Automobile insurance is one of those monthly expenses that can easily fade into the background of your life. You get used to paying a certain amount, and hopefully, you don’t have to file claims very often, so you don’t think much about it and just pay the bill when it comes in. The thing is, if you’re not thinking about what you’re paying for car insurance and how much coverage it’s getting you, you can’t really be sure you’re getting a good deal. The company you picked out years ago because they offered low rates might not be providing anything near the coverage you’d actually want and be able to afford now, or maybe you’re paying extra for coverage you don’t really need. If you don’t stop and take some time to look at what you’re really getting and shop around for comparable deals, you don’t really know if you’re being a smart shopper when it comes to insuring your car! If you’ve never really taken a few moments to sit down and review your car insurance, now is the time. Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you save on insurance rates and get a good value for your money.
- Higher deductibles mean lower rates
One of the first things you should do is check to see how high your deductible is. If you can afford to pay a little more out of pocket if you need to get your car repaired after an accident, then setting a higher deductible can save you on your monthly premiums.
- Top insurers are on top for a reason
Small companies that offer unbelievably low rates in their wacky TV commercials might seem like a good deal, but when rates are really low it usually means you’re getting bare-bones coverage. Bigger companies tend to be more responsive when it comes to providing you with good customer service and following through on claims, so look for a good deal from a reputable company you can trust, not just the lowest monthly payments you can get quoted.
- You better shop around
Insurance companies are competitive! Get quotes from more than one company, find an independent insurance agent to help you find the best deal. See what customers are saying about Geico on Consumer Reports, read Mercury Insurance reviews on NerdWallet, use Progressive’s rate comparison tool to check their rates against other companies.
- Keep your record squeaky clean
You probably already know that a good driving record with few tickets or accidents means lower insurance rates. Did you also know that maintaining a good credit score can help lower your rates, too? Keep it on the straight and narrow and you can benefit from reduced insurance costs.
- Do you need all this coverage?
Keeping track of all the different types of coverage your insurance company offers can be confusing, but knowing what you need and what you’re paying for is essential. For instance, you might be able to do without collision coverage or an umbrella policy, but you don’t want to find yourself without liability coverage. Everybody’s situation is different. so the main thing is to take the time to understand just what you’re getting for your money and what will or won’t be covered in the event of an accident.
- Discounts are your friend
If you’ve cut back on your driving mileage, bought a new and safer car, maintained a safe driving record or taken driving safety classes, make sure your insurance company knows about it! You could be getting rate discounts for all of these things. Make sure you look into all the possible discounts your insurance company offers and take advantage of as many as you can.
- Could you be bundling better?
Do you have auto insurance from one company and home insurance from another? In many cases, you’ll get more affordable rates if you bundle your policies and buy all of your insurance from a single company. Call them up and ask how much you could save if you bring your other policy over.
Out of sight, out of mind may be a tempting way to deal with a complex and multifaceted thing like insurance, but taking a little time once a year or so to review your policy, comparison shop, and evaluate your coverage options can potentially save you hundreds of dollars if you can find ways to make a few changes that benefit you. It’s not that hard, and there are plenty of online resources to help you out.