One of the unlucky things about bills is that they tend to come around every single month. If you’re tired of kissing your income “goodbye” every time your car insurance is due, it may be time to look into ways to lower your premium. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Maintain a good driving record.
Insurance premiums are greatly based on risk, and not just the risk of your car. Your risk as a driver is factored in, too, which is why you may notice higher premiums after you get a ticket or get into an accident. To qualify for the lowest insurance cost possible, keep a clean driving record. You may also want to take a defensive driving course, which some insurance companies will give you a discount for.
Check out insurance premiums before you purchase a car.
The type of car you buy plays a big role in how much you pay for insurance. If insurance cost is an issue for you, this should factor into your car buying decisions. If you choose a car that’s not very expensive to repair, that doesn’t have a high chance of theft (because of theft deterrent systems, for example), and that has a solid safety record, you could end up with lower insurance than if you were to buy a different car.
Price shop to compare offers.
It’s always been a good idea to price shop when searching for insurance, but now it’s easier than ever thanks to online comparison tools and websites. You can still go the old-fashioned route and contact each insurance company you’re interested in, too. If you love a company – maybe they have a local store you can walk into or they have stellar reviews online – ask if they’ll price match. Often, insurance companies are happy to lower their price a bit if it means they’ll snag a brand-new customer. You’ll just have to show proof of a lower offer.
Don’t blindly trust bundles.
The main draw of bundles is that you feel like you’re getting a great deal. However, you may not be getting the lowest premium for each individual policy. For example, maybe you’re getting a great deal on your car insurance, but your homeowner’s insurance isn’t as low as it would be if you didn’t bundle it. Compare the individual costs of premiums and consider if you should go to two or more insurance companies for your insurance needs.
Clean up your credit.
Insurance companies look at your credit score and history when determining your rate. If your credit report needs some work, it’s worth it to figure out if there are any mistakes or to pay off outstanding bills for the sake of getting a lower insurance premium. At the very least, make it a point to check your credit report once a year – you can access the reports from the three major bureaus for free.
Ask for a lower monthly payment.
Hey, you never know if you don’t try, right? Sometimes something as simple as asking for what you want will be enough to get it. The agent you’re speaking with may know of a promotion they can extend to you or they may immediately realize you’re paying for coverage you don’t need. Just ask. The worst you’ll get in return is a “no.”
There’s no need to spend a ton of money on car insurance. You can still have good coverage even while saving your pennies. Get more out of your budget by applying one – or several – ways to cut down your premium.