8 Tips to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance: If you’re like most people, you want to get cheap auto insurance. The best way to do that, however, may not be the same across the board. Below are eight tips to help you save money on your auto insurance.
1) Shop around for the best deal
One of the most obvious ways to save money on auto insurance is simply to shop around. In 2013, drivers who switched companies saved an average of $761 per year. No matter how you feel about car shopping in general, it makes sense to see if you can save a few dollars by switching car insurance providers before your current policy expires (or renewing). You’re not locked into a contract or anything like that—switching from one insurer to another should be pretty easy. If you want quick cheap auto insurance quotes, don’t wait until your current policy expires—shop around and find out what other companies are offering. If it means saving a few hundred dollars each year, it’s worth taking five minutes here and there for some comparison shopping.
2) Be honest about your driving history
Accidents, DUIs, speeding tickets—if you’ve got a troubled driving history, then now is not the time to hide it. This is because insurance companies can use your personal information against you when determining how much you pay for car insurance. If your driving record shows that you have an accident-prone past or otherwise have bad driving habits, then getting cheap auto insurance may be tricky because insurance companies will see these facts as potential risks and likely increase your premiums accordingly. But don’t let that deter you from getting auto coverage: there are still ways for responsible drivers with good driving records to get low rates without lying about their past.
3) Compare top brands
When you compare car insurance providers, be sure to compare rates from multiple providers—each company calculates rates differently, and not all of them offer each coverage type. It’s also a good idea to check customer satisfaction ratings and ensure your provider has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Also, before you purchase a policy, ask if it includes complementary services such as accident forgiveness (if your first accident wasn’t your fault) or guaranteed replacement cost coverage (if your car is stolen or damaged beyond repair). Those perks could save you money down the road.
4) Use bundling strategies
Another smart money-saving idea is bundling your insurance. Just because you have life, health, and auto coverage doesn’t mean you need separate policies for each; in fact, many companies will provide a discount for purchasing all three from them. When comparing quotes, ask about discount packages or per-line rate discounts if you combine multiple types of policies (e.g., auto and homeowner’s or two vehicles). This can save you hundreds of dollars annually!
5) Go paperless
Do you know how you can get all sorts of great extras with your auto insurance, like roadside assistance and rental car coverage? Those can add up quickly. Do you really need them? If not, drop ‘em from your policy. You should also consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage if you have a stable vehicle that’s paid off. They’re only required by law if you want to take out a loan or lease.
6) Cut down on add-ons
When it comes to auto insurance, you have a lot of extra add-ons you can purchase: car rental coverage, liability coverage, collision coverage, and more. While these may sound like smart ideas, in theory, they’re not always worth it. For example, liability insurance is meant to cover your legal expenses should you cause an accident; however, in most states, if you’re at fault for a crash that causes injuries or property damage worth less than $1 million, then a third party’s minimum liability policy will step in and pay for damages up to that amount. If that means all those hundreds (or thousands) of dollars you were planning on spending are unnecessary, it’s an easy saving.
7) Bundle your home and auto coverage (if you own both policies with the same company)
While it might seem like you’re spending more money upfront, bundling will actually save you money in both your monthly payments and annual renewal rates. Additionally, if you have an accident and need to file a claim (which is hopefully unlikely), bundling can reduce your deductible. It’s also important to note that most companies don’t allow their customers to un-bundle their policies once they’ve combined them into one. This means that if you had an accident with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company wouldn’t cover costs associated with injury or damage caused by someone without insurance—unless, of course, you have separate policies.
8) Consider other discounts like a safe driver discount or a good student discount
Finding an auto insurance company that will save you money doesn’t always have to be difficult. In fact, there are a number of ways that you can quickly and easily cut your rates. For example, most companies offer discounts for good drivers or for drivers who maintain good grades in school; those two discounts alone could knock off 5% or more from your premiums.