1. Comparison Shop
Finding the most affordable car insurance isn’t as hard as it once was. With so many different car insurance agents located all around the country, and some available exclusively online, your options are now more plentiful than ever before. The hard part is sorting them out in order to make sure you are getting the most affordable rates while still maintaining the exact amount of coverage you need.
The first thing you should do when looking for cheap car insurance is comparison shop. Consult your area’s local phone book, call or visit agencies near you, and remember to take notes regarding prices.
Next you’ll want to do some online research to find out your online car insurance options. Again, take notes and compare these to the notes you have concerning local agents.
Finally, ask your friends and family members what insurer they use, and ask for any recommendations or warnings they may have about other agencies. You’re sure to receive an unbiased opinion every time.
2. Age-Based Discounts
Many younger drivers may not realize this, but your age is an important factor in setting the exact price of your auto insurance premium. You’ll typically see premiums lowered once you hit the age of 25, with discounts that can sometimes be as high as 20%, though other factors such as marital status and driving record are also taken into consideration.
The lowest premiums associated with cheap car insurance rates are typically given to drivers between the ages of 25 and 55. This age group is considered to be amongst the safest drivers on the road; certainly safer than teenagers and elderly drivers.
Depending on your insurance agent you may also see discounts as you age beyond 25. These discounts usually cease once a driver reaches their mid 50’s, though you may be eligible to receive other discounts on your car insurance at that time.
3. Move to a Lower-Crime Area.
The location of your home as well as your daily commute to the workplace is also taken into consideration by insurance agents when determining your car insurance premiums. This is a factor for a number of good reasons.
Individuals who live and park their car in wealthy neighborhoods are statistically less likely to have their car stolen, broken into, or damaged while it is parked overnight. Secondly, those who have shorter commutes to and from work are statistically less likely to be involved in an accident as they spend less time on the road than drivers with longer commutes.
This is why agents always make sure your home address and telephone number is correct. They use this information to determine if you live in a low-risk neighborhood or a high-risk area, and they compare with your employer’s information to determine how long of a commute you have back and forth each day. This will determine the exact rate of your cheap car insurance.
4. Consider Getting a Different Vehicle if Savings Warrant it
Did you know that insurance on a honda can be more expensive than insurance on a Jaguar?
The exact make and specific model of your vehicle is also used to determine how much you pay for cheap car insurance. This information is important to your insurance agent for a number of reasons.
The newer the car, the higher the repair/replacement cost.
On the other hand, First of all, some vehicles are simply more reliable than others. A used vehicle that’s been on the road for 20 years is not nearly as reliable as a brand new car. Though it may be more affordable to buy the older, used car, you may wind up paying higher insurance rates because of it.
Owners of sports cars and luxury vehicles can also expect higher premiums than most other drivers. These automobiles are usually capable of much greater speeds than other vehicles on the road, and some may even have upgrades or aftermarket parts added on. All of this increases the risk of an accident or breakdown, and your agent will charge you extra for the coverage.
5. Increasing Your Deductible Can Save You $100′s a Year
A deductible is the amount of money you are actually required to pay out in the event of an accident before your insurer will pay out on your claim. The amount of your deductible is also one of the biggest factors in determining your auto insurance premiums. In fact, the larger this deductible is, the less you’ll have to pay for coverage on a month-to-month basis.
Most drivers don’t realize this, but most agents will actually allow you to raise the deductible amount in order to lower your monthly rates. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance then this is a good deal for you; especially if you have a clean driving record as you may not ever have to actually pay this deductible. Ask your agent if they offer this service and, if they do, ask them how much you’ll be able to save by going with an increased deductible. The answer may surprise you.
6. Consolidate Your Policies With One Company
If you currently have multiple insurance policies through several different companies then you may be able to consolidate them so you just have to deal with one insurance agent. For example, many individuals have separate policies on their house, their car, and maybe even a boat or recreational vehicle.
Combining all of these separate policies into one, or at least choosing one company to handle all of your policies, can eliminate a number of hassles. It can also lower the amount of money you pay each month for insurance all around.
Other types of insurance include health, dental, life, and travel. Depending on the company you are working with, you may be able to combine these types of insurance to receive cheap car insurance as well. This will save you even more money on a monthly basis.
