Even as payments by insurance companies for property damage and injuries shrink, insurance rates continue to rise. However, there are a number of things that the savvy consumer can do to lower his rates and reduce the auto insurance bite.
It Pays to Shop
The most important thing to remember is that auto insurance is a business and, just like any business, insurance companies want you to be their customer. They spend millions of dollars each year on geckos and other advertising, so it pays to shop around. Rates for the same coverage on the same driver in the same car can vary enormously from company to company, and even an hour spent shopping by telephone or over the Internet could end up saving you hundreds of dollars in premiums each year.
Many insurers give discounts if you have more than one kind of insurance with them. For example, if you insure your home and your car with the same insurance company, that may reduce the rate that it charges for both types of coverage. However, be careful: Just because you are getting a discount does not mean that you are necessarily getting the lowest rate.
Tweak Your Coverage
You may also look into changing your coverage. Simply raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 per accident can save you a lot of money. Also, if you have an old car that is of little value, consider dropping your collision coverage because chances are that, if you are in an accident, the car will be “totaled” and you will receive only a nominal amount.
Not Created Equal
Remember, not all cars cost the same to insure: The hot‑rod car will usually cost more than the family sedan. If you are buying a new or used car, ask your insurer about the rates charged for the different vehicles you are considering. If you buy the car that costs the least to cover, you will save money on insurance as long as you own the vehicle.
Also, ask your insurance company about discounts that may be available. Most insurance companies offer discounts for certain equipment that makes cars safer or more difficult to steal (such as car alarms, air bags, and anti‑lock brakes) or for certain kinds of drivers that they believe are less likely to have accidents (such as those who drive less than the average, older drivers, and students who get good grades in school). Some insurers will give you an additional discount if you take certain kinds of classes, such as driver’s education or alcohol awareness, classes they hope will make you a better, safer driver.
The best advice of all is to BE CAREFUL when you drive. The fewer accidents you have and the fewer tickets you receive, the better your driving record and the lower your insurance rates will be.
For more information on auto insurance visit the Worthington Law Group website.