It’s a bad idea to try going without car insurance, but many people feel the pinch in their wallets and worry about how they can pay for car insurance. The good news is that with a little planning and research, most people can get a decent car insurance policy at a price they can afford. Some are even surprised to find out how many kinds of discounts they qualify for.
Everyone can take a few basic steps to get the best car insurance price no matter their financial situation. Car insurance is a smart way to protect a person’s health and the investment they’ve made in their vehicle. It also helps to protect passengers and other drivers out on the road. Going without it is simply too risky, but high payments can also be so stressful. Here are five things anyone can do to save on car insurance.
It Pays to Compare
Always shop around and get quotes from several insurance companies. They seem similar at first glance, but getting a quote from each can highlight the differences between insurers. Every company offers a slightly different list of discounts and programs, and some companies offer a different percentage of savings for those discounts.
All drivers are different, and there are other variables the insurance companies take into account. Some companies offer better rates to young drivers than others or maybe a better fit for a driver with recent accidents on his or her record. Some, like USAA, have military-specific discounts to offer. Also, drivers should consider comparing quotes if they move from one region to another, as their insurance rates can change by a lot and another company could be more reasonable.
Young drivers who attend school can get a discount from most insurance companies if they have good grades. Insurance companies usually offer a discount of between 10 to 15 percent if the student can show they have a GPA of 3.0 or above.
Another way that young drivers can save with some companies is by completing driver’s training. State Farm is one company that will offer a discount to people under a certain age for completing training and earning a certification.
More seasoned drivers could also catch a break. A few car insurance companies offer defensive driving courses or accept completion of a state-approved defensive driving course. This could earn the driver a good discount on his or her policy. Policyholders can call their agent or the insurance company to find out if a defensive driving course is an option.
Out With the Old
Even older cars need car insurance, but the kind of insurance may change. New cars are often expensive, and a driver is smart to get more comprehensive coverage to protect that investment. But cars lose value over time, so the amounts of insurance that are appropriate change, too. It’s a good idea to figure out the true value of the insured car and adjust the insurance coverage down. Some of the savings can be set aside towards repairs or for a new car down the road.
Another way to save is to keep that car maintained. Some accidents happen because the car needs expensive repairs. Consider adding an extended car warranty to help prevent the sudden high costs of repairs or, worse, the inability to pay for a repair.
It’s very common for people to have multiple insurance policies. Often bundling a home or renter insurance policy with an auto policy can save big time. In some cases, it can be cheaper to have renter insurance and auto insurance bundled than to have only auto insurance alone. An agent can run the numbers to see if this will be cost-saving.
Some people may need boaters insurance or other insurance products. Insurance companies can bundle those also, often offering significant savings.
Give Yourself Credit
Most car insurance companies base part of their policy calculations on a person’s credit score. A great credit score often results in a less expensive policy. Car insurance companies can check a person’s credit score and use it to calculate a policy price in most states. Even if a person is not looking for a new policy, it’s always a smart idea to keep an eye on the credit score.
If people aren’t sure if their credit score is correct, they can access their credit report for free to check for discrepancies. Often with just a few phone calls, people can improve their credit score. Even a few points of improvement can lead to savings on car insurance.
It’s Worth It
In addition to these five steps, people can ask about all available discounts. If they don’t drive very much, they may see bigger savings by using a low-mileage program. Staying with a company for a long period of time can also earn a discount. The most important thing is to ask about all options. Every driver’s needs and situation are different.
Car insurance shouldn’t be stressful. The right policy will give the policyholder peace of mind. With just a little time and effort, people can save more of their hard-earned money and still end up with the amount of coverage they need.