Safe and Smart Ways to Save on Car Insurance
Shopping for insurance is generally one of the least enjoyable aspects of car ownership, but you can save money and find a policy that offers a comfortable amount of coverage for your driving habits by following some tips. Every state enforces minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage, but every driver has different needs when it comes to coverage, so a minimum policy is rarely the best option.
Many auto insurance carriers offer seemingly unbelievably low rates, and you could potentially find a minimum car insurance policy for much less than you originally expected. However, remember that these policies generally offer very little flexibility when it comes to coverage. If a claim does not fall distinctly within the terms of your policy, the insurance company may deny your claim or only offer a fraction of what you expected.
When comparing insurance rates between carriers, take time to compare the exact details of coverage as well as the rates. For example, one insurance provider may offer a monthly premium $50 lower than another, but the available coverage is much less than other policies. In this case, you are exchanging protection for the up-front cost. It is ultimately up to you to balance the affordability of your premiums with the scope of your coverage.
Purchase a Safe Vehicle
The car you choose has an influence on your insurance coverage. Most insurance carriers do not want to cover older vehicles or vehicles with known safety issues. If you plan to purchase a used vehicle, it is essential to check the vehicle’s accident history. In the event you have an accident in the vehicle, weakness resulting from a prior accident could cause significant damages. Most insurance companies want to know the accident history of your vehicle along with the make, model year, mileage, and even the color.
Look for a vehicle with high safety ratings. You can also check consumer reviews online and look up crash data and other valuable information about a vehicle model before committing to a purchase. However, it is essential to be cautious about buying a brand new vehicle. If you want something new, consider finding one a few model years behind the current model year; by now drivers will have found any glaring safety issues, so these vehicles generally cost less to insure than brand new vehicles with essentially untested safety parameters.
Take Driver Safety Courses
Insurance companies price their premium rates based on a policyholder’s perceived level of risk. Generally, a younger driver who just earned his or her license is a much higher risk than an older adult with ten or more years of driving experience. Location can also matter, as it is generally more expensive to insure vehicles in areas with higher rates of traffic accidents.
You can lower your risk factor for the insurance company by making yourself a better driver. You may have taken driver’s education courses in high school and completing these courses may lead to a discount on an insurance policy. You can also take additional paid driving courses for expert instruction, vehicle maintenance courses, and complete other programs that may qualify you for discounts on your premium.
Avoid Rushing Your Decision
It is also possible to lower your premium by agreeing to a higher deductible. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage applies. A higher deductible means the insurance company will likely pay less for a single incident, so the company may be willing to lower your premium rate in exchange.
Ultimately, it is up to you to find a policy that offers an appropriate amount of coverage for your vehicle, and you must maintain an auto insurance policy to drive in the U.S. Take time to investigate different insurance carriers’ options and find a policy that offers a comfortable amount of coverage with a premium rate you can afford.