When we think about auto insurance, we tend to think about it in terms of fixed rates. Your premium may change every six months when your policy renews, but the general formula likely seems the same. It's these assumptions that lead countless drivers to pay too much for coverage. Car insurance is more flexible than many of us believe.
If you want to be proactive, here are a few tips.
1. Invest The Time
Part of lowering your auto insurance is simply investing the time to be a better driver. Those with imperfect records may feel discouraged. Accidents can take several years to get cleared from your insurance history. However, it's still worth it if you want to turn things around.
The cleaner your record, the more leverage you have when you sign with a carrier, and the more likely you are to receive a lower rate. Cutting back on behaviors that could lead to moving violations, wrecks or speeding tickets might help. If you can work on improving your credit score, you may be able to get a lower rate as well. Credit ratings usually correlate to reliability in paying your premiums.
2. Reduce Coverage
If you can drop some of the coverage on an older vehicle (one that's lost much of its value), you may be able to get a lower premium. This might even make up for future damage costs, even though your policy no longer covers them. You can also consider raising the deductible on your policy. Still, you should be careful if you're not prepared to pay $1,000 or $1,500 should an accident occur.
Never reduce coverage if you have a legal rule to carry certain levels of coverage. If you have a vehicle that is new or still has a car loan, then you shouldn't drop coverage either. Many lenders require drivers to carry certain coverage while they have a car loan.
3. Check With Your Auto Carrier
From bundling to low-mileage discounts, your carrier may offer certain incentives to help you save. You may need to call your carrier directly to see what they offer and if you qualify for anything. You may even be able to lower your rates by going back to traffic school. A safe driver class will do more than go over the basics of stoplights. It can give you helpful tips on how to put better driving habits to good use.
Car insurance can be a tricky matter, especially if you're not one to delve into the specifics of your policy. Still, the more attention you give to it, the less likely you are to end up paying for something you don't need. It all comes down to keeping an eye on your rates before they spin out of control.