courtesy of A New Horizon
When was the last time you comparison shopped for your automobile insurance? Most of us ignore our insurance policies once we get them until we are forced to replace them or buy a new vehicle. Are you getting all the discounts you are entitled to? Do you have the right deductible? Do you have more coverage than you need? With a little knowledge and some caparison quotes free from the insurance carriers, you could snag some nice savings.
First off, comparison shopping is easy; if you already have a policy, just fax the declaration page to the insurance company or, better still, to an agent that you trust to get you better coverage and/or cheaper premiums. The declaration page gives them almost everything they need to accurately quote a price. A good broker is a wealth of information on how you can save, but be careful, as a bad broker will urge you to buy more coverage than you need. The entire comparison process can be done on the phone or through email, lessening the stress and time needed to visit a broker’s office.
Here are several different ways to save hundreds of dollars on your car insurance if you simply take a few minutes to follow these recommendations:
1. Compare Often
Insurance companies are always competing for your business and so insurance rates change often. At least every 12 months, you should compare the policy you have with at least three other companies. A good place to learn more about competitive rates is here. If you save, you win; if your present company is cheaper, you still win.
2. Drop Coverage You Don't Need
By shopping every 12 months, you may also discover that you are paying for a part of your auto insurance policy that you no longer need. If your child is at college and no longer drives your car, or you have moved to a new zip code, or park your car in a garage instead of on the street, or you have a second car and no longer need car rental coverage, you may be paying for coverage that you no longer need.
3. Increase Your Deductible
No one can predict when an accident will happen, but if you have history of safe driving, consider increasing your deductible, the amount that you have to pay to repair your car before the insurance company has to pay. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be.
4. Take a Defensive Driving Course
Nearly every insurance company offers a discount for taking a defensive driving class, and the discount will be applicable to each of the drivers on the policy. Defensive driving classes are inexpensive and the discounts more than make up for the cost; and they are good for the lifetime of the policy. Check with your car insurance company as to what type of courses and course providers they will recognize for a discount on your policy.
5. Ask for Discounts
Insurance companies have all sorts of discounts and new opportunities for saving money with a car insurance discount program pop up all of the time. Most of us already know about the discounts for alarm systems, antilock brakes and multiple car coverage, but did you know that some companies offer a discount on car insurance if you also have a small life insurance policy with them too?
6. Good Credit Earns Good Rates
A better credit score will result in better car insurance rates. If you have been working hard to improve your credit score and your credit report reflects your efforts, now is the time to shop for insurance. If you have been on a debt management program like the one offered by A New Horizon for at least six months, your on time payment history may have had a positive effect on your credit bureau report. You can get more information on a debt management plan here. When you see an increase in your credit score, don't miss the opportunity to see if this will lower your insurance rates.
7. Take Your Own Discount; Pay With a Credit Card
With the popularity of cash back credit card options, changing the way you pay for the premium can earn you another discount. Some credit cards offer a 1% to 5% cash back option so if you pay the insurance premiums with this type of credit card. It’s like getting a 1% to 5% discount on the bill. But be careful. Using credit just to get a discount can create other problems, so be sure to budget for this expense and don’t pay it off in time. Otherwise, the interest you pay may be greater than your savings.
8. Ask Your Kids to Help by Getting Good Grades
Good student discounts are offered by all of the major car insurance companies. The logic here is that good students make good drivers and good drivers are less risky. Either way, you can’t go wrong if you qualify for this discount.
Now that you have these tips, don’t forget the first rule. Comparison shop often so that you are always getting the very cheapest automobile insurance possible.
A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services is a nonprofit debt consolidation organization that has been helping consumers since 1978. For more information about their programs, contact 1-800-556-1548. They can also be found on the web at ANewHorizon.org or reached via email here.