8 Simple Rules to Start Paying LESS for Car Insurance
We all want to pay less for things- insurance is no exception. This post lays out specific actions you can take to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance. Before we dive in, I need to remind you that cheaper isn’t always better. Just like that cheap TV I was excited about that ended up having horrible sound quality, “cheap” insurance can go wrong too. You don’t want to sacrifice adequate coverage to save a buck today and regret it down the road. Cheap insurance with great sound quality.
This is the most obvious rule to follow- yet very few of us actually have pristine driving records (myself included). There are two general categories we’re talking about here- accidents and traffic violations. Some insurance companies will hold these “Negative Risk Factors” over customers’ heads for up to 5 years! If you aren’t careful, accidents and traffic violations can stack up in that period of time and you will end up having to pay for it.
Already have a bad driving record? Some companies offer discounts for drivers who’ve passed an approved defensive driving course. These courses can also lower the number of points on your license.
Retain Small Claims
With all the money we put towards insurance year after year, it can be tempting to want to “cash out” once you have an excuse to. Many people jump the gun and file claims with their insurance company even for the smallest claims. Remember, you’re often rated on the number of claims you’ve had over the last five years. Insurance is meant to be there for peace of mind in the event you can’t afford to pay damages. You’ll save money in the long run by filing claims when you need to, rather than when you can. The best way to do this is to decide on what amount you’re comfortable paying out of pocket and make that your deductible.
Avoid any Lapses in Coverage
I find many people don’t know this rule, but it’s right at the top of the list for things that can negatively impact your car insurance premium. Insurance companies don’t like when prospective customers haven’t had insurance in place for the past 30 days. If you didn’t have a car to insure, that’s different and this shouldn’t affect you.
Pay your insurance bills on time
If you don’t pay your utilities at home, they’ll get cut. If you don’t pay for your car insurance, it will get cancelled. Having a prior policy cancelled looks very bad to insurance companies. Make sure to set up automatic EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) so you don’t simply forget to make a payment. Many companies also offer discounts for choosing the EFT option. If you can’t afford your monthly payments, talk to your agent to discuss ways to lower your cost of insurance.
Consider Raising your Deductibles
When quoting, there are a few tricks you can do to lower your car insurance cost. The most common is raising your comprehensive and/or collision deductibles. In general, the higher your deductibles are, the lower your premium will be. Just remember that in the event of a claim, you’ll have to be ready to dish out the deductible amount listed on your policy before the insurance company cuts a check. Ask your agent to see how this would impact your premium.
Choose to Drive Smaller Cars
Assuming all else is equal, who do you think pays more for car insurance, the driver of a Toyota Camry or a Hummer?
You guessed it- the Hummer driver will pay much more. Imagine the difference in impact and damage that each of these vehicles would cause if they were responsible for a fender bender? Gross vehicle weight plays a large role in pricing of car insurance. If you love big cars, you’ll pay the price. Consider this when shopping for your next vehicle.
Ahh the ancient myth of bundling your insurance products. Home/Renters and auto? Multiple vehicles? Will bundling actually save me money?
The short answer is YES. Some of our companies offer up to a 30% discount when you bundle. If you’re already quoting your car insurance, it’s painless to throw your home on there to see what savings you’re eligible for.
Know the market- Trust your Agent
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you trust your Agent and insurance company. The more transparency there is in the relationship, the better we can serve our clients- this goes both ways. As an Independent Insurance Agency, we shop on behalf of our clients to see which insurance company is the best fit for them.
I challenge you to start following these rules today and watch it pay off in the future. Taking these actions will lower your car insurance costs without robbing you of coverage. Put that money back in your pocket where it belongs! I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or input, feel free to email me at Alberto@OGinsurancellc.com.