Are You Overpaying For Your Car Insurance?Ever wonder if you are overpaying for your car insurance? I mean, every time you get that bill in the mail, and you open it and see just how much it is, don’t you ever ask yourself how much other people are paying, and if there isn’t maybe some way to lower your auto policy rates and keep more of your money in your own pocket, where it belongs? Before you do anything drastic however, like raising your deductibles all the way up to the moon, or cutting the amount of coverage you have and leaving yourself unnecessarily exposed, why not peruse this brief narrative and see if you are applying all of the money saving tactics at your disposal.
Got Good Credit?
OK, this may not be the fastest fix, but by improving your credit score you can help insure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. How? Well, the fact is that auto insurance companies determine your rates by how much risk you pose, and they have figured out that a poor credit risk is often also a poor insurance risk, hence the higher rates for bad credit customers.
The answer of course is to pay your bills on time, all the time. Slowly, your credit score will rise, and, assuming you get competitive quotes every few months to keep your insurance carrier honest, your rates will go down. By itself, this strategy won’t cut your bills in half or anything like that, but every little bit adds up, right?
Drive A Safer Car
A few years ago my wife was involved in an automobile accident in which she was rear ended by a dump truck. Making matters worse, she was pregnant at the time. Needless to say, I was scared and worried for her safety. I needn’t have been, because she was driving a Volvo, and the awesome safety design of that car acted just like a giant shock absorber, transmitting all of the energy from the crash throught the body, frame, and even the roof of the vehicle. The Volvo was a total loss but, thank God my wife was only shaken up and none the worse for wear.
The truth is, safer cars are, well, safer, and insurance companies understand that. Their actuarial charts show which cars provide the safest crash test results and are, therefore, the lowest risk for them to insure. These cars and light trucks receive the lowest car insurance rates. The end result is that buying and driving a safer motor vehicle translates into NOT overpaying for your car insurance.
Before you shop for a car, check the government’s safety ratings at their website, www.safercar.gov and look for a vehicle with a 5 Star Safety Rating.
Keep Your Car At Home
Well now this might seem like a no-brainier, but folks who drive fewer miles have cheaper auto insurance premiums. You may have noticed that when you call and ask for a car insurance quote from one of the big national firms, or even from your local agent, they always ask two questions. First, what type of driving will you be doing with your car? For example, commuting back and forth to work, business travel, or just around town. Next, they ask approximately how many miles per year you intend to drive. Usually, the answers are in ranges, such as less than 10,000, 10,000 to 15,000, 15,000 to 25,000, and over 25,000 miles per year.
Finding ways to cut down the amount you drive may not be easy, but it may be worthwhile, because the amount you save on your bill will help make sure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. For instance, consider whether you can work at home. Many people can, thanks to cothe internet, smart phones, and email. If it works for you, you could literally slice your mileage in half, or more, and put yourself well on the way to some of the cheapest auto insurance rates around. Don’t laugh, because it worked for me, and has worked for countless other insured motorists as well.
Buy A New House
Of course you’re not going to consider purchasing a brand new home just to save a few bucks on your automobile policy premiums. However, consider this. People who reside in suburban and rural areas pay on average 10-15% less than folks in urban locales do. So, to avoid overpaying for your car insurance into the far future, when the time comes to go house hunting, move out of the city.
It’s true and most insurance shoppers aren’t aware of it, but if you stop to think about it it makes sense. People in less urbanized settings get into fewer vehicular collisions, and their risk of car theft is greatly reduced as well. Not zero, but certainly lower than city-dwellers. Again, less risk for the insurance firms means lower premium payments for you.
If you’re thinking about a move now, ask your realtor about these statistics, and which area’s residents incur the lowest cost of insurance. If he or she is experienced, they will have access to this data, and be able to steer you to a neighborhood whose residents enjoy safe streets and cheap car insurance.
Take Advantage of All Available Discounts
For this article, we’re going to end with this bit of car insurance advice. Ask your carrier or local agent if you qualify for any discounts you maybe never thought of before. What about the discount for having multiple policies with one insurance company? Sometimes it’s a simple matter to bundle your homeowners and automobile policies and save on both, yet another way of not overpaying for your car insurance.
Or consider the discount for having specific safety equipment on your car or truck, such as airbags on both driver and passenger side, and anti-lock braking systems. These features are found on almost all modern vehicles, and your insurer needs to know about them so they can rate you accordingly
These are a few of our best tips for making sure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. The single best way is, of course to obtain instant, competitive quotes on a regular basis.