If you’re in the market for auto insurance, doing your homework before picking a policy could save you enough money to fuel that new set of wheels for quite a few miles.
But choosing a policy that meets your exact needs can be tricky. How much coverage is adequate? What should the deductible be? Who’s a reliable provider?
And don’t forget all the different ways to enjoy discounts. A decent chunk of change can be saved by applying some or several of these cost-saving ideas:
- Many providers offer discounts for those who set up automatic online bill pay. The same goes for opting to receive bills by e-mail instead of having paper bills mailed each month.
- Insurance companies often offer deals when you obtain both car and homeowners insurance from them.
- Getting insurance through a group plan – such as with a business, professional, or alumni group or association — can often lead to lower rates.
- Compare premiums of different policy providers. Oftentimes a lesser known company may have rates that are lower than the more popular insurers.
- Consider a higher deductible.
- Check whether it’s cheaper to pay for a full year of coverage vs. paying monthly. Often administrative fees are tacked on to bills that are paid monthly.
- Some providers offer discounts to students who achieve good grades in school, or for drivers over 50 who have a long track record of safe and responsible driving.
- Maintain a good credit history. Many insurers will take this into account, especially since research shows that people with solid credit histories are likely to file fewer claims.
- If you log low mileage, you may get a discount. Some providers will lower rates for those who drive less or who car pool.
- Avoid paying for more coverage than you need. For instance, if you have towing services available through a car club such as AAA, opt out of this coverage in the policy.
- It may pay to shelter your car. Some providers will offer a discount for vehicles that are kept in a garage.
- Security and safety features could translate into savings. Theft deterrent systems and antilock brakes are just a few of the features that could lower insurance premiums.
- Many providers will offer discounts to those who haven’t had any accidents or moving violations within a certain period, such as five years or more.
Once you have selected a policy, review it at least annually to ensure your coverage is in line with what you really need and is still reasonably priced.