Nowadays, owning and operating an average car is expensive, costing $9,282 per year or $773.50 a month - according to 2019 data from AAA. Insurance is a large investment, so it’s well worth the effort and time to try to save money. Moving closer to work or trading in your car for a more fuel-efficient vehicle would be ideal as it would significantly lower your monthly expenses. But you can’t always have what you want right?
To help you (and your car), we listed below alternative ways to lower your car insurance.
Drive safely and slowly
This is a pretty obvious solution. If you’re in the habit of speeding or driving recklessly, your car insurance can be insanely expensive. Although one minor conviction may not break your bank, a second conviction within a three-year period may bump up your car insurance rates. Be a safe driver by simply following road rules so that you can build a good driving record.
You may have been with the same auto insurance carrier for a few years without ever looking into anything else. But little did you know, most insurance carriers slowly increase your car insurance rates because they don’t expect you to shop elsewhere. A good tip to keep in mind is to compare car insurance rates from competing companies every few years. To remain competitive, companies will offer attractive discounts compared to the insurer that you’ve been using the past six years.
If your policy is about to renew and the annual premium has increased significantly, you can scope competing companies to obtain their insurance quotes. When shopping, don’t always go for the ‘cheap one’ - we all know how those turn out. Be smart about shopping by checking the insurer’s financial strength and be sure to understand your insurance contract.
Ask about other discounts
According to the Insurance Information Institute, automobile theft cost Americans about $6 billion in 2017. In other words, the average dollar loss per theft was around $7,700. Drivers have the opportunity to lower their annual premiums if they install an anti-theft device. Anti-theft devices include immobilizers, electronic alarms, locking devices, marking serial numbers and satellite tracking systems. On average, drivers can expect a discount of one or two percent.
If you’re looking for a smart anti-theft device with safety features, Raven is the product for you. With its GPS system, you can easily locate your stolen vehicle right on your Raven app. In addition, Raven’s 24/7 live video allows you to see what’s happening in and around your vehicle and save important footage.
Defensive driving courses
Another simple way to save money is to enroll in a defensive driving course. Some insurance companies will provide you a discount after completing an approved course. However, be sure to directly ask your insurance agent about the class before you sign up. After all, your time and effort are important before considering investing in additional expenses.
Improve your credit score
Most insurance companies rely on your credit information to determine the price of auto insurance policies, so maintaining good credit is critical. You can save on insurance costs by establishing a solid credit history. To do so, pay your bills on time, keep your credit balance low and don’t increase your credit to more than you need. Regularly check your credit record and correct any errors promptly to keep your record in check.
Seek higher deductibles
Simply put, when you file a claim, your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay before your insurance starts. The cost of deductibles differs depending on the policy, but generally, it ranges from $250 to $1,000. The secret to deductibles is knowing that the lower the deductible, the higher your premium will be and vice versa. For example, in the event of an accident, your repair work costs $2,000 and you have a deductible of $500. Your insurance company will deduct $500 from $2,000 and send you a check for $1,500. Be sure to ask your insurance agent how your premium may be affected if you raised your deductible.
Use the same insurer for your cars and homes
Many insurers offer a discount if you buy two or more types of insurance. For example, an insurer may discount both your homeowner insurance premium as well as your car insurance. If you own more than one vehicle, you can get them insured under the same insurer to the same money. An insurance company will give you a higher insurance quote if you insure a single vehicle than if you insure several vehicles. This is simply because they want your business, so they will usually cut you deal to entice you in.