Car insurance is as necessary to the safety of your driver’s license as seatbelts are to your personal safety in the vehicle. However, the price of this protection can get a bit hard to bear – especially when other bills begin to pile up. Just as you keep up on car maintenance to save money at the pump, you can take a few important steps to keep your premiums in great shape. Learn a few of the best tips for conquering your rates:
One: Review the Options With Your Agent
As your life situations change, you might find that the coverage you have in place isn’t as cost effective as it once was. Discuss any births, graduations, new jobs, and new drivers with your provider to determine which of the available policies are most appropriate for your circumstances. You may find that you are paying for coverage that no longer applies.
Two: Pay Attention to the Differences in Coverage
There are a number of different types of auto insurance. These include Property Damage, Personal Injury Protection, Collision Coverage, Gap Coverage, and others. Become familiar with the types of coverage that are available to you, so that you can determine the best options and avoid doubling up with redundant policies.
Three: Maintain a Clean Driving Record
A number of providers offer rewards for clean driving histories. When you can avoid tickets and stay out of accidents, your premiums may go down. If you aren’t sure that your current driving habits can keep you out of trouble, consider enrolling in a defensive driving course.
Four: Reduce Time Spent on the Road
Clearly, the more time that you spend driving, the more opportunities there will be for you to be involved in an accident. To encourage less driving, some insurance companies offer discounts for people who can stay under a certain number of miles per year. Is there an opportunity to bike? Walk? Statistics show that people often use a car for errands under a mile that could easily be handled by walking or bike.
Five: Consider Higher Deductibles
With some cash safely tucked away for an emergency, you may feel comfortable reducing your premiums and replacing them with a higher deductible. This is the amount that you will end up paying out of your own pocket if you are involved in a collision or cause damage with your automobile. Once you have the money saved and if you stay out of accidents, this can be a great money-saving option.
Six: Ask About Eligibility for Discounts
Some insurance providers offer discounts for drivers with good grades or advertise seasonal promotions. Check with your agent to find out if you are eligible for any of these programs. One interesting program that some companies are offering involves a GPS device that tracks how the vehicle is being used.
Seven: Keep an Eye on Your Credit Report
It may surprise you to learn that providers often look at credit reports when establishing premiums. There is a correlation between poor credit histories and higher accident rates. Whether this is true for you or not, a bad credit score could still send your rates up.
One final suggestion for keeping your premiums down is to think about insurance premiums when you are buying the car. Expensive cars and those with high performance levels come with higher rates. The decision to purchase a low-profile car could save you money in more ways than one.