“From how and what you drive to the type of plan you choose, you control a lot of the factors that dictate your insurance costs.”
Here are five steps you can take to curb insurance costs this summer:
1. Comparison Shop
Prices can vary widely from company to company, so it pays to shop around for the best policy deal. Remember, though, that the cheapest deal isn’t necessarily the best. Look for a combination of good coverage and a good rate. A cheap rate isn’t worth much if the policy doesn’t meet your coverage needs.
Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to comparison shop across a range of companies. Web sites like LowerMyBills.com allow you to quickly and easily get information and compare car insurance carriers.
While any time is a good time to comparison shop for a better insurance rate, it’s particularly important to do so when you experience a major life change. Life events such as marriage or divorce, adding a child or driver, relocating or purchasing a new car can impact the insurance rate you may qualify for.
2. Drive Better
A good driving record is a powerful bargaining chip when you’re insurance shopping. Insurance companies are interested in minimizing risk, and drivers with clean records are generally considered to be better risks. Practice safe and courteous driving.
If your skills are a bit rusty, or you’ve picked up some bad habits, consider taking a refresher course. Many insurers offer discounts to drivers – especially teens – who take driver’s education courses.
3. Think about Insurance Before You Buy a Car
The type of car you drive can affect your insurance rate. If you’re in the market for a new car this summer, it makes sense to look at the insurance costs associated with the car you’re considering.
Keep in mind that insurance companies consider many factors when assigning rates to a particular vehicle, including the age of the car, body type, vehicle class, safety features such as electronic stability control, and if the make and model are frequent targets of car thieves.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of cars to a few candidates, contact your current insurer and ask them to quote coverage for the new car. Then comparison shop by seeking quotes from competing companies.
4. Take Care of Your Car
While insurers generally won’t care about your car’s repair and maintenance history, these things can indirectly affect your rate.
If your car experiences a critical malfunction while you’re driving, it could cause or contribute to an accident – which could result in an insurance claim that would likely affect your insurance rate in the future.
Also, insurance tends to cost less for older cars. Regular maintenance is even more important to keep older cars in good working order.
5. Buy Smart
Did you know that you can lower your insurance premiums by carrying a higher deductible? Just be sure that you are prepared to pay that deductible should you have an accident.
One option is to select a higher deductible and then set aside the amount of that deductible in an interest-bearing account.
Not only will the higher deductible lower your insurance premiums, but you’ll also be making your money work for you because you’ll be drawing interest on the funds you’ve set aside.
Also, look at bundling your auto and homeowner’s insurance. Many companies offer discounted rates for customers who take out both vehicle and home insurance policies.
Finally, ask for a discount. “Don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask about discounts,” says Semprevivo. “You may find that many companies offer discounts if you specifically inquire about them.
And, if you’ve been a good customer, your current insurer may also be willing to offer you a discount to keep your business.”
To comparison shop for vehicle insurance and for more ideas on how to curb expenses, visit www.LowerMyBills.com