Every driver in the Unites States is required by law to have auto insurance. But not every driver spends much time thinking about their auto insurance policy. Most drivers simply renew their policies every six months without shopping around or even considering their coverage options. And while you can’t magically improve your driving record, there are a number of actions you can take to try to lower your auto insurance premiums and possibly save yourself and your family hundreds of dollars a year.
1. Shop for Auto Insurance Every Six Months Your circumstances change all the time, and so will the way auto insurance companies view you. If you don’t compare insurance rates at least once or twice a year, you’ll never know if you could be paying less. Shop for auto insurance using an online service such as InsWeb.com, where comparing rates is fast, easy and free.
2. Consider a Higher Auto Insurance Deductible Simply put, the higher your auto insurance deductible, the lower your premium. The cost of an accident will be that much more expensive, but the savings on your auto insurance rate could make it well worth it.
3. Take Advantage of Good Driver Discounts Most auto insurance companies provide discounts for drivers with excellent driving records. In fact, some states require auto insurance companies to provide these discounts. If you haven’t had any accidents or tickets in the last three to five years, you’re probably eligible.
4. Buy Your Auto and Home Insurance from the Same Carrier The most under-recognized auto insurance rate discount is the multi-line insurance policy, where you purchase both your homeowners and auto insurance from the same carrier. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a multi-line policy can save you up to 15% on both premiums.
5. Don’t Pay in Monthly Installments Additional administrative fees are commonly applied to payments when you split your auto insurance premium into installments (e.g. monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, etc.). Be aware that a monthly fee of even $7 can add up to almost $100 a year.
6. Don’t Assume All Companies View You the Same Way It’s never good to have a moving violation on your record as all auto insurance companies will consider you a higher risk. But not all companies look at violations and accidents the same way, and many companies specialize in insuring drivers with imperfect records.
7. Look for a Safe Vehicle Auto Insurance Discount Many auto insurance companies offer discounts for various safety features on your vehicle, including air bags, alarms, factory-installed mechanical seatbelts and antilock brakes. When getting updated insurance rate quotes, be sure to indicate such safety features to benefit from available discounts.
8. Don’t Overpay for Unnecessary Coverage If you don’t keep a close eye on the details of your policy, you could end up paying for things you don’t need. For example, you may be a member of an auto club that provides roadside assistance yet also pay for towing on your auto insurance policy. Look for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary costs.
9. Take Advantage of Good Student or Senior Discounts Students currently enrolled in school often receive a discount on auto insurance rates if they can demonstrate good grades, as many companies feel conscientious students make conscientious drivers. Similarly, providers are also known to value the wisdom of an experienced driver, offering auto insurance discounts to drivers over 50 as a result.
10. Pay Less When You Drive Less Many auto insurance companies will offer rate discounts on vehicles that incur low annual mileage. If your commute has recently changed or you have recently retired and are no longer driving your car to work, you might save money by getting an updated quote.