According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, car insurance rates have risen by more than 5% in the past year. Let’s face it, no one likes paying for car insurance and no one wants to pay more than they have to. Some people turn to unreliable fly-by-night insurance companies that disappoint them when it comes time to make a claim. Others forego the minimum required insurance thinking they are being rebellious. “I’ll never get into an accident,” they tell themselves.
Being an under- or uninsured driver is just not worth it. If you’re found at fault, you will likely face some stiff fines or heavy out-of-pocket costs. Having useless coverage or not having any insurance at all are the worst ways to try and beat the system. However, there are some smart ways of getting the lowest rates insurance companies have to offer.
1. Comparison Shop and Do it Early
As important as it is, calling around for multiple rates from various carriers is not one of life’s joys for most people. The reality, however, is that we often pay far too much when we don’t shop and compare rates. When you travel, you use Expedia or Kayak to compare airfare, so why wouldn’t you do the same with car insurance? Some people assume that customer loyalty will win them the best rates, but the truth is that sometimes you have to see what else is out there to get a lower rate. Also, your chances of negotiating a rate are better if you’re not doing it last minute before your policy expires. Beware of brokers who charge a fee for bringing you quotes from different insurance companies. An agency like AIS will do the searching and let you compare the outcomes without charging any fee whatsoever. On average, new AIS clients save $520 a year by letting AIS compare multiple companies’ rates.
2. Understand Your Policy
Chances are that if you have a brand new car you will want to carry a considerable amount of coverage on it in the case of an accident, vandalism or theft. Some people, however, never make adjustments to their initial policy even years after they first bought it. If you have an older vehicle it may make sense to drop or lower some types of coverage, especially if you know the vehicle is no longer worth very much. At the same time, you must take other factors into consideration, like needing to rent a car in the case of an accident. Of course no one can see into the future to predict what will happen when we get out on the road, but a knowledgeable Insurance Specialist you can trust will be able to help you get the coverage you think you'll need.
3. Ask for Discounts
Different insurance companies offer different discounts to clients. Just as with anything, if you don’t ask for a discount, chances are it won’t be applied to your policy. Are you a good student? Do you have a master’s degree? Well, tell your agent! Auto Insurance Specialists will take these discounts into account when searching the best rates for the best coverage. Also, if you own a motorcycle or home (or both) or have renters insurance on an apartment, you may save hundreds by bundling your insurance products.
4. Increase Your Deductible
Of course you only want to do this if you have the money to pay that larger deductible in the event of a loss. However, if saving monthly is a priority, this is probably the fastest and easiest way to bring your rates down.