Car insurance can actually be a blessing if you get it done right. However, many people make the mistake of sticking with their existing provider and do not check out other options. Instead they end up accepting their current renewal quote which might be higher and not as cost-effective in terms of coverage offered. Now, the good news is that you can compare car insurance easily and find out which insurer to contact. This post will help you learn everything about auto insurance in the shortest amount of time.
Only the best 20 tips for choosing car insurance will be provided to give you an idea of how to get the best price and even negotiate with the existing insurer. The following tips are useful for both men and women, old and young.
- Look Around for the Best Car Insurance
One of the easiest and best ways to save on car insurance is by looking around for the best car insurance. It can help you save thousands of dollars when renewing the coverage. However, keep in mind to compare like for like as there are some policies which might appear to be cheaper, but you would only later find out that they do not provide the same level of cover when one makes a claim. There are plenty of auto insurance companies, which is why you should not easily settle for one.
- Use Comparison Websites
As a rule of thumb, it is important to make use of online comparison services to let you in on the small details which you might end up ignoring. These small details could cost you a lot. Therefore, use comparison websites and put in all the details to check all the prices that come up. Changes can be made, such as the excess one might be willing to pay and the mileage that they drive to check out new quotes. Furthermore, do check the insurers which do not feature on the comparison sites. Sometimes, the renewal quote can be too hefty which is why the comparison websites help provide you with an idea of how much you should be paying.
- Avoid Putting Everyone on your Policy
One of the best kept secrets among car insurers is that they only name regular drivers on the policy. Alternatively, if someone needs to drive for a few days, then their name can be added for the period. This will help save you a lot. There is no reason to included persons in the policy which do not even drive. This tip is used by regular auto insurers who know that it is pointless to include such persons on their policy.
- No-Claim Bonus Should Be Protected
One of the single best ways for cutting on car insurance costs is a long no-claim bonus. Hence, you need to protect it. Although, it might increase the premium by a few dollars, the amount is actually insignificant in case you get the discount on premiums and the bonus which could easily add up to a few hundred dollars. Remember, the definition of a protected no-claim varies widely from insurer to insurer. Even though, accidents that are caused by another driver do not impact the bonus, the ones caused by the insured could. Therefore, always check the policy properly.
- Increase the Voluntary Excess
When you agree to pay more towards the accident repairs, the premium cost goes down significantly. Besides, if you are not at fault in case of an accident, the excess can even be recovered. However, beware of the temptation to let it rise too high, especially if one has a lower value car.
- Secure the Car
By securing the car such as by fitting an approved alarm system, tracking device, or any other security system, the insured can easily get a discount for premiums of up to 5 percent. Now, most of the new car models already have these security systems in place as a standard which is why all you need to do is declare them after checking that you have them.
Although, haggling might seem a bit old fashioned, it is still completely acceptable in the world of car insurance as the market is notoriously competitive. Once, you have a few insurers shortlisted, it is time to get on the phone and bargain your way to the best premium/ renewal quote. Sometimes, it is even encouraged to haggle with the insurer as it allows them to know whether you are interested in their service or not. This leads to better negotiation options with other insurers too.
- Pay Using Direct Debit Installments
When you pay with a credit card, the high interest rates can easily add up. The interest rates are in no case needed which is why you need to pay using direct debit installments. This way you will end up saving a lot of money that might have been wasted paying those hefty interest rates. There is no need to pay monthly charges. Many insurers have an agreement with major banks for easy payments and you could even get a discount for paying using a certain banking service.
Consider of alternatives such as borrowing money from a friend and paying on time which can lead to zero interest rates having to be paid. If you had been insured previous as an additional driver for another policy, find out whether you can transfer the no claims bonus to your personal insurance coverage. You could even get a discount by insuring more vehicles between family and friends from the same company.
- Drive Fewer Miles
As a rule of thumb, reduced mileage leads to greater savings. For instance, reduction in annual mileage of about 3,000 miles could lead to savings of about $80 or more for premiums a year. However, it is important to be honest about the annual mileage as inaccuracy could potentially jeopardize the claim. Check the use cover, if you do not drive the car for business or work, you could get a much cheaper rate as both of these things increase the premium.
