How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance
Car insurance gets expensive quickly, especially if you’re in a hurry and feel like you have to take the first policy that comes along. There is no need to stretch your budget to pay for coverage, when you can take steps to reduce the amount you have to pay every month. There are some things to keep in mind that can help you to find the cheapest car insurance possible for your vehicle.
Do Some Comparison Shopping
It’s not as hard as it used to be to find affordable insurance. There are more providers – some even doing business online exclusively – and you have a great deal of options to look at. If you feel more comfortable talking to an insurance agent face to face, do so, but don’t buy with the first one you meet. Whether you meet with agents in person or simply compare providers online, take notes. You can look through these at your leisure, without an insurance agent pressuring you. Also let agents know that you are shopping around. They might conveniently remember that you qualify for a variety of discounts.
Take a Second Look at Excess
If you already have insurance and don’t want to change it, consider increasing your excess. This is more appropriate for people who are careful drivers and have an excellent driving record. The excess is the amount that you are required pay when you have an accident before the insurance company will pay out the claim. The more you have to pay on this, the lower your monthly payment is, and vice versa. Most insurance companies will let you raise the price of your excess to lower your monthly rate even more.
Maintain a Good Driving Record
The better your driving record, the cheaper your insurance will be. An accident can make your monthly insurance payments go up anywhere from 20% to 50%, so being a careful driver really does pay. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for safe drivers and even lower your premium every year that you are accident free. When talking to an agent, ask about this – many are told not to bring it up themselves.
Watch Your Credit Score
Your credit score doesn’t just affect loans. Insurance companies have a habit of checking the credit scores of applicants before they are accepted. Getting your score up as high as possible can add up to thousands in savings on your insurance payments. Even if you’re pretty sure that your score is good, request a copy of your credit report at least once a year so that you can keep up with it in the event that something does make it go down without you realising it.
Make Your Car Safer
Getting the cheapest car insurance possible can often rest on the safety of the vehicle. Insurance companies take car safety into consideration when deciding on your premium and deductible rates. While air bags are almost universal now, consider having more safety features professionally installed. An anti-theft system and automatic safety belts, as well as making sure that there are air bags available to the rear seats, can lower your monthly payments through safety discounts.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Some ‘benefits’ are automatically added to insurance policies without the knowledge of the person being insured. Many of these aren’t worth the money that they add to your premium. One of these is a replacement offer. Some companies now claim to replace a car that is totaled in an accident with a new car of equal value. What they don’t tell you is that this price refers to the value of the vehicle at the time of the accident, not its original purchase price. You can have your policy reviewed for these kinds of add-ons and request that they be removed, so that you can get the cheapest car insurance with that policy.
Take a Driving Class
Just taking a defensive driving class can decrease your premiums because they make you a safer and more aware driver. You will most likely need to provide the insurance company with a certificate of completion from the class to be kept on file before you are eligible for discounts. If you have not heard of any classes locally, ask a car insurance agent for information on any being offered in the area.
Consider Going Green
Many car insurance companies now have incentives for clients who buy environmentally friendly cars, offering lower premiums and some great discounts. It might not be worth it to go out and buy a new car if you are happy with the one you already have, but if you are in the market for a vehicle anyway, buying a hybrid is just as easy as buying a regular car. It will not only allow you to avoid putting some pollution into the environment, it can help you to get the cheapest car insurance available.
You don’t have to deal with getting ripped off by a company that you have been with for years. If you are not happy, look for a competing insurance provider. Many providers offer incentive discounts for customers who transfer from another company, so you can get better rates and take advantage of their competition at the same time.