There are many expenses related to cars that we can’t do much about – rising gas prices and unexpected maintenance, for example.
But one cost you can do something about is your car insurance.
Here are several ways you can save on car insurance costs.
Update Your Policy
When’s the last time you reviewed your policy?
Your situation today may be very different from what it was when you signed up for your policy. Some options may no longer make sense and can be reduced or eliminated to save money.
Updating your policy can be a quick way to lower your car insurance bill. Here are a few policy updates you may want to consider.
Increase Your Deductible
The deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance pays anything. The higher deductible you can afford, the more significant your savings will be.
Deductibles tend to range between $250-$1000. Depending on the insurance provider, increasing your deductible to $1000 can save you 40% or more of your annual costs.
Before you increase your deductible, make sure you’ve built up a sinking fund to cover that cost.
Review Your Coverage
Are you driving a clunker? If so, make sure you’re not paying more to insure it than it’s worth.
There are two categories of coverage: comprehensive and collision.
- Collision coverage is applied when your car crashes into another car, object, or flips over.
- Comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle if it’s stolen, damaged in a storm, or vandalized.
Regardless of which type of coverage applies to a given situation, the insurance company won’t pay out more than the car is worth.
Check Kelly Blue Book for a current estimate of your car’s value. If your deductible and annual premium are more than the KBB value, you’re overpaying.
Be sure if you reduce your coverage, you’re saving money into a car repair and replacement fund.
Remove Duplicate Coverage
Does your insurance offer add-on services like towing, windshield repair, car rental coverage, and roadside assistance?
If you’ve got AAA or extended services through your dealer, you may be paying a premium for duplicate coverages.
Double-check your different insurance and warranty documents to see which policies provide what. Then consolidate the services where they make sense.
Also, keep in mind that using your insurance for cosmetic damage or roadside assistance may be reported as a claim by your insurer and cause your premiums to increase.
Once you have an idea of what you want your coverage to be, shop it around.
Call your current insurer and get a new quote. Try an online quote generator to compare other insurers.
Or try something new. We saved a ton by switching to an insurer that monitors our driving to determine our rates.
Bundle Your Insurance
Most insurers will offer discounts for holding multiple policies with them.
If you have a homeowners or renters policy with a different insurance provider, call to see if bringing them all under one insurer will save you some money.
Driving less means you’re less likely to get into an accident. As such, many insurers will offer discounts for lower-mileage drivers.
Here are some tactics you can use to reduce your driving:
- work from home
- use public transit
- ride a bike to closer destinations
- combine errands into fewer trips
If you manage to reduce your mileage, you may qualify for even cheaper rates by switching to a pay-per-mile insurance company like Metromile.
Even before we had the technology to monitor our driving, insurers offered discounts for safe driving records.
New technology and apps have allowed for even greater accuracy in learning about your driving habits. Some insurers will offer discounts based on the usage of these apps.
There may be some privacy concerns related to monitoring your drives, but they can save you money.
Just make sure you’re actually a good driver by the insurance company’s standards before you sign up.
It stands to reason if they’re going to reward you for safe driving, they’ll punish you for unsafe driving.
Ask for a Discount
Most insurers offer discounts for safe driving and bundling policies. Your insurer may offer several other discounts you can qualify for as well.
You’ll need to check with each insurer to see what they offer but here are some typical discounts to ask about:
- taking a defensive driving course
- taking driver’s ed
- having antitheft devices
- safety feature discounts
- having a college student living away from home
- insuring more than one vehicle
- having a student with good grades
- different membership affiliations (military, corporate partners)
- parking in a garage vs. driveway or street
- senior citizen discounts
Do some research to see what companies offer which discounts and then run the numbers to see if you can save money by switching.
Buy a Car That’s Cheaper to Insure
It may not seem fair, but insurance companies will totally judge you based on what you drive.
Cars that have a history of reliability, are cheaper to repair, have high safety ratings, and are less likely to get stolen are less expensive to insure.
If you’re in the market for a new car, make sure you factor in the cost of insurance for the models you’re comparing.
Increase Your Credit Score
Your credit score may not seem to have any bearing on your driving skills, but most insurers use your credit score when determining your rates.
Apparently, internal studies have shown people who are responsible with their finances tend to file fewer claims.
Regardless of the correlation, it’s never a bad idea to raise your credit score.
Pay in Full
It may make your bill easier to swallow if you divide the payments into monthly chunks, but be aware many companies tack on a fee for installment billing.
Ask your insurer for monthly, 6-month, and annual quotes to compare.
Also, check if they offer discounts for paperless billing or automating payments.
There are several ways you can reduce the cost of car insurance.
By implementing some or all of the above suggestions, you could save hundreds of dollars.
If you’re still paying off your car, that savings may even help you pay it off faster.