It's easy to lower your insurance costs - especially if you have a great driving record, or don't mind having higher deductibles.
Who doesn't want to pay less for car insurance? Billions of dollars are spent on ad campaigns to convince you to "switch and save" - but the truth is, many people can find savings no matter who their insurance company is. According to the Insurance Information Institute
and other experts, here's how you can, too:
- Drive safely. Accidents, speeding violations, and other incidents on the road can put your safety at risk, of course. But they also can hit your wallet pretty hard, because some can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. On the flip side, many companies will give you a discount if you don't have an accident or moving violation over a set amount of time - so not only will you not pay more than you should, you could pay less than you would otherwise.
- Make sure your coverage fits your life (and your car). If you can afford higher deductibles - that is, the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in - you can save significantly on your premiums. The Insurance Information Institute says raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could drop your overall cost by as much as 30%. You'll also want to consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage if your car is old and worth far less than it once was.
- Pay your bills on time. And not just the ones from your insurance company, either. Most carriers use credit information when they're determining how much your coverage will cost, so it pays to have a good credit history. Other things that can impact your standing include your outstanding balances and how much available credit you have.
- Ask about discounts. There are all kinds of discounts available for drivers - including some you might not have realized. Do you own your home? You might save on your car insurance. Do you purchase your homeowners and auto policies from the same company? You're probably already getting a discount for that. If you don't drive much, you could be eligible for a low-mileage discount. The list goes on and on (literally), so make sure your agent helps you get the savings you deserve!
- Shop around. This goes for cars and insurance policies! Your car has a big impact on how expensive your insurance will be, so if you're buying a new one, be sure to do your research on how much it costs to repair that particular model, the likelihood of theft, etc. And when it comes to insurance, an independent agent can help you get quotes from a number of insurance companies - they'll make it easy to weigh your options and find the right balance between coverage and cost.