Insurance: it’s a grudge purchase, because you don’t actually get anything unless something unpleasant happens, and you’re not sure that it will. Nonetheless, you need to keep yourself protected in case of misadventure, so you go ahead and take out a policy. How can you get the right insurance cover and still pay less? There’s a lot of information about this topic online, and this article attempts to bring all that info together to help you save.
Choose a safe, modest, practical car over a flashy one
The more your car is worth, the more your insurance will cost. Think twice before buying the latest luxury car, because it’s not just the price tag on the car itself that’s a lot higher. Settling for something cheap and practical when choosing your wheels will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Built—in safety features can also reduce your insurance costs. This makes sense. For example, safety features like traction control that prevent drivers from losing control of their vehicles will reduce the chances of an eventual accident happening.
Another matter worth looking into is theft deterrent systems. Insurers will be able to tell you whether installing certain systems qualifies you for reduced premiums.
Own, don’t lease
If you’re leasing your car, you are probably paying way too much for insurance. It will cost a lot less to insure your own car than it does to insure a leased vehicle.
Unfortunately, if you get a car with a loan from the bank, you’re actually in the same position as someone who rents. Your bank will tell you which insurance to get, and it won’t necessarily be the most economical option
Just as you shop around for a car, you also need to shop around when buying insurance. Find out what the average rate is for your area, and use this as a baseline to gauge quotes.
Read policies carefully to see what is and isn’t covered and how much excess you will be expected to pay when you put in a claim. Needless to say, reliability matters, so do a little sleuthing to see what other people’s experience with the companies you’re considering was like. You need:
- Reasonable prices
- Good coverage
- An insurer with a good reputation
Check out your coverage options
How much are you willing to risk when it comes to car-related expenses that are ordinarily covered by insurance? Full coverage is the most costly, but it might be the best option for you if you are getting a brand new car because it protects you from the costs of all kinds of damage.
If you have an older model car and aren’t too worried about having to pay for some types of damage yourself, you might just settle for collision and liability insurance, or you can take a chance and only have liability insurance. However, be aware that you now carry an additional risk that could work out expensive.
If you have several vehicles to insure or several insurance policies, you might be able to qualify for a discount if one company handles all of them.
Naturally, this is only a benefit if the discounted rate compares well with what you’ll pay elsewhere, but since insurance companies want your business to remain with them, it’s up to them to come up with an attractive offer. Make sure they know that you are considering taking out more than one policy so that they make you their best offer.
Find out about low mileage discounts
If you don’t need to drive your car long-distance or can cut mileage by using public transport to commute, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount. It’s unlikely that this will just be offered to you, so you should ask whether your premiums will be lower if you drive less.
Be willing to pay a higher deductible
The higher the value you are willing to pay out of pocket if you have an insurance claim, the lower your premiums will be. But beware, you don’t want to end up when you can’t afford the amount you would need to cover. It’s good to have a healthy emergency fund if you want to consider this particular option, and you should probably try to save more every month to boost that fund.
If you pay your insurance premiums every month, they will very likely be higher than if you negotiate to pay several months in advance. If you can afford to pay a lump sum every six months, you could save a substantial amount of money on insurance.
Check your credit score and correct any errors
Interestingly, people who are careful with their finances are also more careful drivers who are less likely to be in accidents. This is taken into account when calculating your premiums. There are often errors in credit rating agencies’ reports, so it’s worth taking a look to see if your credit score can be improved by eliminating any mistakes.
Ask about accident prevention training discounts
If you’re willing to do an accident prevention driving course, you can sometimes reduce insurance costs. This varies from company to company, so ask whether insurers will take this into account and compare costs and benefits.
Always ask about discounts available
There are all kinds of discounts that you might qualify for, but if you don’t ask, you won’t know. There are discounts for people in the armed forces, good student discounts, discounts for people in certain occupations, discounts if you switch from one provider to another and more.
Habits that will reduce your insurance premiums
Some groups of people pay less for insurance than others do. Although you can’t become an experienced driver or a woman if you aren’t already one, certain habits can build your reputation as a safe driver, reducing your premiums.
- Don’t file claims unless you absolutely have to. Your claims history is taken into account.
- Obey the law. If you don’t have a record for moving violations, your premiums are lower.
- Pay your bills on time. Remember, your credit score counts!
Review every year
The policy that started out being just right for you may no longer be your best option. If the value of the car has fallen to a low level, for example, you won’t get much out of your insurance when you claim, so why pay top dollar for those premiums?
You may also have moved house. If you previously lived in a high crime area and had moved to a quieter one, you qualify for lower premiums. It’s even better if you reside in a rural area and don’t need to drive to town often!
Last, but not least, you may have changed your marital status. Getting married qualifies you for better rates. It’s not an excellent reason to get married, but if you do get married, why not claim the benefits?
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