Buying a car is an exciting time, mixed with a little anxiety. It’s a big purchase, second only to buying a home for most Americans. However, owning a car is more expensive than the initial purchase price, and it’s unlikely you’ve considered every aspect that’s going to demand your money.
Sure, you’ve thought about fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and even repairs. Still, have you considered the cost of your car insurance? It may not be as cheap as you think. Don’t worry though. We’ve got your back.
Here are five ways you can save on your car insurance.
Your current carrier may seem like the best choice for your car insurance, especially if you have other insurance plans with them. Nevertheless, unless you are getting a discount for multiple policies, the only benefit is convenience.
It pays to shop around for your car insurance. Popular car insurance companies typically have similar costs for similar coverages. However, you might just find that one company has a better rate specifically for either you or your vehicle. Spend an hour getting quotes from different companies to find the best rate. Start with this list:
Choose a Higher Deductible
If you consider yourself a low-risk driver or you don’t drive much, it might pay off to look for car insurance with a higher deductible. While an average policy deductible is $500 or less, you can choose a higher deductible. Most companies offer $1,000 deductibles, while Geico allows up to a $2,500 deductible.
Just know what you’re getting into. If you end up in an accident, you’ll pay the higher rate out-of-pocket for car repairs.
Ask for Discounts
If you’re a senior citizen, a student or part of the military, you might qualify for an advertised discount on car insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than just advertised discounts either. There may be applicable rate reductions for multiple policies, AAA members or other clubs and organizations that aren’t common knowledge.
Simply negotiating a lower rate may be possible too. When you get the first quote, ask if it’s possible to get a reduced rate. It may not always be effective, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Check Lesser-Known Insurance Companies
There’s often a benefit to using popular insurance companies, although lesser-known insurers may be a great place to find better rates. You may also find insurance criteria outside of the norm.
For example, Metromile has competitive pricing for an average insurance policy. However, they offer usage-based policies so that you only pay for the mileage you drive. That can keep car-insurance costs considerably lower, especially for people who don’t drive every day or who don’t drive far.
Keep a Clean Driving Record
Perhaps the most important way to keep your car insurance premiums as low as possible is a clean driving record. While accidents can happen to anybody, prudent drivers can expect fewer accidents because of less risky behaviors. Stay within the speed limit, obey traffic laws and keep your attention on the road while you travel.
A simple offense such as a speeding conviction can double your premiums in some cases. A major offense like reckless driving can render you ineligible for coverage from some carriers like Metromile, meaning you’ll end up paying the higher rate elsewhere.
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