4 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums That Your Agent Won’t Tell You

Who doesn’t want to pay lower auto insurance rates? With the lifetime odds of being in an automobile accident at one in four (25 percent!), having the proper automobile insurance is a must. Chances are, you know someone who’s suffered physically or financially from an auto accident, just ask them about the importance of auto insurance.

Auto insurance … more than just a good idea … it’s the law. –Anonymous

Yes, it is the law in most states. As a matter of fact, when I lived in South Carolina, auto insurance was tied to your driver’s license. When your policy lapsed, your license was revoked!

Insurance DisclaimerHere are four ways you can lower your monthly premium (insurance talk for “monthly payment”) on your auto insurance and save:

1. Shop around. Nothing can lower your premium more quickly than competition between insurers. The easiest way to get start a competition for your premium isn’t by making a call to a single company, it’s by using an online service like InsureMe.com. They match you with the right agent for the job, and within minutes you receive multiple quotes directly from those competing companies. No getting stuck on the phone, no driving all over town, no waiting endlessly for a quote. You’ll typically receive several offers, and, after comparing a variety of coverage plans and rates, you can choose the right carrier and policy that meets your needs and fits your budget.

2. Have the proper coverage and deductible. Depending on your driving habits, you will need different coverage amounts. Someone who logs a lot of miles on a new car will require different coverage than someone who drives an old beater to town every 4 days. Also, someone with a high deductible (industry talk for the amount you have to pay before they kick in anything) will have a lower premium than someone with a low deductible.

3. Know the factors affecting your premium. Coverage amounts and limits aren’t the only factors that companies consider when setting your insurance premium. They also look at:

  • Your age. Old people rule!
  • Your gender. Old women rule even more.
  • Your marital status. Make that married old women rule!
  • Your driving record. Safety pays.
  • Other members of your household who might drive your vehicle. Sorry little brother, you’re outta luck!
  • Where you live, drive, and work. Some places are better than others!
  • The type of vehicle you drive. A Mercedes, BMW, or Porsche will always command a higher premium since they’re more expensive to repair. Also, look out for vehicles that are tops on auto thieves’ lists.
  • Your credit history. There’s a fear that you may crash a vehicle to get the insurance money. Keep that credit report clean!

4. Always, always, always ask for discounts. Agents won’t always point them out and even those that will may not know that you’re eligible unless you mention things like:

  • I have an anti-theft device on my vehicle.” Point out any safety features on your car as well. Anything that makes your car safer on the road and less attractive to thieves makes your premium go down.
  • I’m willing to insure my home with you as well.” Ask about bundled package deals, but evaluate each on it’s own merit.
  • I haven’t had any tickets or accidents in X years.” Good, safe drivers are cash cows for insurers. Just make sure the “X” is at least 10.
  • My child IS on my policy, but she makes good grades and has taken a driving course.” Good student discounts are a parent’s friend!
  • I don’t drive very much and I take the bus to work.” Low annual mileage can pay off in another discount.
  • I have multiple vehicles to insure.” More than one opportunity to collect premiums usually means yet another discount.

You CAN save a bunch of money on your car insurance … by following these four tips.

photo credit: andrew steinmetz