Sure, talking about insurance policies is about as alluring as getting a root canal. While your insurance policy may not preoccupy much of your forethought, it can be a silent drain on your bank account if you do not remain cognizant of what is affecting your premium. If you’re going to own and drive a vehicle, you have to have coverage, so why not enjoy a slimmer monthly payment?
The best way to save on your policy is to be a careful driver. That means obeying traffic laws, avoiding looking at phones, as well as being defensive to other bad drivers. Keeping an eye out for the guy who’s changing the song on his phone, or the mother who is talking to her children while simultaneously applying makeup, will help avoid collisions. The longer you drive without having a claim, the lower your premium will be.
While careful driving is ideal, accidents happen. If your record is less than perfect, don’t worry too much; you still have options to obtain somewhat affordable coverage. Most states and insurance companies allow you to complete a driver education course to decrease your premium or the number of points on your driving record. Expect to spend several hours suffering through outdated driving school films from the 90’s that will drill local laws and moral dilemmas into your head. Most states will list certified courses on their department of motor vehicle web sites, many allowing you to take the course and examination without leaving the confines of your home.
While your driving record is probably the largest factor in calculating premium costs, the type of vehicle you drive will also be a substantial part of the equation. Before settling on a make and model, it is wise to do some research into how your new whip will affect your bill. Insurance companies tend to favor safer, slower vehicles that aren’t targeted as much for speeding and theft. It could be judicious to pick up something with a bit less power or less flashiness to cut down on your insurance payments.
If you’re not willing to change your driving habits and don’t want to trade in your sports car for an economy car, that’s ok. There are adjustments you can make to your policy to make up for these coverage premiums. One of which is modifying your deductible. If you opted for a low deductible when agreeing to the policy and think you can avoid an accident, it may be worth the risk to increase the amount you agree to pay upon claiming an accident. This will effectively bring your monthly bill down to a more affordable amount.
If you own multiple vehicles, knowing what kind of policy is required by the state for each of your vehicles is a good way to decrease insurance payments. While your brand new luxury car may need significant coverage to protect it, you could potentially get away with lowering the coverage on your high-mileage commuter or beater work truck. If you’re paying more in insurance each year than what the car is worth, it might be a good idea to take the policy down a notch or two.
If all else fails, purchasing multiple policies from the same insurer often results in a multi-line discount, where insurers give discounts to customers who bundle their home, auto, and even life insurance policies into one. Inquiring about other discounts (student, elder, etc.) and doing some shopping between companies is also wise.