Spring is nearly here. It’s not only a good time to clean your house, but also a good time to clean up your budget. Having adequate car insurance is both smart and prudent. But there's no question that it adds to the expense of driving. The good news is that premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on a number of factors.
Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance is in step with your needs. Follow these practical steps to reduce the bottom line on your auto policy.
Shop Around For Your Car Insurance
Prices differ from company to company, so it pays to shop around.
Get at least three quotes, from both different insurance companies and different types of insurance companies. That is, those that sell through their own agents, those that sell through independent agents,and those that sell directly to consumers via the phone, an app or the Internet. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations based on their experiences, and do your own due diligence by researching the company before committing.
Understand auto insurance enough that you can ask a prospective insurer informed questions. Anyone you speak to should take the time to answer to your satisfaction. Remember, these are the people you'll rely on if the worst happens and you need to make a claim.
Keep in mind that the lowest price isn't always the "cheapest" option. Make sure the company you choose is reputable, and that you're comfortable with the service you get from the insurance professionals you speak to.
Raise Your Deductible
By choosing a higher deductible on your car insurance, you can sometimes significantly lower your premium costs. Of course, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay the higher deductible in the event you have a claim.
Reduce Optional Insurance On Your Older Car
As a rule of thumb, if your older car is worth less than 10 times the insurance premium, having collision and/or comprehensive coverage may not be cost effective. To find out whether this is true for you, check the value of your car. You can look up what your car is worth for free on websites such as Kelley Blue Book, National Association of Auto Dealers (NADA), and TrueCar.
Maintain A Good Credit History
Establishing a solid credit history has many benefits, including lower insurance costs. Many insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies. (Research shows that people who effectively manage their credit make fewer claims). To be sure you’re getting the good credit you deserve, it’s a good idea to check your credit record on a regular basis to be sure all information is accurate.
Seek Out Other Discounts
There are other discounts that your insurer may offer to policyholders. For example, some companies offer discounts to those who've not had any accidents or moving violations during a specified period, or those who have taken a defensive driving course. If there is a young driver on your policy who is a good student, has taken a drivers education course or is away at college without a car, you may also qualify for a lower rate.
Ask your insurer which discounts you might qualify for, but keep in mind that what's important is the final cost of your policy. A company that offers few discounts may still be able to give you a lower overall premium price.
Please contact Bruening Insurance for a free estimate on your auto insurance and we can see how we can help you clean up your costs.