- Think before Adding Young Drivers
There are dangers of adding a young, inexperienced driver to the policy. It could be a false economy, especially if the car is a large or high powered one. The youngest driver would affect the premium and the driver could have a no-claim bonus. Furthermore, insurers crack down on fronting where the parents insure cars in their name and allow their children to drive in order to cut down on costs. Make sure to list yourself as the man driver for the policy.
- Look Out for Insurance Trap Cars
Before changing a car or buying a new one, check with the insurer if that model would lead to a significant impact on the amount of premium to be paid. Normally, sporty cars attract a high premium and a car with a smaller engine could easily make a huge difference. Besides, it saves a lot on petrol. Beware as insurers try to add administration fees for changing the policy mid-term. The fee could be anywhere from $40 to $200 such as for changing the vehicle or even the home address.
- Clear out the Garage
The garage is there for a reason. Remove all that junk from the garage and clear it out as it meant for the car. Insurers provide lower premium rates for cars that are kept in garages overnight. Aside from not having to scrape off the ice during winter, it also reduces the risk of theft when you keep the car on the road or near the sidewalk. Keeping the car in the garage leads to a reduction in premium, this is something that the insurer will not tell you.
- Be a Better Driver
Now, it is easier said than done when it comes to being a better driver. However, being a better driver can seriously be rewarding for drivers. When you can prove that you do not have a history of accidents and do not pose a threat to other drivers, then you will get to pay a lower premium rate. Some of the insurers even offer upfront discounts when you prove that you a good driver who follows the rules.
- Take up a Black Box Policy
Black box policies are polices in which the insurer installs a security system in the car to monitor driving, come in handy as they reward the insured when they drive carefully. The system checks the speed, the level of acceleration, the brake and takes into account how cautiously one drives. This gives an idea of whether the driver is aggressive or cautious, especially during perceived dangerous times. If you can prove that you are a good driver, the premium can be cut substantially. This is most beneficial for young drivers as they get to pay some of the highest premiums.
- Do Annual Rate Checks
It is advised to conduct annual rate checks from other companies to ensure that you get the best deal. You can even use online comparison tools to help you or visit individual auto insurance company websites to find out whether the rate being offered is genuine or not. One can also contact an agent to get the best quotes in a time-efficient manner.
- Choose a Top-Rated Insurer
The ratings and awards are there for a reason. They help show which auto insurers provide maximum utility. There are also service reviews which can be read online to get an idea about how the insurance company deals with non-claim issues, payments and claims. The top rated insurer would always look for ways to stay at the top and this means that the insured get to benefit from higher no-claim bonuses and discounts on premiums.
- Maintain a Good Credit Score
Now, this is something fundamental which one should know about when it comes to managing finances. In order to maintain a good credit score, one must regularly check their credit score as a low score could affect the premium. A good credit score could even help you get a discount on premium. There are many advantages of a sound credit score. Do not let the credit score get too low.
- Review the Coverage
Always review the coverage to ensure that enough liability coverage is provided. As risk increases over time, so would the coverage. Minimal coverage only provides minimal protection. Ask yourself whether it is worth it not to get a full coverage. When upgrading or changing the coverage, or even adding more family members to the policy, check to see whether the coverage has the best terms and conditions.
- Watch out for Crash Repairs
Check where the insurer sends the car for repairs as it is possible for the repair shop to find out whether cheaper replacement parts are considered or original equipment from the car manufacturer. Normally, replacement parts that are cheaper tend to fit poorly into the car, are prone to rust and do not meet the federal safety standards. In order to avoid this, simply choose the original equipment that is provided by the car manufacturer.
- Beware of Scams
Scams are more common for auto insurance than one might think. Beware of scams. Drivers can be ripped off by crooks with staged accidents which lead to an insurance claim that is against you. In order to avoid such an experience, simply follow driving practices that are good. When in an incident, always contact the police to report it and photograph the crash scene as evidence, especially for a successful claim.
All of the above tips have been prepared to help you take advantage of our experience. Some of the tips can even be used for different insurance policies, besides just car insurance. It is always recommended to get car insurance as not having it can be extremely costly. Incorporate these tips for a better auto insurance experience.