While most of us dread dealing with insurance matters, I think it’s safe to bet we all love saving money. And chances are, you’re paying more than necessary for your car insurance. So why not invest an hour or two to make sure you’re paying as little as possible? Especially during the summer, when you may be logging extra miles for a vacation. Here’s how.
Calling insurance companies and requesting quotes is not our favorite thing to do either, but insurance companies know this and strategize accordingly. If you haven’t compared rates within the past two years, or if you’ve recently changed vehicles or drivers, it is likely worth your time make some calls.
INCREASE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE
By increasing your deductible, you’ll decrease the chance, or amount, of a potential payout by the insurance company in the event of a claim. In response, they should lower your premium. So if you’re the type of driver who rarely makes a claim, your savings could really add up. If you have a sufficient emergency fund, think about raising your deductible to $500 or $1,000. Of course, you’ll have to pay that much more out of your own pocket in the event of a claim, but the savings, especially on newer vehicles, could be substantial.
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REQUEST AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS
Most auto insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. Some of the more popular discounts are available for:
- Vehicles which get little use.
- Vehicles with specific safety features.
- Vehicles with theft protection (especially in high theft areas).
- Drivers with a safe driving history.
- Sticking with the same insurance company year after year.
Unfortunately, these discounts aren’t always applied automatically. Call your agent and ask for a complete list of discounts offered. Determine which ones you’re eligible for and have your agent make the necessary adjustments on your policy. Even better, ask that the discounts be applied retroactively. If so, you may end up with a nice credit against your premium.
COMBINE HOMEOWNER & AUTO INSURANCE
Most companies offer a significant discount if you allow them to issue both your auto and homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. So if you haven’t already, call your agent and find out how much you’ll save by combining them under one roof. If your auto insurance company doesn’t offer homeowner’s insurance, it might be worth your while to switch to an insurance company that offers both.
PAY YOUR PREMIUM UP FRONT
Some insurance companies charge service fees of as much as $10 for the convenience of paying your premium in monthly installments. That alone could increase your total insurance cost by as much as 20% of your premium. If you have the money, pay the premium all at once. You’ll save a ton of money on your car insurance without even switching.