If you’ve shopped around and changed auto insurance companies before, you know how important it is to save on car insurance where you can. But you also know that great coverage is about more than just prices—you also want a positive experience. Things like an easy claims process, quality customer service, policy offerings, and a trust that they’ll provide expert insurance advice.
That’s why at Elephant, it’s been our mission for the past decade to keep car insurance simple, flexible, and fair. But we also understand that pricing is at the top of the list for our customers. It’s natural to want the best price on your policies. That’s why a core practice of ours is to stay nimble with our pricing—so your rates stay as low as possible while still providing the coverage that fits your lifestyle best. We also do our best to reward you for the smart decisions you’re already making with dozens of possible discounts.
Whether you’re insuring multiple vehicles, bundling your homeowners and auto insurance policy, or insuring a good student—we have the answers and savings you need.
What factors into your car insurance premium?
The short answer? A lot! But let’s break it down a little further. Your premium is determined by a large set of variables that your insurance company factors into something like an algorithm. Some of those variables include your:
After your insurance provider has entered all the factors necessary into the algorithm, it will give them back a number, otherwise known as your insurance score. The better your score, the less riskier you are to insure in their eyes — and the less money you’ll likely have to spend on your premium.
That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around with different insurance providers to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Although most insurance providers will place similar importance on those variables we mentioned, every insurance provider has their own formula, and can assign higher value on certain variables than others. And on top of that, insurance prices are constantly fluctuating, so a provider whose premium seemed to expensive could be more affordable the next time you look.
Something else that’s important to note — when looking to save on your car insurance, getting the lowest monthly payment by having minimum coverage likely won’t be the cheapest route in the long run. That’s because if you’re ever in an accident or something damages your car, you’ll be on the hook for the majority of the costs. Reassessing the coverages you include on your policy and spending a little more each month could end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Revisit your policy after making big life changes
You should fully reevaluate your policy when big life changes occur, such as moving, gaining a teen driver, or getting married. These changes can have a big impact on your insurance premium, making it the perfect time to get new quotes and shop around.
Invest in roadside assistance coverage
Say you’re involved in a minor accident one day. The damages to your car are covered by your insurance, but when you bought your policy, you didn’t opt in to roadside assistance coverage. Now you’re going to have to pay in full for a tow truck, a new tire, or any other service that gets you and your car off the side of the road.
Roadside assistance services that you can add to your auto insurance might mean a little extra money on top of your normal payments, but the cost is minimal when compared to the expenses you may incur if you ever have to pay for roadside assistance out of pocket.
Raise your deductible
While we’re on the topic of spending more up front to save more down the road, raising your deductible is a great way to save on car insurance. Your deductible is the amount you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket in an incident before your insurance provider steps in to cover costs.
Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. If you’re willing to shoulder a little more cost up front, your insurance provider will charge you less each month for the cost of your insurance premium. A good way to think of it is sort of like paying a down payment on a house. The more you pay up front, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. And, remember, you can raise your deductible any time you want — no need to wait for your renewal time.
While a lot of the tips we’ve included so far can help you save on car insurance fairly quickly, some factors that go into your premium will require more effort and planning to change.
Think about insurance costs when you’re buying your car
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make in regard to car insurance is that they only think about the costs of the policy after they buy their car. This can often lead to them spending most of their available funds on the vehicle itself, only to find that their new sports car, for example, is going to require massive insurance costs on the side. Why? Because the kind of vehicle you have has a big impact on your car insurance premium.
That’s why you should always investigate the overall cost of insurance before buying the car itself, so that you can be sure – even with the policy expenses – that owning the vehicle will fit into your budget comfortably. If you don’t think about insurance until after you’ve purchased a vehicle, you may find that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
Whenever possible, upgrade your vehicle’s safety services
When you take out a homeowners insurance policy, everything that helps to prevent eventual damage to your home – for instance, windows and roofing that will help to defer damage caused by inclement weather – will help to lower the overall cost you have to pay. The same is true for cars.
Whenever you invest in something that will protect you or the vehicle, like additional airbags, that’s going to lower the amount your insurance company expects it’ll have to pay in case of an accident. Those savings get passed right on to you: by improving the safety features in your vehicle, you can have a direct effect on the amount you have to pay every month for car insurance.
Protect your credit score
One of the factors that has an influence on your car insurance costs has nothing to do with driving at all! As the expert quoted below will explain, your credit score can have a pretty significant effect on the overall amount you end up paying to the insurance company to help protect your vehicle. That’s because to many insurance providers, your credit score indicates how likely you are to make your payments on time, as well as how likely you are to be a responsible driver.
So, if you’re looking to keep those premium payments to an absolute minimum, don’t just think about how you can drive safer – think about how you can improve your financial situation in other areas of your life, too. If you can get a higher credit score, you’ll be getting lower car insurance payments along with it!
If you can, consider carpooling or working from home
Car insurance costs are determined by the likelihood of your vehicle being involved in an accident. The less you drive your vehicle, the less likely you are to be involved in such an accident, and the less wear you’re putting on your car. At Elephant Insurance, we actually offer a discount for working from home. We figure if you don’t have much of a commute to work, you shouldn’t be paying like you have one!
Take Advantage of Discounts to Save on Car Insurance
That brings us to discounts in general. Discounts are one of the easiest ways to get a better rate on your premium — and you may be surprised what kinds of discounts you’ll qualify for when you get a quote.
Boundless benefits by bundling
Take bundling as an example. Many providers offer more than one kind of insurance policy, such as life insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, etc. At Elephant, we’ve set up a version of bundling (called Multi-Policy) by partnering with other insurance providers to bring you those coverages. Either way, instead of buying multiple policies with different providers, you can save hundreds of dollars by organizing them all under one roof. It’s the insurance equivalent of one-stop shopping.
The more cars you own, the more you save
A multi-car discount is another great way to save on car insurance. The average household today has more than one vehicle. When you insure more than one car with Elephant, you can save up to 20 percent or more than you would if you were to buy from several insurers.
Transform good grades into lower premiums
If you have a student on your policy and they’re a high achiever, this can be an advantage to you from a financial perspective (in addition to making you a proud parent). If you have a high school student or child that’s taking a full course load, their good grades can save you up to 10 percent or more on auto insurance.
Safe driving brings premium savings
While your student may be a high achiever in the classroom, your own skills might be found behind the wheel. Safe drivers are a credit to the road, helping to make travel better for everyone. With a responsible driver discount, safe drivers are rewarded, so be sure to inquire about this kind of discount.
“Go green” to earn green
Safe driving behavior may protect others from injury, but living a green lifestyle protects the environment, making the Earth cleaner and more sustainable. Green living can put some extra “green” in your wallet by taking advantage of paperless discounts. The savings we get from unused paper are transferred to you by shaving off a portion off your annual bill.
And that’s just the beginning. If you’re looking to keep more of your hard earned money where it belongs – i.e. in your pocket – find out how exactly much you can save with Elephant by getting a quote. You may be surprised by what you’ll find!