Your mortgage – or rent – and car insurance are likely the two most expensive bills you have every month. The overwhelming majority of people can really use a helping hand in keeping the costs down on these; like most things, this help comes in the form of knowledge.
As you consider obtaining insurance for your car, consider the following handful of tips that are designed to have you getting the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
- Use the Web and Conduct Rate Checks
How often? Try every year – although a long-standing relationship with your current insurer likely means you’ve got the best rate you can reasonably obtain; you should still do an online comparison for better rates. Fewer than ten percent of people actually save money each year by switching; but if you could be one of those, it would be worth it. There are plenty of websites dedicated to rate-checking, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding an agent and communicating with her via email.
- Avoid the Lower Premiums Trap
All this means is that, although lower premiums are attractive; make sure you’re aware of all the surrounding considerations before buying car insurance. For example, one insurer might have the lowest premiums you can find, but may be trying to make up by overcharging you for car parts in conjunction with the approved auto dealer. Do some web-based research on your short-list of insurers.
- Consider a Higher Deductible
The reasons for this are simple – paying more upfront on the deductible diminishes the amount owed out of pocket in the event you have to file a claim. In fact, you can save as much as 15-20 percent on your premium in the event of an accident.
Of course, such a decision should be made wisely; if you’ve shown yourself to be a great driver with no accidents in the past (accidents that have been your fault, that is), then a higher deductible could work out quite nicely for you.
- Scour the Web for Applicable Discounts
Car insurance is as competitive as services come; as such, companies are always doing what they can to entice their own offering. One of these methods involves discounts. The common thread of all the things required for discounts is to establish you as a reliable driver.
Are you a college student with good grades? There could be a discount available. How about a someone who has taken a driver-training or refresher course? Look around and find the ones that suit you, and apply for the associated discount.
- Always Take Care of Your Credit Score
You’ll find that with a good credit score, many things in life open up. Nearly every state lets insurers use your credit history as a major factor in deciding what premiums are available to you. A proactive measure you should take is to order your credit report from the three major credit bureaus; this will enable you to check for any discrepancies that, once fixed, could raise your score.
Additionally, if you’ve been negatively affected financially by medical issues, deployment in the Armed forces, or economic hardship, you may be granted an exception if you ask for it.
Like Us? Sign Up!
Subscribe to get the latest budget buzz via email.