The InsuranceHotline.com team has scared up 13 tips to help you take a bite out of your pricey car insurance bill. No tricks here, only treats.
1. Don't wait for your renewal to shop around
Anytime anything that could affect your insurance rate happens, don’t wait until your renewal notice to shop around. It's time to carve out some real savings and see if there's a better rate available when:
- You’re buying a new car, because every insurer will rate your new wheels differently.
- You’re moving, because the insurer who offered you the best rate at your old residence may no longer offer you the best rate at your new address.
- You’re adding a teen to your policy. The fact is, some insurers are more teen-friendly than others.
These are just a few common reasons why you should shop around mid-policy, but there are other key times too. Don’t wait to compare car insurance quotes, otherwise you could be paying more for your coverage than necessary.
2. Ask about available discounts
You would be shocked to discover how many discounts are available. Ask your insurer for their list of discounts, because you never know what details about your life might qualify you for a cheaper rate. For example, your occupation, that roadside assistance program you signed up for, or your teen driver’s grades could all help you lower your rate.
3. Take an accredited driving course
New drivers who complete an accredited driver’s training course will likely be eligible for a discount. Insurance companies know that drivers who are taught by professionals tend to be better, safer drivers and thus reward these drivers with premiums lower than what they would otherwise pay.
4. Combine insurance policies
Do you have your home insurance and car insurance with the same company? If not, you could save a bundle by having all of your insurance policies with one company. The discount can range from anywhere from five to 15 per cent off of one, or even both of your policies.
5. Multi-line discounts: More than your home and auto insurance
Often people think only a home insurance and auto insurance policy qualifies for a multi-line discount, but there’s actually more to it. Policies for snowmobiles, RVs, or motorcycles can all usually be bundled to qualify for a multi-line discount too.
6. Change your tires seasonally
Drivers who use winter tires can often save up to five per cent with a winter tire discount. Once Halloween is over, Old Man Winter is going to be howling and soon the roads will be bombarded with ice and snow. Be prepared, be safe, and save!
7. Pay your premiums all at once rather than in monthly installments
Many insurance companies charge drivers a little extra to cover the cost of administering monthly payments. If you can afford to pay the cost of your annual premiums in one lump sum, you can avoid those extra "ghostly" monthly charges.
8. Drive carefully and maintain a clean driving record
Your driving record is one of the biggest factors in determining your insurance rate. Traffic tickets can raise your insurance rates for up to three years, and accidents stay on your record for at least six. Over several years, a bad driving record can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars in unnecessarily high premiums. Drive carefully and save!
9. Increase your deductibles
The higher your deductibles, the lower your insurance premiums. If your deductibles are set at $500, consider increasing them to $1,000 because you can typically save anywhere between five and 10 per cent.
10. Have an older car? Review the necessity of your optional coverages
Many owners of older vehicles don't realize that some of the optional coverages (like collision and comprehensive) that once made sense on a new car may no longer be worth it now that the car is considerably older. You must weigh the cost of the coverages with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. It might not make sense to pay for coverage with a $1,000 deductible if the vehicle is only worth $1,000.
11. Drive a vehicle that’s less likely to be stolen
When it comes to insurance rates, not every vehicle is the same. Some vehicles are more prone to theft which in turn makes them prone to higher car insurance rates. Drive a car that’s less likely to attract the attention of would-be thieves and chances are you’ll pay less for your car insurance.
12. Carpool, bike, or take public transit to work
Insurance rates are higher for drivers who make the often scary commute to work every day. The reasoning is that the more often you drive, the more likely you are to get in an accident. So if you're able to take public transportation, carpool, or bike to work then you can likely lower your insurance premiums, and save money on parking and gas too.
13. Compare car insurance quotes, at mininum, every year
For the sake of convenience, you may be tempted to simply renew with your current auto insurer when you get your renewal documents, but this could result in you overpaying for your coverage. Car insurance rates often change, and the only way to know for certain that your current insurer is still giving you the best price, is to compare quotes every year—at minimum. Don’t let your car insurance rate creep you out, compare car insurance quotes today.
Updated annually to ensure accuracy and relevancy.