At least 9 ways to get the most for your auto insurance dollar.
1. Get higher limits for liability and uninsured motorist – paying more up front for the coverages that protect your assets can save you the most in the long run.
*Tip: The average award to an auto claim in court is 425,000 and the most common limit that people carry on their auto insurance is 100,000 per person. That’s a cost of 325,000! Carry 500,000 limits and you just saved 325,000 of your future wages or assets.
2. One Insurer, Multiple Policies – Do you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy? Usually, these discounts are at least 15% and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.
3. Good Driver, Good Price? – It’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you will pay for auto insurance. But did you know that most people qualify as “good drivers” and are eligible for discounted premiums? Many auto insurers are actually a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The worst drivers go in one company, the best in another, and a lot of people wind up in one of the middle companies. Being in the best possible plays a big role in your cost.
4. High-Profile, High-Cost – The type of car you drive is a major factor in what you pay for insurance. Is your vehicle a magnet for thieves? Is it more expensive to repair than most cars? If the answer to either of the last two questions is yes, you’re paying more than the average car owner for insurance.
* Tip:With youthful drivers (females under 21 and males under 25), buying a car that you wont need to carry comprehezive or collision coverage due to the low value is the best way to cut their premiums in half.
5. Raise Your Deductible – The deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $250 deductible and you have an accident in which your car sustains $1,000 in damage, you pay the first $250 and your insurer pays the balance, $750. The lower the deductible you choose, the more you pay. If you have assets, you can probably afford to absorb at least $250 and probably $500 if you have a claim.
* Tip: Your collision coverage is affect much more with a higher deductible then comprehensive coverage.
6. Drop Unnecessary Coverages – Let’s say you have an older car, one not worth very much. There’s really little point in having collision and comprehensive coverages. You don’t have much to protect. Remember, too, that you have to subtract your deductible from any potential payout you might get.
* Tip: As a general rule, any car worth less than $1,000 shouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage. Between the deductible and the extra expense of these coverages, the cost is probably greater than the benefit. How much is your car worth? An auto dealer can tell you, or there are plenty of websites that have values of vehicles going back many, many years.
7. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts – Auto insurance companies offer several discounts for a variety of reasons. The car has automatic seat beats, air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, etc. The driver is a good student, which is especially valuable if you have teenage children who will be on your policy.
* Tip. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts available to you!
8. Taking the Defensive – Many insurance companies also offer discounts to those who have taken defensive driving courses recently.
9. Credit Where Is (Or Is Not) Due – Is your credit record better than your driving record? If you have a good credit record, you could be eligible for discounted premiums for auto insurance.
* Fact. Many insurers now use your credit history as a major factor in determining what to charge you for auto insurance. Rates can rage 300% from one extreme to other.