If you own a car, chances are you're required to carry car insurance. However, for many of us, car insurance premiums can put a dent in the budget. To save money on car insurance rates, ask yourself these five questions.
Did you shop around?
Rates can vary widely among insurance companies and some may offer discounts that others don't. By shopping around, you can find the car insurance company that offers the best coverage at the best price.
Have you checked your coverage lately?
With increased coverage comes a higher price tag. If you're carrying more coverage than you actually need, decreasing the amount of coverage can save you money on your car insurance rates. Cars that are paid off and older than seven years may not need full coverage. If you need full coverage, consider raising the deductible. Raising your deductible from $200 to $500 can save you as much as 30%; going to a $1000 deductible can net you a discount of 40%. Be sure to check for duplicate coverage. If you have an AAA membership or your car comes with roadside assistance, you don't need the roadside assistance on your policy.
Are you getting all available discounts?
Most of us are familiar with safe driver and multi-car discounts. However, there are many other discounts that aren't as widely known. If you have multiple policies through a single insurer, you're probably eligible for a multi-policy discount. Students with a B average can save as much as 15 percent on car insurance. Taking a defensive driving course may lower your premium by up to 10% so make sure to use this as leverage when getting a car insurance quote.
If you don't drive a lot, ask about a mileage discount. Cars that are driven fewer miles are less likely to get in accidents, which reduces the insurer's risk. If you're a member of any organizations, ask your agent if your membership qualifies you for a break on the premium.
Some states require insurers to give you a discount if your car has safety features such as automatic seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes.
Can you pay in full?
When you make installment payments on your car insurance premium, you pay an additional fee for the courtesy, usually in the three to five dollar range. By paying in full, you can easily save over thirty dollars a year.
Is your car the reason your premium is so high?
Many people are surprised when they get a new car and their rate changes. When determining car insurance rates, insurers take into account the vehicles included on the policy. If your automobile has a high risk of theft or collisions, you'll be charged a higher rate than a driver with a car the insurer considers to be safer.