7. Check For Multiple Vehicle Discounts
Many individuals own multiple cars, and most of these owners keep insurance on all of their vehicles year round. Others may own seasonal cars, show cars, or other vehicles that are only brought out on rare occasions.
If you own multiple vehicles for whatever reason, you can consolidate them all onto one insurance policy when looking for cheap car insurance. The benefits of this include less paper mail being sent to your house as well as a reduction in your insurance premiums each month.
Multiple drivers can also be added to an insurance policy, allowing you to further reduce your auto insurance premiums. This includes spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, and even roommates. Remember to comparison shop and do the math beforehand, however; in some cases it is cheaper to hold policies with separate insurance companies.
In fact, even if you have a vehicle thats not working, adding it to your insurance policy can save you a lot of money in some cases.
8. Stay Loyal
Loyalty means a lot in any business, and the car insurance business is no different. In fact, many auto insurance companies are now offering reduced premiums as a way of rewarding some of their most loyal customers.
When looking for cheap car insurance, agent loyalty can be your best friend. Once you find an insurance company that offers the amount of coverage you need for the right price, develop a relationship with them. Get to know your local insurance agents and most importantly, stick with the same company year in and year out. After all, if you’re already receiving great rates and the coverage you need there’s simply no reason to go elsewhere and look for a new policy with a new company.
Loyalty also relates to making your payments on time. Paying your premiums on or before the due date every single month will help you avoid late fees and additional fines or charges.
9. Get Liability Only if Your Car is Older
Most drivers automatically opt for full coverage on their vehicles when in reality, not every one of us needs full coverage. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, try to find a policy that covers only the areas you need and nothing more.
If you already have full coverage insurance, it’s never too late to ask your agent for a decrease in coverage. Towing fees and rental car fees that are covered by a policy may sound good, but if you have a second car then you might not ever need to use a rental car. Furthermore, some individuals may hold memberships elsewhere that grant them access to reduced towing or automobile service charges.
If your vehicle is valued at less than $1,000, you may also want to consider dropping your collision and comprehensive coverage. In cases like this it might not be worth it financially to repair your vehicle after a crash or accident.
This can save 50% in some cases.
10. Get Storage Insurance if Your Not Driving a Vehicle Year Round
If your vehicle is used as a seasonal vehicle or a show vehicle you may not require full insurance year round. For vehicles that are put in storage for any amount of time, storage insurance is your best option for cheap car insurance.
Note that this type of insurance is not legal for driving on, though it will pay out in the event your vehicle is damaged during storage. Depending on the exact make and model of the car in question, and depending on the type of damage that has been done, repairing the vehicle without insurance may end up costing you thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
As long as you maintain storage insurance on your vehicle while it is being stored away, no matter the location, then you can save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and money if something does happen to your vehicle.
11. Improve and Fix your Credit Score
Your credit score affects many different things in your life, not the least of which is your auto insurance rates. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, one of the best things you can do is clean up your credit score; it may be costing you thousands of dollars annually on your car insurance payments.
Keep your credit score clean by paying bills on time, paying back loans on time, and avoiding maxing out your credit cards. Bounced checks and bank overdrafts can also hurt your credit score, not to mention your pocketbook as well.
You should also request a copy of your credit report on an annual basis, even if you know your report is clean. Identity theft is on the rise, and many innocent victims could have been spared if they only would have been monitoring their credit report more closely.
12. Clean Your Driving Record
Maintaining a clean driving record is the key to getting dirt cheap car insurance from your agent. Your first accident alone may result in as much as a 40% increase on your monthly premium, so driving carefully while on the roadways really can help keep your auto insurance as affordable as possible.
Most auto insurance companies offer a discount for safe drivers, though the exact definition and criteria of “safe” driving and a “clean” driving record will likely vary from agent to agent and company to company. Remember that agents aren’t likely to bring this discount up on their own, so don’t be afraid to ask them about it as long as you feel you have the clean driving record to back it up.
Also remember that if you do happen to get into an accident while on a program like this it’s going to be extremely difficult to regain your safe driving benefits and you’ll certainly see a rate increase at least for the first couple years.
Remember that if you ever get a ticket, going to the driving school may help as well.
13. Vehicle Safety Issues
The safety of your vehicle will also be taken into consideration by your agent when you are trying to get cheap car insurance. The technology and features seen in newer vehicles make them far safer than older vehicles, so you can get a start on lowering your premiums either by having updated safety features professionally installed into an outdated vehicle, or simply by purchasing a more recent car.
