If you’re into saving money–which I’d guess most of us are–you probably find yourself wondering from time to time why in this big green world we are mandated to get car insurance. “Can’t we just drive carefully and pay the consequences of having no car insurance IF we get into an accident.”
Probably makes you feel a bit like a kid being told you “have to” do something. There’s not really any point in complaining about it though; you gotta make the best of a less than great situation. So what do we do with car insurance and our money saving endeavors? Obviously, we look for cheap car insurance, or at least ways to get it.
Top List of Popular Ways To Lower Your Insurance
Now, some of the ways to get cheap car insurance have to do with getting a different car, but I won’t worry about those since you are probably more interested in working with what you’ve got. Let’s look at some ways to get cheap car insurance.
Factor #1: Age
Age really does make a difference with car insurance. If you are younger than 25 or older than 55 your insurance premiums are going to be higher. I’ll acknowledge that from the get go, and while you can’t travel ahead or back in time, you can still work a little to get a lower premium.
If you’re younger than 25 and driving, you are most likely a student in school. If you can be disciplined and get good grades in school, you can actually get a student discount on your insurance. You’ll have to show proof of your grades via a school report card, but hey, good grades pay off!
If you’re over 55, some insurance companies actually offer senior discounts. Why? Because most people over 55 are retired or close to it. This means less driving time, which lowers the likelihood of accidents.
Factor #2: Location
You are most likely not going to up and move just to get a lower insurance premium, but if you are renting and your lease is almost up, you might consider moving to a low crime area. You can check crime reports online with sites like CrimeReports.com. A lower crime rate lowers the chances of your vehicle getting broken into.
If you’re not about to move, you can still take some extra steps that can affect your insurance premium. Try parking off of the street or in a garage, and be sure to mention this when you apply for car insurance. Once again, they might require some proof of this, but any way that you can demonstrate increased safety for your vehicle is a chance for a discount.
Factor #3: The Deductible
This deductible references the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you are in an accident. Let me throw in a disclaimer before we get very far and say, if you are accident prone, don’t do this. Now, if you are a good driver (as in you haven’t gotten into a lot of accidents) or if you don’t drive very often, this is a great option for you and can significantly lower your insurance premium.
Here’s what you do: talk to your insurance agent and ask how much increasing your deductible will save on monthly payments. Most insurance agents probably won’t offer you this option or will caution you against it, but it is an option that can really save you money. Take look at the difference though, and see if it’s worth it to get cheap car insurance.
As a side note, if you’re not driving very much, you might want to ask about a low mileage discount. You’ll need proof, but insurance companies do offer this discount. If yours doesn’t, I’d suggest looking around for one that does.
Factor #4: Premium Payments
This one is short and sweet. You can pay your insurance premium monthly, but by paying larger sums than your monthly premium you’re actually going to save money. Try paying all of it up front or paying quarterly. If you can pay all of it up front, they might even give you an extra discount!
Factor #5: Combination
There are two types of combining you can do to get cheaper insurance. First, if you’ve got multiple vehicles being covered by different insurance companies, you want to throw them all into the same company. Compare the different companies that you’re currently using and see which one fits your needs better. Most insurance companies will offer you a multiple car discount.
Sometimes, it also helps to combine your other insurance (ie life, home, health, etc.) into the same company. If you’ve got an insurance company that offers these other types of insurance, you’ll want to look into the prices and discounts available for insuring each of these assets through the same company.
Factor #6: Vehicle Age
An older vehicle is often more “risky” than a newer vehicle. You know that super annoying sound in the newer cars when you don’t buckle your seatbelt? That’s one example of a feature that makes the newer vehicle “safer.” Now, we’re not going to go into whether or not it really does make the vehicle safer–we’re just going to acknowledge that insurance companies like the way it looks.
I said I wasn’t going to tell you to buy a new car, and I’m not. What I’m going to suggest is that you get a few extra safety features installed–like rear airbags, an alarm system, or annoying seatbelt indicators and then tell the insurance company. If they know that your older car has been updated to be safer, your insurance premium can be lowered. Obviously, you’re going to have to provide proof of these changes.
Factor #7: Driving Class
Taking an advanced driving class (and passing it) can help to lower your insurance premium. If you don’t know of any driving classes, call your insurance agent, and they can help you locate one in your area. Keep in mind that if you take the class and don’t pass, your premium will actually go up, so take the class seriously.
Extras: A few other things to ask about are
- a safe driver discount if you’ve got a good record
- accuracy of personal information–especially birthday and marital status since both of these factors drastically affect your insurance premium.
- accuracy of vehicle information–specifically your VIN. If this is incorrect you might be paying extra for a vehicle with lower safety ratings than yours.
If you take each of these factors and apply it to your situation, you’re sure to get a cheap car insurance. It may take a little extra talking or saving or time, but these little tidbits will definitely make a difference in your car insurance payments.