You could be throwing away hundreds of dollars every year to your auto insurance company, learn how to save big, and put that money back into your pocket!
Finding and buying auto insurance on your new vehicle is never going to be a fun process no matter how you look at it, but that doesn't mean you should buy the first policy thrown your way. Many people think that their insurance cost is a fixed amount, but this isn't true. You can actually change your car insurance premium at any time during your policy, and save yourself hundreds of dollars, and let's face it, who doesn't want to do that?
How is my Insurance Premium Calculated?
The first thing you need to keep in mind when looking at insurance policies is that your premium costs depend on three things:
- Your driving record
- Year, make and model of your vehicle
- Where you reside
If you have a history of speeding tickets or accidents then your insurance company is going to see you as a risk, and increase your monthly payment. It helps to buy a newer vehicle over a used car because it will come with the most up-to-date safety features. The safer your car is the less likely you are to get hurt or be in an accident, and the more money the company will save. Also, each state has different rules as to what the minimum deductibles and coverage you can have on your car, truck, or SUV.
Don't Settle for the Minimum
Nobody wants to think about shelling out large amounts of money if they were to get into an accident, so they pick the lowest deductible amount, and leave it at that. This can be a huge waste of your money, and this should be the first place you look at when trying to boost your savings. By increasing the deductible amount on your policy your insurance company will lower your monthly payments. This is because they are saving money by not having to pay more if you were to get into an accident.
Yes, you're taking a risk on your out-of-pocket expense if you were to get into a fender bender, but if you and everyone on your policy has a history of safe driving, you could be doing yourself a huge favor. If you're worried about a high deductible and not having that much cash on-hand if a problem were to occur, use your monthly savings as an emergency fund.
Only Buy as Much as You Need
When you take out an auto loan on a new vehicle it is required that you have both collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage covers exactly that; damage from a collision with another object. The comprehensive will pay for a replacement or the repair of the vehicle from damage that is not caused by an accident such as:
- Storm damage
- Flood damage
If your vehicle is no longer new and there is no lien holder on the title, you can think about dropping, or at least reducing, the amount of collision coverage you have. The Insurance Information Institute recommends getting rid of collision insurance on an older vehicle, because often times they aren't worth the money that is needed to fix them. If your vehicle's retail value is less than what the repairs ring in at your insurance company won't write the check. Do yourself a favor and research what your car is worth, and whether or not you're paying for a service that is no longer needed. You can do this through sites like KellyBlueBook.com and NADA.com.
Combine Your Policies
Is your car insurance through a different lender than your home insurance or renter's insurance? If so, you could be costing yourself money. Most insurance companies offer discounts to customers that have more than one policy with them, which is called "multilining". Basically, insurance companies believe you are more likely to have your car stolen, or get into an accident, than your house catching on fire, and the more lines of insurance they can get the less of a risk you pose to them; which in turn makes them more willing to hand out a discount.
Keep Track of Your Credit Scores
Paying your mortgage, utility bills or phone bills may not seem like they have anything to do with your auto insurance premium, but the fact is they do. Most insurance companies will pull your credit report when you apply for a policy through them, and if they see that you have many late payments, missed payments, collection accounts or defaults they will consider you a high risk consumer. If you know what your credit scores are and your report shows good payment history on all open and closed credit lines you're more likely to get a discount.
As We See It
The economy has still not fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, and now with the government shut down many people will again be out of a job, and looking for ways to put a little extra cash into their pockets. Your car insurance policy is one of the best, easiest, and fastest ways to do this. All it takes a few minutes of your time to research your car, and look over your current policy to see which discounts you may be eligible for now that you weren't before.
If your currently in the market for a new car, and you're researching which vehicles and insurance policies are best for you, Auto Credit Express can help. We have a variety of credit tools and resources that can help your process of getting auto financing and car insurance a painless one, all while helping you stay within a certain budget.