Tips to Save Money on Car Insurance

Tips to Save Money on Car Insurance

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Family car insurance rates

Are car insurance costs over-stretching your family budget? Below, find a few money saving tips that can reduce your cost of driving.

Defensive Driving
Do you actively drive defensively? For any age driver, doing things that improve your driving skills and safe driving behaviors might get you reduced car insurance premiums. Why? Because safer driving means fewer claims.

This could mean completing an approved driver training (or driver’s education) course, or, for older drivers, a defensive driving course.

Research shows that young drivers who are well-trained are statistically less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors. The more responsibly a person drives, the less car accidents he or she causes. Responsible driving can even save lives.

Defensive driving includes staying off your cell phone while you drive. (For more information on how to encourage teens to drive safely, click here.)

To get discounts on your insurance plan, ask your insurance company agent for specific details. You may be eligible every few years to get another discount after taking training again.

Don’t Drink and Drive
Getting a DUI (Driving Under the Influence of mind/body altering substances) can ruin your life. If you get one or more DUI, you can become uninsurable by most insurance companies. Plus, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked, you could lose your job, and worst of all, if you seriously injure yourself or others you would go to jail or prison, get a criminal record, be required to take rehabilitation classes, etc. (Click here to read more about how DUI can completely ruin your life.)

Stick With the Truth
What can raise your car insurance premiums other than offensive driving? Hiding the truth. For example, have you sustained a sports, automobile or other type of injury causing you to have a concussion? If so, it is only safe to drive after a doctor tells you it’s safe to drive again. When you answer questions about your life experiences, tell the truth.

Here’s an article revealing why it’s important to pay attention to your ability to drive if you’ve had a concussion. Though this article talks mainly about sports related injuries causing concussions, research now reveals that those who’ve had concussions for any cause can experience focus and memory problems.

Though it would be inconvenient to be unable to drive as a result of receiving a brain injury, being safe on the roads is important to your life and the lives of others.

Check Leased Vehicle Coverages
If you lease your vehicle, you could be required to pay for higher insurance coverages. Before you lease, check the insurance coverage requirements.

Obey Traffic Laws to Maintain a Clean Driving Record
Having a perfect driving record with no moving violation tickets and no at-fault accidents can make you eligible for lower insurance premiums. Remember you are piloting a heavy machine that could cause you or someone else damage unless you pay attention while driving your car.

Comparison Shopping
When you start looking for a company to insure your driving activities, you might consider creating a spreadsheet. Check rates with at least three companies.

On the spreadsheet, include comparing each individual company’s quotes, discounts, features and coverages. Remember that car insurance rates can vary a lot from company to company for exactly the same coverage parameters. Also, ask about each insurance company’s ratings.

Price is important but it is not the only thing when shopping for coverage. Also look at each company’s reputation, customer satisfaction ratings and website reviews. Take with a grain of salt the occasional bad review. Look at the overall number of people who have something good to say about the company.

Deductibles
When it comes to insurance, for some coverages you will pay deductibles. Ask your insurance agent the pros and cons of paying low or high deductibles.

For example, if you increase your collision and comprehensive coverage deductible from $250 to $500, you could reduce your monthly premium by 15 to 30 percent. Increasing the deductible to $1,000 could lower your monthly premium by up to 40 percent or more. There are creative ways you can lower your premiums. Just make sure you save that $1,000 in a special account in the event you need to file a claim.

Consider only Carrying Liability Coverage on Older Cars
For very old privately-owned vehicles, it may make little economical sense to carry anything but liability on them. How old is too old? Well, instead of age, let’s look at actual market value of your car. (Check NADA to determine your vehicle’s market value.) Generally, if your car’s market value is worth less than $1,000, it makes little financial sense to pay collision and/or comprehensive coverage on it. Remember, even though Aunt Martha might have willed you her car, insurance companies don’t pay anything for sentimental value.

Group Affiliations
If you are a military vet or credit union member, you might get a discount on your insurance policy. Also, check out possible employee discounts as a member of a large employee group, professional group and/or other organizations.

Ever heard of UBI?
Usage-based insurance (UBI) programs might save you money if your driving habits define you as a good driver. In this program, a device plugged into your vehicle records specific driving statistics. Usually, the insurer applies discounts to your next policy term. However, high mileage drivers, people who drive a lot at night or who regularly slam on the brakes probably will lose money with UBI.

Good Student Discount
Students who act maturely and responsibly can get discounts on car insurance. This is yet another example of where it pays to act responsible!

Vehicle Safety Features
Depending on your vehicle’s safety features, you may be entitled to discounts. Ask your insurance agent to give you a list of features that may net you policy discounts.

Bundling Policies
Does your insurance company provide coverage for more than just your auto? If so, you may get insurance policy discounts by carrying coverage with just one company. Look at bundling your home, auto, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or boat insurance all with the same carrier.

Other Ways to get Insurance Policy Discounts
Did you know you might get a discount for having good credit? Many Insurers see a driver’s good credit rating as proof of he or she filing fewer insurance claims.

