Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs | III
download a pdf version of this brochure.
One of the best ways to keep your car insurance costs down is to have a good driving record.
Listed below are other things you can do to lower your insurance costs.
1. compare prices
Prices vary from company to company, so it’s worth shopping around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the internet. Your state insurance department can also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers.
You buy insurance to protect you financially and give you peace of mind. It is important to choose a company that is financially stable. check the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies like am best (www.ambest.com) and standard & poor’s (www.standardandpoors.com/ratings) and consult consumer magazines.
Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. some sell through their own agents. these agencies have the same name as the insurance company. some sell through independent agents who offer policies from multiple insurance companies. others do not use agents. sell directly to consumers over the phone or online.
Don’t buy on price alone. ask your friends and family for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out if they provide information on consumer complaints by company. Choose an agent or company representative who takes the time to answer your questions. You can use the checklist at the back of this brochure to help you compare insurance quotes.
2. Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs
Before you buy a new or used car, check insurance costs. Auto insurance premiums are based in part on the price of the car, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injury or theft. To help you decide which car to buy, you can get information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org).
3. ask about higher deductibles
Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy goes into effect. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could lower the cost of your comprehensive and collision coverage by 15 to 30 percent. moving to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more. Before choosing a higher deductible, make sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.
4. reduce coverage on older cars
Consider ditching comprehensive or collision coverages on older cars. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing coverage may not be profitable. car dealers and banks can tell you the value of cars. Or you can look it up online in Kelley’s Blue Book (www.kbb.com). review your coverage at renewal to make sure your insurance needs haven’t changed.
5. buy your auto and homeowners coverage from the same insurer
many insurers will give you a break if you buy two or more types of insurance. You can also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. some insurers reduce rates for long-term customers. but it still makes sense to shop around! You can save money by buying from different insurance companies, compared to a multi-policy discount.
6. maintain a good credit history
Establishing a strong credit history can lower your insurance costs. Most insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies. research shows that people who manage their credit effectively have fewer complaints. to protect your creditworthiness, pay your bills on time, not get more credit than you need, and keep your credit balances as low as possible. check your credit record regularly and correct any errors promptly so your record remains accurate.
7. take advantage of low mileage discounts
Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive less than the average number of miles per year. Low mileage discounts may also apply to drivers who share a car to work.
8. ask about group insurance
Some companies offer discounts to drivers who obtain insurance through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business and alumni groups or other associations. ask your employer and check with the groups or clubs you are a member of to see if this is possible.
9. look for other discounts
Companies offer discounts to policyholders who have had no accidents or traffic violations for several years. You can also get a discount if you take a defensive driving course. If there is a young driver on the policy who is a good student, has taken a driver’s education course, or is in college without a car, they may also qualify for a lower rate.
When comparing prices, ask about discounts for the following:*
anti-theft devices auto and homeowners coverage with the same company college students away from home defensive driving courses driver education courses good credit higher deductibles low annual mileage long time customer 1+ car no accidents in 3 years without traffic violations in 3 years student drivers with good grades
*discounts listed may not be available in all states or from all insurance companies.
The key to saving is not the discounts, but the final price. a company that offers few discounts may still have a lower overall price.
federal citizen information centerwww.pueblo.gsa.gov
national consumer leaguewww.nclnet.org
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, usdawww.csrees.usda.gov