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