It’s time to block out the noise of all those insurance advertisements and save money on your auto insurance. Here are some ways.
- Choose your car carefully. Insurers adjust rates based on which vehicles cost them the most (and least) in insurance payouts. You may be eyeing a high-powered sports car, but it could cost you even more than you anticipated in higher insurance premiums. Talk to an agent before you buy, so you know what your rate will be.
- Drive safely. It should be obvious, but by following traffic laws and practicing attentive, defensive driving, while at the same time avoiding speeding tickets, other moving violations and accidents, you could save big money on auto insurance. Most insurers offer discount premiums for individuals with years of safe driving on record.
- Go high-tech. A car with front-crash prevention technology, lane-departure warnings and adaptive headlights may also score some premium discounts. Other features that may lower insurance costs include rear-view cameras and theft-prevention systems, both of which are now standard equipment on many cars.
- Bundle policies. If available, by taking out auto and home policies with the same insurer, you may end up with discounts on both products.
- Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could save you 15 to 30 percent on your collision and comprehensive coverage,* but be sure you can afford to cover the deductible should an accident occur.
Tips for Teens
Most parents with a teen about to get a driver’s license dread the inevitable insurance premium hike. You may be able to ease the jolt if your insurer offers teen driver discounts for the following:
- Good grades. Insurance companies may assume that students who apply themselves in school will also be attentive drivers.
- Safe driving courses. Some insurance companies offer a course specifically for teens and may offer discounts on insurance premiums once it’s completed.
- Older cars. Older vehicles may cost less for collision and comprehensive coverage. However, because cars equipped with more safety features tend to have lower insurance premiums, look for features such as functioning airbags, traction control and seat belts.
- High-tech monitoring. Electronic devices that monitor mileage, speed and braking habits may result in lower premiums and encourage teens to be safer drivers because they know they’re being watched.
- Temporary absence. If your student is away at school and not driving, you may be able to take him or her off the policy temporarily, resuming coverage when he or she returns home. This is assuming they won’t end up driving a friend’s car at any point while at school.
Mature Driver Discounts
Individuals over age 55 may want to take advantage of a safe-driving course, usually available in local classrooms or online. Check with your state’s department of motor vehicles (find a link to your state at USA.gov) or search online for classes near you. Many insurance companies offer seniors a discount of up to 10 percent for completing the course (ask first!).
Shop and Compare
When shopping for auto insurance, be aware that rates aren’t the only consideration. You also want an insurer with a reputation for financial strength and stability, as well as a good claims-paying record. In fact, membership in certain organizations can also give you access to lower insurance rates.
*Source: Insurance Information Institute, www.iii.org.