There are many ways that you can save on car insurance. It’s just a matter of knowing how.
When you are trying to save money there’s a big difference between the expenses you can cut, and the ones you can’t. You might be able to trim your grocery budget, or cancel some streaming services, or give up those Starbucks coffees that everyone keeps claiming will turn your financial life around. But there are some expenses that are tough to avoid: rent, car payments, certain utilities, and so on.
Your car insurance might be one of those bills you can reduce, although it might take a little extra footwork on your part. No one is going to come knocking on your door to let you know you can lower your rates. But with a little research and effort, you might be able to trim a good chunk off your insurance premiums.
Here are a few ways you can save on car insurance:
Ask for a discount On Your Insurance Premiums
Your car insurance carrier won’t necessarily tell you about it up front, but there are a lot of potential discounts insurers offer to policyholders. Most of these are based on reducing risk for the insurer (in fact, that’s what most of these tips overall are about). Some possible discounts include:
- A student discount for students with good grades.
- Drivers who take a training or defensive driving course.
- Having anti-theft and safety equipment installed on your vehicle.
- Engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, government officials, and other professionals can get what’s called an “affinity discount” for being part of those groups.
- Veteran and military discounts.
- Discounts for driving an electric or hybrid vehicle.
- Low-mileage discounts for people who rarely use their cars.
- Loyalty discounts for staying with your insurer long-term.
There are others, too, so get in touch with your insurer and see what they have to offer!
Keep a clean driving record
Everyone knows that an accident can send your insurance premiums soaring. But having a clean driving record can actually lower your rates as well. The longer you go without being in an accident, the less risk you’ll potentially carry for insurers, and your rates could drop as a result.
Shop and compare Auto Insurance
It never hurts to take some time, once a year or so, to review your insurance and see if you can find a better deal on cheap car insurance somewhere else. One of two things could happen when you do: you might find coverage that’s just as good for a lower price, or the insurer you’re with now might offer you a better rate if you choose to stay with them. Either way, you stand to win.
Drop coverage you don’t need
You may be paying for coverage you don’t really need, particularly if your vehicle is on the older side. For example, if you have comprehensive coverage on a car that’s basically a beater at this point, you may be paying more in premiums than you’d get back in a claim if the car got totaled.
For a vehicle that isn’t worth that much in the blue book anymore, consider dropping everything but liability.
Change your deductible To Save On Car Insurance
If you’re not already familiar, your deductible is what you pay before your insurance kicks in. Say you have a deductible of $500 and you get in an accident causing $1500 worth of damages. You’ll pay $500 and the insurance will pay the other $1000.
A low deductible has its advantages, particularly if you’re low on cash month-to-month. But a low deductible means higher premiums. If you can get together an emergency fund, consider cutting back your deductible to get lower monthly premiums.
Bundle your policies
Many insurers will offer you a better rate if you bundle your car insurance in with your home or life insurance. This can save you an average of about 15%, and it also cuts down on the amount of paperwork you have to do — especially if you had insurance policies with multiple companies.
Change your vehicle
It’s an unfortunate fact of life: more expensive cars cost more to insure. The newer they are, the more likely they will cost more to repair, because of high-tech replacement parts and sophisticated onboard systems. If it’s feasible for you, consider trading in for an older vehicle — one that won’t cost as much to repair and (ideally) has a good safety and durability record.
Maintain your credit score
Having a higher credit score is just a desirable thing in general — and it’s not always easy to get those numbers up. But one side effect of keeping your credit score high is your insurer will see you as more responsible and less of a financial risk, and your premiums may get lower as a result. Conversely, a major hit to your credit score could potentially mean a jump in your premiums.