The average American home pays over $900 a year for car insurance. Depending on where you live, that amount might be less, or it might be much more. It’s a necessary expense, but it can also be difficult to keep up with. How can you reduce your car insurance premiums without sacrificing your coverage? Here are a few tips.
- Comparison Shop. This is the easiest and most effective way to save money. There are a number of sites that will provide you with a list of car insurance quotes that meet your needs, allowing you to choose the cheapest one. What you may not know is that certain factors may qualify you for even bigger discounts with certain companies. If you were born between 1936 and 1966 and live within a certain zip code, you could qualify for several substantial discounts. With the right quote comparison site, you can specify this information, as well as other factors that may qualify you for a lower rate, and be presented with a selection of lower priced options.
- Reduce Your Mileage. One factor that a lot of insurance companies consider when determining your rate is how many miles you drive per year. The more time you spend on the road, the higher the risk of an accident. So if you can find ways of reducing your annual mileage, you might also be able to reduce your insurance rate. If, for instance, you can take public transportation to work every day, you’ll not only reduce your mileage and your premiums, but also the amount you spend on gas.
- Don’t Pay for Unnecessary Coverage. At a certain point, it’s no longer worthwhile to pay for collision coverage on your car, on top of your basic coverage. If the car is old and the value has gone down significantly, then there’s a good chance that if you are in an accident, the cost of repairs will be greater than the value of the car itself, and the insurance company will simply rule it totaled. If you’re paying high premiums on a car that’s not even worth very much, then it’s probably not worth the money, and you should look at other options.
- Keep Your Record Clean. If you’re at fault in an accident, or if a moving violation results in a point on your driver’s license, it will likely raise your insurance premiums significantly. However, if you can maintain a clean driving record, many insurance companies offer a safe driver discount. If your provider doesn’t offer one, then you might look into switching to one that does.
- Take a Defensive Driving Course. One way to prevent accidents and keep yourself safe is to drive defensively. To that end, certain insurance companies will offer a discount if you take an approved defensive driving course. By learning how better to keep yourself safe, you reduce the risk that they’ll have to pay out a settlement on your behalf.
- Talk to Your Insurance Agent. Different insurance companies offer any number of different discounts, for all sorts of reasons. The best way to reduce your premiums is by talking to your insurance agent to find out what they offer, what you qualify for, and what you might be able to qualify for with a little work. If their available options still have you paying too much, then consider looking at other companies to see if you can get a better rate with one of them.
The most important thing to remember when shopping around for car insurance is not to settle for less. Sometimes, the coverage you need will cost more, and the company that offers the cheapest rate does so because they have inferior service. But with a little research, you can find all sorts of ways to reduce your rate while still maintaining the coverage you need.