Care insurance can be one of the most expensive items on your budget. It can also feel like you’re dumping money down a hole because, as a good driver, you may not use it much. However, it is the law and a must-have for every responsible driver. The good news is, there are some ways you can cut your bill and save a few dollars here and there that will add up!
1. Provide Your VIN When Getting Quotes
Some cars tend to have more safety features and often come with built-in factory alarm systems. These features could save you money on car insurance. Since it is generally more expensive to insure a newer car than an older one, you’ll need all the discounts you can get! Make sure your insurer knows about any relevant safety or anti-theft features your car has.
2. Go Paperless
Many insurers offer a discount for going paperless. Going paperless helps the planet due to fewer trees being cut down and fewer toxic emissions. It also saves your insurer money because they don’t need to pay the numerous overhead costs associated with printing and mailing your statements to your home each month. They forward that cost savings on to you, so it’s a win-win for everyone. Besides, would you rather get even more paper junk mail to sift through and clutter your countertop, or get a smartphone app notification or email instead? The paperless option is slightly better in every way, so go for it!
3. Drive Safely
This one goes without saying, but the way you drive can dramatically affect your car insurance premiums. If you are an aggressive driver with a lead foot, consider dialing it down a notch or two and taking a defensive driving course or other safety courses. Make sure your insurer knows about these courses, too!
Likewise, if you have traffic tickets to your name, that could raise your premiums. The bottom line is the safer you drive, the less you’ll pay. Things like speeding and aggressive driving are almost certain to cost you in the long run, one way or another, so why not become a safer and more responsible driver?
4. Buy an Older Car
Car insurance is priced in large part based on replacement and repair costs. Older cars tend to be cheaper to fix and less expensive to replace, so they also tend to be economical to insure. For example, if you price out identical insurance policies on two cars of the same model, one being five years older than the other, the older car would likely be about 13 percent cheaper to insure.
Brand new cars are more expensive to insure because they typically cost the most to replace. They also stand to lose the most value in depreciation over the first few years of ownership. By purchasing a car that’s at least a few years old, you can save money on your insurance and on your vehicle too.
5. College Graduate? Tell Your Insurer
Some insurers offer a discount for drivers with higher levels of education completed, so letting them know if you graduated from college could save you money on your premiums. As with many other areas of insurance valuation, the risk is the driving motivator here. Insurers know that people with the discipline to stick it out and finish a college degree are often safer, more responsible drivers. That college degree probably cost you a lot of money, so why not let it save you some now?
6. Learn the Lingo of the Insurance Industry
This is all about knowing what you are buying and how to use it. Insurance may be mandatory, but that doesn’t mean we should check all the boxes and pay the bill without knowing precisely what we are getting in return. When it comes time to file a claim, you’ll be glad you understood what you were doing and purchased the right policy for your needs.
7. Set Up Auto-pay
Some insurers will give you a discount for auto-pay. They want to know they will get paid on time each month, and they know that if you have to make that payment manually, there is a higher chance of it being late. Therefore, they offer discounts for auto-pay, because you won’t have to think about paying your bill on time. And they won’t have to worry about it either.
8. Buy 10 Days Early
If you need car insurance at the last minute, you could end up paying more for it. Yet most of us tend to buy our car insurance and activate it on the same day. To potentially save some money, try taking out your car insurance policy a full ten days before the date you’ll need it activated on. This lack of urgency can result in some savings.
9. Pay Annually or Semi-Annually
If you pay upfront, you could save an average of $62. If you pay annually or semi-annual, there are also discounts for paying that lump-sum. As soon as you click the button to use a monthly installment plan, you’ll probably see your premium go up slightly. They may call it an installment fee, or offer a discount for not using installments. Insurance companies like to get their money upfront, as you are less likely to cancel your policy and are guaranteed not to be late on any monthly payments.
10. Maintain Continuous Coverage
Car insurance companies don’t like to see lapses in coverage. Instead, they prefer to see one continuous, clean record of being insured and accident-free. After being insured without an accident for one year, your rate could potentially drop by as much as 7.7 percent. If you have more liability coverage on your policy rather than less, this discount could go up. Overall, the higher the amount of your liability coverage, the greater the discount you stand to earn.
If you have any tips of your own to share that could prove helpful to others seeking to save some money on their car insurance premiums, feel free to share in the comments below!