Too many people are paying too much for car insurance. While that sentence might sound like a line from a TV commercial, it’s actually true. There are many ways to cut your car insurance costs and most of them are right under your nose. It’s a case of making sure your policy is up-to-date and speaking with an agent at least once per year. Anyone who drives and has an active auto insurance policy can do one or all of the following to reduce their costs:
Keep an Eye on Total Miles Driven
If you are one of the millions of people who drive fewer than 8,000 miles per year, you can probably get a rate reduction on your auto insurance. That’s because you’ll be considered a “low-mileage” driver, a demographic group that has fewer accidents and claims than people who drive the “average” of about 12,000 miles per year. If you ever log a year when your mileage drops significantly, contact your agent. Notifying your insurer of changes will help them adjust your policy accordingly. Depending where you live, the definition of “low-mileage” might be different so be sure to ask and find out the facts about your particular location and your insurer’s rules.
Double-Check Your Personal Data
Always check the first page of the “fine print” on your auto policy to make certain that all the key information is correct. Rates are sensitive to things like age, marital status, where your vehicle is garaged and many other factors. In addition to checking on personal data remember to speak with your agent and verify that the insurer has your complete driving history and knows whether you’ve had any accidents. If you’ve been accident-free for several years, it’s usually possible to get a rate reduction. Many drivers forget about this point because when they first sign up for a policy, they might have had a recent accident. As the years go by, however, those accidents “age out” of your driving history and allow you to take advantage of lower rates.
Notify Your Insurer When Things Change
Have you recently gotten married, had children, bought a house, moved, changed jobs or installed a back-up camera on your car? Those are just a few of the things that could help you lower your car insurance rates, but you’ll need to inform your insurer via phone or email to let them know. Contrary to popular belief, auto insurance companies usually don’t know anything about your life situation unless you tell them
Shop Around for the Best Rates
The single most effective way to pay less for car insurance is to comparison shop. The insurance industry represents a large part of the national economy and there’s plenty of competition for customers. Use your position as a potential client to uncover low rates, unadvertised discounts and seasonal specials. Don’t just look at charts you find on the Internet. Become an active shopper. Narrow your preferred insurance companies down to two or three choices. Then call each one and negotiate, keeping in mind that published rates are often inaccurate or just ballpark figures for comparison.