Car insurance is one of the most expensive costs involved in driving a car, and it’s not something you can avoid – a minimum level of insurance is required by law. That doesn’t mean you have to blindly pay whatever your insurer quotes though, as there are several simple things you can do to reduce the cost of your premiums.
1) Shop around and buy online: Figures show that many people simply renew their current policies without shopping around. The internet makes it easy to compare prices from different insurers, so why not take advantage of this? Plus, you’ll usually get a discount of 10% or more just for buying your policy online.
2) Policy type: do you really need a comprehensive policy with all the extras? Going for a third party fire & theft policy can reduce your premiums hugely, and is definitely worth considering if your car isn’t an expensive model.
3) No claims discounts: Nearly all policies feature a discount that increases for every year you don’t make a claim. The higher the discount available, the more you could save. Also look at insurers offering a ‘no claims bonus for life’ feature, where your current discount level can be fixed forever, even if you have to make a claim somewhere down the line.
4) Excess: The excess on a policy is the amount of a claim you have to pay before the insurer pays the rest. Choosing to have a higher than standard excess level will usually mean lower premiums.
5) Security: Fitting your vehicle with an alarm, immobiliser, or other security devices can lead to premium reductions. Parking you car off-road, for example on a driveway or in a garage, will also mean a cheaper policy.
6) Pay annually: Many insurers charge you interest for the privilege of paying in monthly installments. Pay annually if you can afford it to avoid this, or look for one of the companies who don’t charge extra for monthly payment.
7) Mileage: The more mileage you run up every year, the more your insurance will cost. Even if you can’t reduce your mileage, make sure you’re not overestimating how much you actually do drive, and give your insurer an accurate figure.
8) Drivers: The more drivers you have on your policy, the more it will cost. Reduce the number of people insured to drive your car to the minimum possible, and try to get the policy in the name of a driver with the lowest risk profile. For example, if a car is driven by both a man and a woman, insuring it in the woman’s name will often result in a cheaper quote.
Full Tort or Limited Tort– Many states have a discount for selecting a limited tort option. Tort is your right to sue for pain and suffering damages over and above the basic liability settlement. This varies from state to state.
What are the Discounts?– There are a number of discounts on car policies. The multi-policy discount is given by insurance companies for purchasing both auto and home insurance. Retirement discounts are available to the senior adult. Young drivers receive discounts for drivers training education. Some companies give good student discounts for young student drivers that maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
What Are Your Assets?– Do you own a home? Do you have several vehicles? Do you own a business? Do you rent an apartment? Your strength in assets is a factor when selecting your liability limits. If you accidentally injure or kill someone in an automobile accident and you carry low liability limits on your car policy then your assets are next in line to be used to pay for the damages.
The Age of the Vehicles– Newer vehicles usually require physical damage coverage by the lender. Older vehicles with a lot of miles sometimes do not warrant physical damage. Physical damage rates can be adjusted up or down based on the deductible you choose.
This is the overall picture what insurance companies use to determine your individual rate. You have a choice when it comes to liability, physical damage, and tort options. Ask plenty of questions about these three areas when purchasing car insurance.
The Age of The Drivers– Adult rates, senior adult rates, and rates for young drivers make a huge difference in the overall rate. Young drivers on vehicles with physical damage coverage can be very costly.
Car insurance is an integral part of the insurance budget. There are a lot of variables that cause the rates to increase or decrease. Some of these variables can not be controlled by the insured but there are some things the insurance buyer can do to keep their policy reasonable without losing a lot in protection.