Ask your insurance agent to look at your accident-free record or for other ways you can get discounts. It is important to ask for what you want. In other words, do not assume you will automatically get a discount because you think your insurance agent is a nice person. Ask about these discounts, especially if you have a good driving record.

Susan Fox is a parent, mother, wife, professional hypnotist and freelance writer. She teaches people how to use natural methods of effectively managing the pain, stress and tension of chronic conditions. You can contact her at [email protected].

About the author

Susan Fox is a mother of two boys and a holistic health palliative care coach. She teaches people how to use natural methods of effectively managing the pain, stress and tension of chronic conditions. Visit palliativecarechoices.com or email [email protected] for more information. Look for her upcoming ebook, “Sick Child? What to do and Expect the First Time at the Pediatrician’s Office,” which discusses practical ideas from her own experience of going to the pediatrician’s office with her seriously ill, firstborn child.

13 Comments

  1. Living in a big city is nice, especially since everything is next to each other. Since I’ve moved, getting a car is at the top of my priority list since the closest store is 15 minutes away. It’s good to know that I’ll have an easier time getting a lower insurance premium since my driving record doesn’t have any violations.

  2. Thanks for the tips for getting car insurance. I like how you said that we could pay more the deductible and pay less per month. That sounds like a good plan to me because I feel like we’re responsible drivers.

  3. Thanks for pointing out that if you increase your deductibles then you can actually lower your premium by 15-30%. It’s come time for me to get a new car, and I want to get some really good coverage for it because I’m planning on getting a really nice one this time around. Your tips should help me still get affordable auto insurance while keeping my premium low.

  4. When it comes to car insurance, everyone wants to keep their wallet safe from draining. That does not mean, you have to make negotiations on the coverage facility. Yup, without making any kind of negotiation, an insurance shopper can still keep his insurance expenses within his spreadsheet. He can save by driving less. He can save by increasing his deductible. So many ways are there. Here, Susan also has revealed some insurance cutting clues. A car parent needs to take every single measure that will help in keeping his insurance disbursements within his limit.

  5. It was really nice that you mentioned how leased cars might need higher insurance premiums, so it is best to check out the insurance requirements of the car before leasing it. That is really nice to know since my friend is planning to lease a car next month and insuring it is one of his priorities. I will share this info with him because I am sure he is not aware of the difference in the premiums or new and leased cars. Thank you!

  6. You can check out some websites to compare different insurers online. While you can’t get a quote immediately, you will get a reply soon from the agents of the company. You may want to consider making a relationship with a good independent agent. They will help you check rates of tons of carriers.

  7. Be careful raising your deductibles! I had both of my deductibles set to $1000, but recently had my sunroof blow out that scratched my back trunk/hatch lid. Luckily I was able to replace the sunroof myself and I think I can repair the lid to my liking, but it still sucks when you have to decide whether the damage is bad enough to spend a grand on it. Lowering my comprehensive to $250 and my collision to $500 is only costing me another $200 a year (I pay bi-annually) and now if something happens to my car, it will cost me a lot less to keep it looking nice.

    If someone scrapes the side of your car in a parking situation, you’re stuck in a s***** situation of paying $1000 to get it fixed or drive your car with a nasty scrape down the middle. In some cases it’s worth paying a little more up front and saving a lot if something does happen.

  8. Thanks for your tip to choose vehicle insurance that you can afford. I also like how you said that driving safely can also save you money. My husband and I are looking into vehicle insurance for our new family van.

  9. My brother was planning to get a car next month, and he asked me to help him figure out the things that he can do in order to save on the insurance premium because his salary as a part-timer was too small. I am glad that I came across this article because, to be honest, I do not know what he can do either. You said that being responsible has benefits because students who act maturely and responsibly have more chances of getting discounts for their insurance policy. I don’t know he will do that, but I do know that he’s a responsible young man, so I will be sure to let him know. Thank you.

  10. It has been a while since I started driving a car, and I am proud to say that not once have I been arrested or received a ticket for a traffic violation. At first, I thought that my clean driving record was just for status and that I cannot use it to benefit me. Now I know that I was wrong. Like you said, people with a clean driving record tend to have a higher chance of being eligible for lower insurance premiums. That’s great! I will keep it up because I am planning to buy a new car next season. Thank you!

  11. These are all great tips, but it’s also important to always ensure you have adequate coverage .. Saving money is one thing, but as intended – Not having proper or enough insurance in a big accident or tragic event could be catastrophic.

  12. I was looking into getting an insurance policy for the car that my dad gifted me this 25th. That is why learning that getting a driver’s training education or defensive training can be a good way for me to save a few bucks from the insurance as the more defensive you are at driving there are fewer claims to be made as you’ve mentioned. I’ll probably enroll myself in a class first to make sure that I’m ready for my car and have the discount on my insurance policy. Thanks!

  13. My son is going to be needing auto insurance in a couple of weeks, and I think a lot of the tips you provided could be really helpful. I liked how you suggested checking rates with at least three companies before making a decision. I’m sure this would be the best way for him to ensure he picks a policy that fits his budget, so I’ll be sure to pass the info on.

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