Save on car insurance – what you need to know

Wang Yan
Wang Yan

Global Courant

In a slumping economic environment, we are all looking for innovative ways to save money. In recent months, a large number of not only American households, but households around the developed world have had to make changes in the way they spend and how they live.

A major expense that most Americans face is expenses associated with transportation, namely your car. If you own a car, you need general car insurance. Are you paying too much? You probably are. Take the following checklist to your insurance company to see what kind of savings could come your way before your next payment.

Take an online driving course

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In most states, you may be eligible for a discount of 10% or more if you enroll in an online defensive driving course. Some states don’t recognize these courses, so before taking one, it’s best to check with your insurance company what kind of discounts they offer with a defensive driving course. Visit Wannadrive for a list of driving schools in your city or state.

Take a low-risk job

Insurance companies keep more statistics than one can imagine. One is accidents by occupation. If your chosen profession has more accidents than average, your premium will reflect this. Engineers generally pay lower premiums because engineers have fewer accidents than other professionals. Simply doing some research and adjusting your job title may be enough to lower your monthly premium.

Tell them you are retired

If you are retired, you may be eligible for an additional discount. We’ve all seen the commercials. This savings especially applies to you if you have a clean driving history. If you are retired and your insurer does not know this, you may miss out on a substantial saving.

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Join a professional organization or car club

Certain organizations and car clubs get discounts at a variety of stores, including hotels and restaurants. Membership in some of these organizations can also help you lower your insurance costs. If you’re a member of an organization or club, it never hurts to ask your provider if members of that organization get a discount.

Combine your insurances

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Some insurance companies may lower your premium if you use their company for both home and car insurance. If you currently have two different providers of home and car insurance, ask both of them which premium discount you qualify for if you combine your home and car insurance.

Automatic safety features

Having extra safety features on your car can also lower your insurance rates. Look for vehicles with airbags for both the driver and passenger, traction control, proper headrests, anti-lock braking system and four-wheel drive are all features that will improve the safety performance of your vehicle. Bring a list of the safety features your vehicle has to your insurance company and ask specifically how additional safety features will lower your premiums.

Take more risk

By increasing your deductible from, say, $400 to $800, you’ll probably have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident, but you’ll save significantly on your monthly premium. If you’re a prudent driver, you’ll pay back the savings you make by paying a lower premium over the course of the year. The amount of cover you have does not change by increasing your deductible.

Be a good citizen

Just by having a good credit score, or doing well in school, your premium can be lowered. Insurance companies have found a correlation between credit score, academic performance and your chance of being in an accident. If you have a good credit score and you perform well academically, you may be eligible for a discount.

Pay in fewer installments

Insurers charge costs for an instalment. The more installments, the more costs you pay. If you have sufficient fiscal responsibility, ask your insurer about different payment options, such as once a year, semi-annually or a quarterly payment. Be careful when using this strategy as it is possible to lose your insurance by missing just one payment.

Demand better service

Believe it or not, there is still a moral fabric in the business world. If you’ve been with the same insurance company for years, ask them for a discount as a loyal customer. If they refuse, go look around. Another provider may offer better rates or give you better information about your insurance needs.

Hopefully, this article has enlightened you a bit when it comes to general car insurance. Use this information and turn it into dollars and cents.

Save on car insurance – what you need to know

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