4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance
Auto insurance is one of those pesky, nagging things, almost like a tiny leech. It sucks money away and we're not even always aware of it, at least until we have to write another check. The bad news is, car insurance isn't avoidable. Most states have minimal amounts that you're required to carry in order to drive legally. But the good news is that there are some easy ways to save money on your car insurance.
Before your current policy is up for renewal, get some quotes from different insurance companies. Many people find that they can save up to $500 each year on insurance by going with a different company.
While there are websites that will give you quotes from several different companies, it's always a good idea to contact the companies you're interested in working with directly. Sometimes, they can offer you savings that you won't find if you go through the other brokers. The best plan is to get quotes both ways, and go with the one that works best.
Before you purchase your insurance, make sure you the company you're going with is nationally known and well-reviewed. It's not worth a price break if you're only going to struggle with the company every time you need something!
Check Your Credit Rating
Counterintuitive though it may seem, insurance companies use your credit rating to determine your rates. Statistics show that people with higher credit ratings file fewer insurance claims. If you've had the same credit accounts for a long time and have paid on them regularly and on time, you're considered a more stable person and a lower risk to the insurance company.
If there are mistakes on your credit report, clear them up before you look for new car insurance. If your credit is generally shaky, know that cleaning it up will eventually effect your car insurance.
Once you have a clean credit record, approach your insurance company and ask them to reconsider your case. If you still don't like the rates they offer, check around with other companies.
Many car insurance companies will offer you a 10-20% discount when you combine your auto insurance with a renter's or homeowner's policy from the same company (some will offer the discount on BOTH policies). Occasionally, it's even possible to get both policies for a price that's lower than what you would pay for car insurance without the second policy.
Another option that's becoming more and more available is to tie your car insurance to your health insurance. Since healthy, strong bodies are less likely to need extended treatment if you get into a minor accident, staying healthy can keep your rates down if you have one of these policies.
Whenever you consider combining policies to save money, make sure that the second policy is something you actually need. Maybe you have an amazing deal on homeowner's insurance through your job, or your health insurance is entirely paid for. Don't get yourself into a worse financial situation just to save a few dollars!
Pursue Your Discounts
Probably the most common way to save money on car insurance is through discounts offered by your insurance company. What most people don't know is that these discounts are not necessarily applied automatically. Most auto insurance companies try to apply them whenever possible, but they don't always have enough information to know that a certain discount should apply to you.
Ask your insurance agent regularly about the available discounts, and calculate yourself which ones you should qualify for. Check your policy or talk to the company again to make sure each of these are showing up on your policy. When you get another statement, check again. If the discounts aren't applied, make another phone call.
Insurance companies deal with so many people that it's easy for your discounts to get lost in the shuffle. By taking responsibility for them yourself, you'll be able to ensure your savings.
Adding it All Up
When you're thinking about car insurance, remember that every little bit adds up. A 2% discount may not seem like much, but over time it can make a big difference. When every penny counts, that difference is magnified even more.