In today’s high-cost-of-living world, one of the last things many people want to spend their money on is their car insurance. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck, but it’s important to remember that car insurance plays a vital role in owning a car. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to keep premiums low, while also having adequate protection should the unexpected happen.
Adjust your deductibles
The deductible is the portion of car insurance that you as the policyholder are responsible for should you need to file a claim. Provided you never have to make a claim, the deductible is something you don’t have to be too concerned about. However, by increasing the amount – say from $500 to $1,000 – your monthly premiums could be considerably lower. That’s because you’ll be assuming a larger share of a claim’s cost. But again, provided you never make a claim, the deductible is a cost that you won’t have to commit your hard earned money to. On the contrary, some insurance companies may offer you a diminishing deductible as well, which rewards drivers who go accident-free for a set number of years.
“Almost 95% of car accidents are behavior related.”
Observe all traffic laws
Speaking of claims, the most common reason why policyholders use their auto coverage is that they’ve been in an accident. Every once in a while, accidents happen through no fault of the driver. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 95% of all crashes are caused by human error, which includes illegal behaviors like speeding, running red lights, or driving under the influence of alcohol. By steering clear of these unlawful actions, you’ll avoid the sticker shock associated with premiums rising. In fact, by being a good driver, your payments may diminish once the appropriate discounts are applied.
Start following a maintenance schedule
Auto insurance covers a wide variety of incidents and scenarios, like theft, extreme weather, and vandalism (with a comprehensive policy in place). But one thing that it doesn’t pay for is wear and tear, as this is a natural part of automotive ownership. At the same time, though, a poorly maintained automobile can increase the risk of an accident. Be consistent about keeping your car in good health by changing the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Also, check the tires’ tread depth now and again, making sure to test their air pressure as well, especially in the winter when cold weather can cause them to be under-inflated. Online auto repair network Your Mechanic has a few other pointers that will keep your car on the road and off the “disabled list.”
Buy the right car
Numerous factors are taken into consideration when an auto insurance company provides you quote, like where you live, your driving history, age, and miles driven. The car you drive is also considered. Thanks to their strong safety records, some vehicles are cheaper to insure than others. According to several studies, these include the Honda CR-V, Toyota Sienna, and Ford Fiesta. You may also want to check the latest installment of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Picks” for 2017, as automobiles that perform well in crash testing tend to help keep premiums low.
“The typical household has an average of 2.1 cars.”
Consolidate trips and try carpooling
The average household has two vehicles, according to the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan. This isn’t too surprising, given that growing families have things to do and places to be, from work to school to evenings out on the town. If at all possible, though, you might want to consider taking one of the vehicles off the road. According to a study performed by UMTRI, nearly 85% of households don’t have any day-to-day trips where one gets in the way of the other. That is to say, many families with various responsibilities are able to get to them without overlap.
Do a rate ‘checkup’
Doctors remind their patients to schedule yearly physicals to make sure everything is operating as it should be. But have you ever considered giving your auto insurance policy a “checkup” of its own? In a given year, lots of things happen that may change your coverage needs, like working from home more often or sending a child off to college. By going over your existing policy or shopping around with other companies, you just might be able to lower your annual premium with an updated auto insurance quote.
Ask about discounts
You might be surprised by all the discounts that are available. However, it isn’t unusual for policyholders to never inquire about them because they’re not aware that they even exist. For example, with Elephant, you can save up to 15% just by getting an online quote. Alternatively, if you have a son or daughter who is on the honor roll and is included on your policy, their good work in the classroom may make you eligible for some significant savings.
Whether you’re looking for affordable Texas auto insurance or low car insurance premiums in Virginia, make sure you cash in on these super simple strategies that can stretch your dollar further.