Things to look for when taking vehicle safety into mind include automatic seatbelts, as this feature almost guarantees that both the driver and passenger will be wearing their belts at all time, and both driver-side and passenger-side airbags. Airbags in the rear seats of the vehicle can also help to improve the safety rating of your car, thereby lowering your monthly car insurance rates in the process.
Make sure your windshields and windows are free of cracks and chips, and make sure all of your mirrors are intact. If your vehicle is visually inspected by an agent, faults like this will surely result in higher insurance rates.
14. Get A Security Device
Exactly where you park your car at night is a big factor when calculating your auto insurance premiums, but having advanced vehicle security may also be factored in. If your vehicle is already equipped with a modern, functioning alarm system, mention it to your agent; you may be able to get a reduced premium because of it.
If your vehicle doesn’t already have an alarm and you want cheap car insurance, it may be worthwhile to pick up a brand new system and have it installed. Today’s vehicle alarm systems are not nearly as expensive as they used to be, they are quick and easy to install for anyone with common automotive knowledge, and they can save you a lot of money not only on your car insurance, but in case someone tries to break-in to your vehicle as well. With all of the reasons in front of you, it’s hard to say no to a car alarm.
Since every company has different rules and discounts, check with them to see which security devices will give you the best discounts.
15. Park Off-Street, or Even in a Garage
While vandalism is more obvious in certain parts of the country, there is no doubt that the trend is on the rise throughout the entire country. Unfortunately, one of the top targets for today’s thieves and vandals include cars that are parked out in the open and left unlocked and unattended. They are the easiest targets to hit, and many drivers have trouble finding cheap car insurance because of it.
If your car is parked in a private garage on your property, however, you are likely to see a sharp decrease in your auto insurance coverage. This is not to say that a garage is a foolproof method of protecting your vehicle or your property, but it can help deter thieves. Insurance agents know this, and they’re willing to charge you a little bit less if you are able to park in a garage at night. Even a simple carport may help lower your insurance rates; it never hurts to ask.
16. Verify Accuracy on Your Policy
It never hurts to browse through your insurance policy to make sure everything is correct. Make sure you are being given the right amount of coverage and paying the right price for your premiums. You’ll also want to make sure that your personal information is all accurate, as an error here could end up costing you money every month.
If you want cheap car insurance, it is crucial that you take your time and double-check all of your information. If you find any kind of errors, make sure to report these to your insurance agent as soon as possible, preferably immediately. Some of the most common errors include birth date and marital status errors, but these two mistakes are also amongst the most costly. Be certain that this information is accurate in order to receive the absolute best car insurance rates from your insurer.
17. Retirement Discounts
Depending on the exact area in which you reside, retirement typically comes at 55 or 65 years of age. Certain insurance agents offer discounts to retired drivers, and this is done for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, retired drivers usually spend less time on the road than most other drivers. Without a daily commute to and from work, retirees typically put far less mileage on their vehicles than drivers who have to drive to work and home each day.
If you want cheap car insurance and you are 55 years of age or older, don’t be afraid to tell your insurance agent. A retiree discount can make a huge impact on the amount of money you pay each month, but many don’t even realize this. Again, this is a benefit that isn’t typically offered outright by your agent, so you’ll need to ask about it in order to gain the discount.
18. Affiliate Discounts
Nearly every car insurance company offers different discounts based on your personal group affiliation. Like with most other discounts, this one is not usually advertised by your insurance agent. Never be afraid to mention the groups you are a part of and ask your agent if there any discounts available for you.
The most common group affiliations cited to receive discounts on their auto insurance include your work, college or university, military organizations, and many more. No matter how small or unknown the group or organization may seem to you, don’t hesitate to ask about a discount; it could be your ticket to cheap car insurance through the insurer that you already use.
Depending on your personal situation, it may be cost-effective to join a group solely based on the reduction of your auto insurance policy. Ask your insurer if they can provide a list of groups that provide these types of discounts, and look into joining any that interest you.
