It has never been more expensive to own a car. Drivers strapped for cash are trying to figure out how to make sure they are staying safe and driving insured without blowing their budget on pricey auto insurance. For some, it’s tempting to slash coverage down to the bare minimum required by the state. But this could backfire if people cut the coverage that would have paid to repair or replace a vehicle damaged in an accident.
Fortunately, there are other ways to lower the cost of auto insurance besides taking that risk. Cheaper insurance with the correct balance of coverage is possible. Try these six savvy tips to get more affordable auto insurance coverage.
The Deductible Dilemma
The monthly cost of an auto insurance policy and the deductible go hand in hand. A deductible is what a driver must pay out-of-pocket before the auto insurance company steps in to cover the expenses of repairs or medical bills. Many times, the driver only pays a deductible if they are at fault in the accident.
Policyholders can choose a lower deductible. This usually results in a higher policy premium. If they’re willing to pay a higher deductible, they can reduce their premium. This could save them a ton of money if they have a great driving record and aren’t likely to get into an accident. People who drive in high-traffic situations or who have several accidents on their records may not want the risk of a high deductible.
Needs Versus Wants
One of the biggest ways drivers can reduce the cost of their auto insurance is to take a hard look at the type of car they already own or want to buy. Expensive luxury cars and cars the insurance company considers at high risk of theft will cost much more to insure.
Financially speaking, it makes more sense to look for a reliable car with a lot of safety features. Rates from auto insurance companies will be cheaper for safe cars. This means policyholders can increase their savings monthly.
Don’t Overlook Discounts
Some people sign up for auto insurance online, while others call the company or sit down with a live agent. No matter how people get their auto insurance, doing a little homework first can mean saving hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Over several years, the savings can be astronomical. Every auto insurance company offers discounts for behaviors and features that promote safety. Each company offers different discounts, and at different percentage rates off.
Auto policy shoppers should go online to look at what the company offers before committing to a policy. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask an agent to go over every discount available to discover if they qualify. The discounts add up to significant savings the longer a person holds that policy.
Call for Quotes
Auto insurance companies do not rate risk in the same ways. They also offer different kinds of policy discounts. Some companies are better for younger drivers or for those who are active-duty military members. Life changes, driving records, and a new car or moving to a new home can significantly affect auto insurance rates.
By contacting the available companies and comparing quotes, drivers can cut their bills without losing the coverage they need, but they will never know unless they check.
Drive Less, Pay Less
Several companies now offer apps and driving programs to policyholders who don’t rack up as many miles as the average driver. With these low-mileage programs, drivers pay much lower rates by driving less. If a driver is consistently driving much less than the average, they may want to see if this type of program is a good fit.
Auto insurance companies offering these programs track drivers with a small device installed in the car or use an app on the customer’s phone. These devices or apps track the customer’s mileage and safe driving habits.
Defensive for Dollars
One great way drivers can add more discounts to their auto insurance is to check out whether a defensive driving course is available where they live. In some states, the Department of Motor Vehicles has classes available for drivers to brush up on their defensive driving skills. Auto insurance companies, in turn, may offer an extra discount to policyholders who receive certification from the course.
Young drivers can also take advantage of this skills training. Some insurance companies offer special training apps and programs for young drivers as well. These programs are especially valuable to young people, who pay much more for their policies on average than older drivers.
Paying for auto insurance should not blow the budget. But going without it is risky and dangerous. Drivers can get affordable and appropriate coverage by following a few simple steps and exploring every option. Balance is key to making auto insurance affordable and worthwhile.