10 Tips for Getting Cheap Car Insurance
By Jeff Youngs, August 10, 2012
In almost every state, car insurance is compulsory, required by law. The rates you pay are directly related to a number of factors, but getting the best car insurance for the lowest price is easy if you follow these 10 simple but important guidelines:
- Keep your driving record clean. Your driving record impacts your car insurance rates more than any other factor. If your record is clean, meaning it is free of tickets or accidents, you will qualify for the lowest possible rates. If you get a lot of tickets and have had many accidents, you are going to pay the highest rates. Also, you should be aware that insurance companies are investigating public social media posts, so if you have a clean driving record only because you've been lucky enough not to get caught, don't brag about your driving exploits on social media.
- Keep your credit report clean. Insurance companies will consider your credit rating to be a reflection of how responsible you are. More responsible drivers get fewer tickets and are involved in fewer accidents.
- Compare rates. You will want to gather quotes from a variety of insurance companies. Make sure the quotes are based on identical coverage and deductibles (the amount you will pay out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in), as well as on identical payment plans. Rates vary based on the type and amount of coverage, the amount of the deductible, and whether you pay monthly by check, monthly via electronic payment, semi-annually, or annually.
- Request discounts. Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, so be sure to request a full list of them to determine if you qualify for any incentives. Also, paying for your policy in full on a semi-annual or annual basis usually reduces the cost of the insurance.
- Drop unnecessary coverage. Be sure to review all elements of your policy, and drop any coverage that you don't really need. For example, owners of older vehicles that are not worth very much often carry more insurance than they really need.
- Drive fewer miles. The more miles you drive each year, the higher your insurance rates will be. When running errands, be sure to get everything done in one trip, and plan your route so that you'll cover as little ground as possible.
- Drive an older or different car. New cars are more expensive to insure than old cars. Luxury and sports cars are more expensive to insure than mainstream sedans and crossover SUVs. When shopping for a new car, it is important to gather insurance quotes for the vehicles you're considering.
- Raise your deductible. Your insurance policy's deductible is the amount of money you will need to pay out of your own pocket in the event of an accident or claim against the insurance, before the insurance company will pay. By raising your deductible, you can lower your insurance rates.
- Combine policies with a single insurance company. Insurance companies like to sell insurance. If you combine your auto, home, and life insurance with a single company, you can likely benefit from a multi-policy discount.
- Move to an area with lower rates. Some regions of a city, greater metropolitan area, state, and the country are less expensive in terms of auto insurance than other parts of the city, metro area, state, and country. By living in an area with low insurance rates, you can save money.