Everybody wants more affordable car insurance, but how do you find it?
Compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies to find the best coverage and price. Focusing solely on the lowest insurance rates is a mistake if you go without the coverage you need, so you should understand how to compare car insurance before making a decision. The whole point of insurance is to stand between you and financial disaster.
However, with a little research, you should be able to find cheaper auto insurance without sacrificing important coverage.
• Comparison shop
• Bundle your auto and home insurance policies
• Raise your deductible but keep it affordable
• Ask for every discount that applies to you
• Buy the right type of car
• Keep a clean driving record
• Don't buy unnecessary insurance coverage
• Watch for pitfalls in your coverage
1. Comparison shop
Sometimes, you'll get the best deal with your current car insurance company. But in many other cases, the road to the cheapest car insurance policy will take you elsewhere.
In general, the more you pay for car insurance, the bigger the difference between insurance companies' rates. Every company calculates its price, and they often differ by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Comparison shopping can help you uncover cheap car insurance companies and auto insurance discounts. How often should you compare car insurance quotes to find the lowest premiums? Experts suggest looking around at least once a year -- but certainly at these times, when your rates are most likely to change dramatically:
• Purchasing a new or different car
• Combining cars on a multi-car insurance policy
•Adding or removing a driver
• Adding a teen driver
• Home purchase
• DUI or major violation - review DUI insurance
• Change in credit score
2. Bundle your policies
You already get cheaper rates if you are married or a homeowner because married people and homeowners tend to file fewer claims. But you can save even more by purchasing your home insurance and auto insurance policies from the same provider.
According to data gathered for Insurance.com by Quadrant Information Services, the national average discount given for bundling home and auto insurance is 8 percent. By bundling renters and car insurance a discount also applies, with the nationwide average being around 5 percent.
If you insure more than one car on your policy, you get a multi-car discount. Expect 10 to 25 percent savings off your collision, comprehensive and liability premiums.
3. Raise your deductible
Simply raising your deductible from $250 to $500 can lower the collision or comprehensive portion of your premium by about 20 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Remember, though, that a higher deductible means more money out of your pocket in the event of a claim. Cheap insurance can become expensive fast if you have to pay your deductible with a high-interest credit card
4. Get all discounts for which you qualify
Is your daughter a straight-A student? You may qualify for cheaper car insurance by obtaining a good student discount. Does your car have anti-theft deterrents? Your insurer may give you a price break because the car is less vulnerable to theft.
Understand all the car insurance discounts you may qualify, so that you can get the cheapest insurance.
5. Buy the right type of car
If you're shopping for new wheels, your choice of the automobile can play a significant role in getting lower insurance rates. Cars that cost less to repair or replace receive lower premiums.
You'll also get better rates if your car has certain safety features. Insurance companies often give discounts for features such as anti-lock brakes, side airbags, and automatic safety belts. Anti-collision technology is becoming popular in new vehicles; if your car is equipped with the new technology, Ask your agent if any discounts are available.
6. Avoid tickets and accidents
A poor driving history can easily disqualify you from getting the cheapest car insurance. Insurers will check your record to see if you present a high level of risk. Speeding tickets, accidents, drunk driving citations – all can drive your insurance rates higher.
Drive sensibly and cautiously, and you'll be on the way to cheap car insurance by avoiding surcharges and receiving a good driver discount.
7. Don't carry unnecessary insurance coverage
If you have an old beater, reduce your car insurance costs by dropping comprehensive and collision coverage. When should you make this move toward cheaper auto insurance? Many experts say it's time to drop these coverages when the actual cash value you’d receive for your vehicle doesn’t justify the insurance expense.
Have an extra car in the household you can use if yours is in the shop due to an auto accident? If so, skip rental reimbursement coverage. Also, don't pay extra for personal injury protection or medical payment insurance (if they aren’t required by your state) if your family already has a good health insurance plan.
8. Watch for pitfalls in coverage
You can only go so far with discounts and comparison shopping. Some carriers can provide you with a lower rate, but they do it by limiting coverage in ways you might regret in the event of an accident.
For example, some companies limit coverage of permissive drivers or don't cover them at all. That is, if you lend your car to a friend who has an accident, your liability limits might be reduced, or the claim might not be honored. The same discount policies might not extend to a rental car, as standard policies do.