Tips on Lowering Your Car Insurance
When it comes time to saving money, most people look towards their car insurance. When you have an insurance policy, but you have not filed a claim in a very long time, there are two basic ways you can look at things: on the one hand, you can consider yourself lucky that you have not been involved in an accident or any other situation where you would need to file a claim; on the other hand, after a while it can start to feel like you are just giving money away each month without seeing something in return.
Nobody is saying to go without car insurance. In fact, that is not even legal. However, you can find plenty of ways to lower your insurance costs so that you would still be getting a better deal.
- Shop around for a policy
This tip should be pretty obvious, but many providers rely on the laziness of their clients. The thing is that you do not even have to move. You can find everything you need online and, at worst, you would have to make a few phone calls. Whenever it is time for you to renew your insurance policy, do not just give in and go with what you have. See if anybody else will offer you a better deal and then see if your current provided is willing to match that offer. If they want to keep you as a client, make them work for it.
- Drive Careful
If you want to get a good deal for a policy, be ready to shop around. However, not everyone should get their hopes up. The quality of the offers you are going to receive is completely dependent on your record as a driver.
Each insurance company will have its own set of guidelines for determining how risky a driver is, but most of those guidelines are pretty self-explanatory: number of accidents, traffic violations, DUIs etc.
Obviously, the better your driving record is the less risky you are considered to be. It is also not surprising that low risk drivers are the ones that get all the discounts.
If you are a low risk driver, then you should definitely let your insurance provider know that you are willing to leave in search of a better offer. Companies want to have you as a client and they are ready to give you the best policies they have in order to get you. However, you are not going to get a great offer unless you ask for it.
On the other hand, if you are not a low risk driver, then your options are far more limited. For you, the road to cheaper car insurance is longer and you need to be willing to put in the time and effort. Basically, what you need to do is improve your driving record. Nothing stays on there forever, not accidents and not a DUI.
Once you are involved in either of them, your premiums will get higher, there is nothing you can do about that. Best thing to do in that situation is make sure that it does not happen again. Get familiar with your violations and know when they will be expunged from your record. Once this happens, make sure to inform your insurance provider in order to renegotiate a new rate.
- Get a low profile car
A lot of you would probably want to drive a nice, red sports car. If you do this, however, you should be prepared to overpay on your insurance policy, as well. There are many factors that weigh in when it is time to buy a new car but, if you want to be frugal, insurance should at least be among them, if not one of the most important.
Just like different drivers will pay different premiums for the same policy based on their record (and a ton of other stuff), so will different cars get different offers. In other words, some cars are riskier than others just like some drivers are riskier than others to insure.
It should be pretty straightforward what the qualities are that make a car cheaper to insure: practical, cheap, old, safe etc. Something that is really fast or really new (or both) will be more expensive.
Sports cars are the worst when it comes to insurance. In some cases, the cars are not particularly sporty, but statistics show that they are a frequent target of thefts. This will also impact the policy. Therefore, if you want to save on car insurance, your vehicle should be safe and boring.
- Watch the extras
So let’s say that you bought yourself a modest and practical car in order to get a better insurance policy. This is all well and good, but you can go even further in order to improve that offer. First and foremost, you should do what you can in order to make your car a less attractive target for thieves.
If you have a garage then you should definitely use it but, if not, at least install a security device. Anything that makes the car safer will reduce your premium. Be warned, though, that you need to alert your provider whenever you make such a change and you must also use approved products that have been installed by a certified professional.
That being said, any kind of modification that is not made for safety reasons will actually increase your premium. You need to keep your car looking as standard as possible. So you can add bigger wheels, a more powerful stereo and whatever else you might like, but be sure you are prepared to pay extra.
Again, the insurance company must be alerted of any changes you make to your car. Failure to do so can be considered withholding information and there is a chance that your policy might be invalidated.
- Increase your deductible
This is something that many people who do not know a lot about cars avoid. The idea is to get a higher deductible for your policy. The deductible is the initial sum of money that you have to pay whenever you file a claim.
So…then…why would you want that sum to be higher? Well, for the simple reason that a higher deductible means a lower premium. You pay more if you get into an accident, but you pay less if you don’t.
Basically, the deductible is a gamble which can turn into a win or lose situation. It all depends on how safe of a driver you think you are. If you are someone with a spotless driving record, then a higher deductible is a pretty safe bet. If you are not, however, then you might end up paying more.
- Drive less
This is not something that everyone will be able to do but, if you can, know that this will also affect your policy. The reasoning is pretty simple: the less you drive, the less likely you are to be involved in a crash that would require you to file a claim. Everybody wins but, of course, not all of us have the option to drive less because we use the car for work every day. However, you can avoid using the car on long journeys where other methods of transport are available. When you are comparing the costs to each other, remember that leaving the car at home also means a reduction in your premium, so that should also become part of your calculations.