Is your auto insurance bill $12,000 a year or even higher? It’s not unusual for auto insurance to cost this much these days. But it doesn’t necessarily have to cost this much. There are ways to reduce these costs. It might take a bit of work but it is possible to cut that insurance bill by a substantial amount.
Tip #1: Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies to get quotes or get them directly via the Internet. You can also call your state insurance department, as it may be able to provide you with a comparison of prices charged by the major carriers in your state. Also, get price quotes from different kinds of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. Others sell through independent agents who often represent several different companies. Other companies have no agents and sell direct to the consumer via the phone or Internet.
Tip #2: Check insurance costs before buying that next car. Did you know that insurance premiums are based on the car’s cost, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood of its being stolen? You can often get a discount from insurers if the car you are buying has a great safety record or if it’s designed to reduce the risk of death.
Tip #3: See what you could save with higher deductibles. Higher deductibles can lower your insurance costs substantially. For example, if you increase your deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage from, say, $300 to $500, you could reduce your costs by as much as 15 to 30 percent. Move up to a $1,000 deductible and you might save 40 percent or more.
Tip #4: Reduce the coverage on older cars. If you have one or more older cars, consider dropping the collision coverage entirely. If your car is worth ten times the premium, buying collision coverage just may not be worth it. You can find out what your car is worth by contacting your bank’s auto loan department or you can look it up online at http://www.kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book).
Tip #5: Buy your auto insurance from the same company that has your homeowners insurance. All the major insurers offer both homeowners and auto insurance and will give you a nice discount if you buy both types of policies from them. You may also qualify for a discount if you insure several vehicles with the same company. Some companies even offer discounts for long-time customers.
Tip #6: Keep a good credit record. Auto insurance companies are using credit information more and more often to price their policies. Make sure you maintain a good credit history by paying bills on time, and by keeping your credit card balances as low as possible. Also, be sure to check your credit record regularly. That way, if errors occur, you can quickly correct them – to keep your credit record clean and accurate.