mileage: The more mileage you run up every year, the more your insurance will cost. Even if you can't reduce your mileage, make sure you're not overestimating how much you actually do drive, and give your insurer an accurate figure.
8) Drivers: The more drivers you have on your policy, the more it will cost. Reduce the number of people insured to drive your car to the minimum possible, and try to get the policy in the name of a driver with the lowest risk profile. For example, if a car is driven by both a man and a woman, insuring it in the woman's name will often result in a cheaper quote.
The law requires you buy auto insurance. So if you must get cover, how can you reduce costs ? Here's 7 easy ways to get the best possible auto insurance deal.
* Multiple Quotes
Get multiple quotes - use the internet and call a few brokers. It's easy to gather some good comparison quotes.
Remember to get different types of quotes e.g one from a direct-sell insurance company; another from an offline broker who keeps a database of quotes; and a couple from the internet.
Cheapest might not mean best. Will they pay out if you make a claim ? How financially secure ? How reputable ? Check around with family and friends, and look for online reviews.
* Different type of car
Insurance costs vary depending on car type. Obviously, that $100k sports model costs more to insure than your average runabout. If you're planning to buy a new car, check insurance costs before you buy. I once set my heart on a beautiful, high performance, highly tuned Pontiac.
Luckily I checked the auto insurance before I bought it, because I couldn't get insurance. Every broker, every insurance company flat turned me down because I lived in a high car-crime area. So I had to forget the car of my dreams until I moved up-town.
* Age and Value of Car
Maybe you're buying a used car ? Maybe your car saw better days a few years ago, and now values much lower ? So why pay for high-priced auto insurance ? In particular, do you still need fully comprehensive coverage ?
A good rule of thumb multiplies insurance premium by 10, and compares that figure with your car value. So if you're quoted $1000 premium and your car is worth less than $10,000 you may want to think if comprehensive represents good value. If you drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you should get big savings.
* Higher deductibles (excess charges)
Most auto insurance companies use deductibles to keep policy cost down. Deductibles, or excess charges, show what you pay before your auto insurance policy kicks in. Try requesting quotes with different levels of deductibles, and see how your quotes vary.
Most internet quote forms contain a box where you can specify preferred level of deductibles. Ask your broker his recommended level. For example, going from $250 to $500 deductible can slash your insurance costs by 20% or more. Go to $1000 and you save a lot of money. But you must pay the deductible if you need to make a claim !
* Multiple Insurances
I guess this might come under the 'Get Multiple Quotes' heading, but it's still worth mentioning separately. You usually get an insurance break if you buy multiple policies with the same insurer.
This might mean multiple vehicles, or homeowner and auto insurance. Either way it's worth asking about multi-policy discounts.
* Low Mileage
More and more people work at home. No more commuting. Fewer business trips. Low mileage on your car. Maybe you do travel to work, but car pool ?
Either way, look for low mileage discounts.
* Good Driving Record
A good driving record always reduces your auto insurance costs. Keep a clean drivers license. Don't speed, don't drive dangerously, and you'll save money (apart from other benefits !)
* Bonus Tip
Okay, I said '7 Ways...', but here's some extra tips. Fit anti-theft devices to your car. Go on an advanced driver training course. Use daytime running lights. If you're a college student away from home, consider adding to parents policy.
This short article covers the things you must consider when shopping for auto insurance. Follow these tips and you'll slash your auto insurance costs.
1> Raising your deductible
Deductible is the amount you pay from your pocket before making an insurance claim. The disadvantage of raising your claim is when you make a claim, you will pay more. However, if you are a safe driver, you will overtime save more money by raising your insurance deductible. Look at your previous insurance claim history and make a discreet decision for yourself.
2> Older Auto - Drop comprehensive / collision coverage.
If your car is not worth much, why pay for comprehensive and collision insurance coverage. You can visit a myriad of online sites to find true worth of your car. Additionally your insurance broker might be able to pull up the true worth of your vehicle.
3> Taking advantage of low mileage
Some auto insurance companies will give discounts if you drive less than a certain number of miles or drive less than a certain distance to work.
4> Moving - Consider insurance costs.
If you are considering moving, it will be a good idea to call your insurance agent and get his opinion on the insurance costs in the new city or state.
5> Low profile vehicle
Your vehicle will also determine your overall insurance costs. Some of the cars are favorite for thieves since they fetch a good price. Some cars are more expensive to repair. It makes a lot of sense to do adequate amount of research before you make your auto purchase.
6> Make sure your vehicle is correctly listed by your insurance agent.
Many manufacturers offer somewhat similar model names for vehicles but insurance costs may vary. Additionally 2 or 4 door or the wrong model can impact your auto insurance quote.
7> Have your insurance broker check other insurance company discounts.
A lot of companies will offer discounts if you and your spouse are insured with the same insurance company. Additionally, if you seek home insurance, life insurance, auto insurance from the same insurance company, you will get some discounts. Check with your insurance agent on saving money.
Car insurance is compulsory, but it's not necessary to pay more than you have to. A few simple steps combined with some time surfing for competitive car insurance rates really can save you serious money at renewal time.
Step 1 - Cut the Risk and Cut the Cost
The easiest way to cut your car insurance premiums is to cut the risk and accept a higher voluntary excess. An insurer's standard excess may be £100 but if you meet the first £250 of any claim, you'll see a reduction in your premium. This is because you're taking on more of the risk so you get a discount. But it's a gamble, be aware that you might have to meet the cost of a broken window after an attempted theft or a bill for repairing bodywork damage after a car park crunch.
Step 2 - Security Means Savings
Fitting security devices can also result in cheap car insurance premiums. All major insurers insist on Thatcham rated security equipment, usually a minimum of an alarm. If you live in a high-risk area for car crime, it makes sense to fit extra security. It saves you money when your insurance renewal is due and gives you extra peace of mind.
Step 3 - Annual Mileage, Less Means More in Your Pocket
If your annual mileage is, 5,000 miles or less, ask insurers if they offer discounts for agreed mileage restrictions.
Step 4 - Named Drivers Trick
Adding a named driver to your policy can increase or reduce your premiums depending upon the named drivers age, sex and driving record. Adding a young driver will increase your premiums, particularly with a limited or poor driving record. However, adding a driver over 30 years old with a long and clean driving record can cut premiums, particularly if the named driver is female!
Step 5 - Shop Around and Save Even More
The biggest car insurance savings come from shopping around. There can be massive differences between the lowest and highest car insurance quotes for exactly the same car and driver(s). Start off using good comparative online quotation sites, take their best quotes and go direct to the cheapest car insurance company for more specific quotes.
So next time your renewal quote arrives, don't just accept it and give your money away to the insurance company. Use the steps above and get the right cover at the right price.
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