Here is a collection of helpful auto insurance tips and advice to give you an advantage when shopping for car insurance. From what types of coverage are necessary, to tips on how to lower your monthly premiums, this information will help you navigate the car insurance process. Anyone who has ever purchased auto insurance knows that there are a lot of variables that go into their decision. Since most of us aren't experts in the car insurance industry, it helps to have some advice on what to look for and the various things to consider when making those decisions.
Listen to your insurance agent. They are paid to know the market and advise customers. That specialized knowledge means they can help you obtain the best deals and inexpensive auto insurance. Don't believe you know insurance more thoroughly than they do. They will have suggestions that can shave small, or even large, amounts off your insurance bill.
Amount of Coverage
Balance the amount of coverage you take out against the cost of the insurance premium each month. Before signing on the dotted line, work out exactly how much coverage you require to meet your commitments each month. The premium payment you have to make on a monthly basis is directly related to the amount of compensation you will receive—the more money you need, the higher the monthly payments will be.
Where price is the primary factor, your agent will be able to work with you to tweak the coverage so it's still good, but costs you less. There are several ways to do this. The most obvious way is by increasing your deductible. The standard deductible is $250. Raising that to, say, $1,000 will have a big impact on your car insurance rates.
If you have an older car that's not worth much money, your insurance agent might recommend you go for the minimum legal coverage, rather than full comprehensive. This will bring a savings, but it's a risky move, since if you're at fault in an accident, the insurance won't cover the costs of repair or replacement of your car. You could end up spending a lot more than you save. If you're accident-free, the gamble will pay off.
If you purchase an older vehicle, the cost of car insurance will be comparatively lower. Just because a car is not brand new does not means it is not reliable.
If your car is equipped with safety features such as a side airbags, anti-theft devices or anti-lock brakes, your insurer will give you a reduction on your premiums.
When you pay month by month for car insurance, you are assessed a monthly finance charge. This means over 6 months you pay more than your premium. If you pay all at once upfront, you will save anywhere from $20 to $50 per policy.
Insure with a Relative
A single parent may have no opportunity to get a multi-car discount, but if you live with an older relative, you may be able to get on their policy, saving you money on insurance.
Mention Your Child
Parents, even single parents, are considered lower risk drivers, so be sure to tell the insurer about your child and your rates may very well go down.
Get Multiple Quotes
Shop around to find the best rates with the best coverage. Don't settle for the first quote—the next one might be better.
Defensive Driving Course
Insurance companies will offer a reduction in rates if you sign up and take a defensive driving course. It encourages safe driving, and that is the hallmark of more favorable insurance rates.
When You Renew
If you have an independent agent or broker, give them a call first and ask if there is anything they can do to get you a cheaper quote or find you some discounts on your current car insurance renewal premium price. Simply calling to renew your policy can mean that you miss out on any deals that are being offered. Remember that in the last year, your credit rating may have improved, your driving record may be unblemished and you may qualify for discounts that you were not eligible for last year. So find out first if you can get a better price.
Play Second Fiddle
For men, being listed as the second driver on car insurance that is in your wife or significant other's name can be advantageous. Women are safer, more cautious, have fewer accidents, get fewer tickets and cost insurance companies less overall. Therefore, they get better rates than men. If you can be listed as the second driver on a woman's policy, you can take advantage of that woman's good rates and pay less for insurance.
Pass Your 25th Birthday
Men under the age of 25 are the highest risk drivers, according to insurance company data. Therefore, they pay the highest possible rates. While you can't do anything about changing your age, as soon as you have your 25th birthday, contact your insurance company and be sure they make the appropriate adjustment to your rates.
Drop the Points
If you have had tickets or accidents, your insurance rates will rise for a period of time. The insurance company adds "points" to your policy in the same way the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state adds "points" to your license for violations. If your rates rise due to points for tickets or accidents, ask the insurance company how long the rate remains in effect. Mark the date on a calendar or planner. When the time period is over, contact the insurance company and ask that the rate be lowered.
Get Multiple Policies
Many insurance companies will give you a substantial discount if you have two or more different types of insurance policies with them; therefore, if possible always try to use the same insurance company to ensure both your car and your home. By having multiple policies, you will usually be able to enjoy discounts of 10% to 20%.
Maintain Good Credit
By always maintaining a solid credit rating, you can cut your insurance costs. More and more insurers are using credit scores to price insurance policies on automobiles. Therefore, if you have a good credit standing, you are much more likely to receive better premium rates than people with poor or bad credit.
Low Mileage Discounts
Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who only drive on a very limited basis. In addition, low mileage discounts can also be applied to vehicles that are used in carpools. If you do not drive your car very often, ask your insurance company about this type of discount.
Car Repair Insurance
An option you may want to consider when buying insurance for a used car is car repair insurance. Car repair insurance can help you cover any costs associated with repairing your car. Since you never know how well a used car was maintained before you bought it, this can often be a wise choice.
Account for Your Health
Senior drivers should consider their vision needs and other conditions when choosing between comprehensive, collision or basic liability coverage. For most drivers on the road, the value of their vehicle is the primary factor in choosing whether they want collision or comprehensive coverage. For seniors, it's also wise to consider any conditions that may lead to higher collision rates. Even small collisions can trigger a claim. The basic liability insurance mandated by the state will not cover body work on a vehicle. For that, you need a collision policy.
Take Advantage of "Extras"
Many younger drivers choose to forgo extra insurance features such as roadside assistance and temporary rental car service. Drivers dropping these options from a policy will cut their price tag, but for senior drivers, these particular services may come in very handy in an adverse situation and roadside assistance may be well worth the extra charge.
Keep Your Old Car
As a senior citizen, if you're not driving a whole lot, you can be paying out a lot more than you should. One way to keep this under control is by insuring an older model of car that may still be in good condition. That's why many seniors tend to keep vehicles longer, taking good care of the interior and exterior, and keeping the same policy that will not be subject to extreme fluctuation in rates.
Pay as You Drive
If you're struggling to pay auto insurance policies with the options mentioned above, there is now a great way to cut the bill, sometimes by even more than half. This is called pay as you drive insurance, and with it, you only pay according to the actual mileage you drive. For seniors, who often do not have to deal with commuting, this can be a very attractive option, especially if a lot of your driving is "leisure driving" and not obligatory. Look into pay as you drive insurance options that will alleviate some of the high cost of today's auto insurance for seniors who may be on a fixed income.