19. Take An Advance Driving Course
Driving classes are offered by a variety of organizations, both public and private. If there are any types of driving classes available through your insurance agent, you may want to consider attending and completing them in order to find cheap car insurance through an existing insurer. If you are unaware of any classes being offered in your area ask your agent; they’ll be glad to help. Be aware that if you take a class and fail, however, you may end up with an increased insurance rate instead.
There are many different types of driving classes, but defensive driving classes are usually the most effective at reducing your car insurance premiums. Note that you will probably be required to show your agent proof of completion (usually in the form of a certificate) in order to be eligible for any benefits, so you won’t be able to fake it.
20. Get Good Grades & Ask For Student Discounts
Getting good grades is important in school, but it can also help lower your auto insurance premium as well. In fact, if you are looking for cheap car insurance one of the best things you can do is succeed in school.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a teenage driver still in high school and driving under a parent’s policy or a student in college with your own vehicle and insurance, there are usually many discounts available to you for receiving good grades.
Of course you’re going to need proof of your educational achievements, so get a copy of your most recent report card and bring it in to your local insurance agent. You may be surprised to find an instant reduction in the amount of money you pay each month for car insurance.
21. Drive Less: Walk, Bike, Carpool, Take Public Transportation
The amount of time you spend on the road, as well as the actual mileage you put on your vehicle can also be factored in when determining your cheap car insurance premium as well. If you don’t drive very often and don’t put many miles on your vehicle, then you’re likely to be eligible for a rate reduction. Like with many of the other methods that can be used to decrease your premium, however, you’re going to have to ask for this discount specifically.
Auto insurance discounts for low mileage are more actually more common than you might think. Insurance companies realize that there’s not as much risk involved with drivers who aren’t on the roads very often, and they’re usually willing to adjust your rates accordingly. If your current insurance company doesn’t offer any kind of low mileage discount, you may want to shop around until you find one that does. The amount of money you may be able to save is truly worth the time and effort.
22. Make Larger Payments on Your Premium
You have more control over the specific payment arrangements that are made with your agent than you may think. In fact, you can actually choose to pay off your entire premium, either on a 6 month or yearly basis, and save quite a bit of money in the end.
Of course paying in full isn’t always a viable option in every scenario, and some have no choice but to make monthly payments. Some even struggle to make that.
Many people don’t realize this, but if you are making monthly payments to your insurance company then you’re not getting the cheap car insurance that you should be. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent about paying in full. You’re likely to see a smile on their face as well as receive a good discount on your car insurance.
23. Verify VIN Accuracy
Many drivers don’t know this, but if the VIN (vehicle identification number) of your car is off even by one digit, then you’re probably not receiving the correct auto insurance quotes. The VIN is used to identify your vehicle, and is unique to each specific vehicle. It is also used by law enforcement to positively identify your vehicle in a wreck or if it is stolen. If your VIN is entered incorrectly you might be getting overcharged through absolutely no fault of your own and without even knowing it.
Being aware of your vehicle’s exact VIN and double-checking its accuracy on your specific policy is something that few drivers do, yet something simple that nearly everybody can benefit from. VINs vary greatly, though all cars manufactured after 1980 feature VIN consisting of 17 characters.
24. Review your Policy for Unnecessary Add-Ons.
Since automobile insurance companies are far more numerous than they were just 10 years ago, some companies have started offering benefits and plans that are aimed at helping the driver. However, many of these packages are added to your normal insurance policy automatically and with your knowledge, and some of them aren’t even worth the amount of extra money you’ll have to pay on your insurance premiums.
Some plans offer to replace your car with a new one of equal value if your car is wrecked in an accident, but this is actually referring to the value of your car at the time of the wreck and not at the time of the original purchase. Factor in depreciation, and you’re looking at recouping only a fraction of what you paid for your car. These types of “benefits” can be dropped from your auto insurance in order to make sure you are getting cheap car insurance from your insurer.
25. Go Green!
With global warming and other environmental concerns more publicized than ever before, “green” vehicles are now being pushed as replacements for our modern vehicles that are already on the road. In order to add an increased incentive for purchasing one of these environmentally-friendly vehicles, many car insurance companies are offering lower auto insurance premiums to owners of “green” or environmentally-friendly vehicles.
While the cost of a new vehicle might not be worth the lower premium, if you are in the market for a new car then you may as well buy an energy efficient model. Not only will it help save the environment, but it will also help you find cheap car insurance rates that you might not have had access to otherwise.