Most drivers know that car insurance is a must to be protected and legal. However, many frown upon the high prices that they must pay in the hopes that they never have to use it. Therefore, they wonder if there are ways to lower costs and premiums without sacrificing coverage. Whether you have a low credit score, have a large family, have had traffic violations or accidents, or just want to see if you can get a lower price, there are some options you may want to consider or ask your agent about before forking over the next month’s payment.
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If you haven’t switched insurance companies in a while, you may find that it’s tough to beat their rates, especially for people without any claims. Many times, the number is only 10 percent of people who can save money by switching insurance companies.
While it may seem like a lost cause, you may want to compare insurers using online tools. Even if you don’t get a better deal, it doesn’t hurt to check. In most cases, you get an email from an insurer who wants your business. You may want to form a relationship with them because they can check rates from other companies and helps you build rapport with an agent.
While saving money is essential, it’s not just about the lowest possible premium. While some insurers do have low premiums, they cost you more because they lowball the loss estimate or require that you use original manufacturer replacement parts. They might also raise your premiums after you get into an accident regardless of whether it was your fault.
The age-old question seems to be whether you should opt for a high deductible with low monthly premiums or a low deductible with higher monthly payments. The debate rages on, but the rule of thumb is that if you have a decent driving record and haven’t had any accidents, you may want to go for a higher deductible for collision to save money. Just make sure that you can afford to pay that deductible if you do get into an at-fault accident.
Liability coverage is essential because it pays for any property damage or bodily injury that you cause to others. Reducing the liability limit to the state minimum might seem like a good way to save money, but it could mean you have to pay out-of-pocket if the insurance company doesn’t pay the full claim.
In a sense, it is best to buy more liability coverage to save money in the long term.
It can also make sense to stop paying for rental-reimbursement coverage, especially if you can use another vehicle while yours gets fixed. Along with such, you may want to use a repair shop that offers complimentary loaner vehicles if possible.
You should also consider dumping personal-injury or medical-payments coverage if you have decent health insurance through work or a private company. However, you may want to keep these coverage options if you don’t have health insurance or if your usual passengers don’t have health insurance.
Most car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, so it makes sense that you partake when applicable. You can ask about discounts, such as:
- Good grades for students
- New drivers that have taken a training course
- Senior citizens that take a refresher course
- Drivers who take defensive-driving courses
- Members of some groups, such as college alumni and some professions
You can also ask opened-ended questions about discounts to see what is available from your insurer.