Car insurance is necessary. You don’t want to be in an accident and not be covered. Worse, you don’t want to be in a fender bender with someone uninsured because you might be liable for the cost. To keep costs down, here are some tips to help you reduce your car insurance.
Every insurance company has different rates and varying coverage. Each one will give you a quote based on the variables you provide. They need your car’s make, model, VIN, and mileage for an accurate quote. If you don’t have your VIN, you need at least the rest of the information.
You can compare car insurance online or over the phone. Enter your information on various insurance websites to get instant quotes. Before you agree to one, make sure you get at least three different quotes from national providers and another couple of quotes from local companies.
Once you have the quotes, ask about the policies and coverage. Ideally, you want to have a copy of each policy to compare each one side by side. You may get better coverage from a different company and pay less, but you won’t know unless you compare them.
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If your credit is suffering, take steps to improve it. A higher credit score will improve the rates you receive because statistics show that better credit leads to fewer claims. Insurance companies like people that make fewer claims; it means they don’t have to pay out as much.
Younger drivers may not have a credit history, in which case you would need to build it from scratch. To do that, start by getting a secured credit card. Your card will be reported to the credit bureaus and allow you to build up your credit responsibly.
Even if your credit is stellar, you still want to check it regularly to watch for any unusual things on your report. The sooner you catch fraudulent activity, the easier it will be to get it removed. Keeping your credit strong will always help you reduce car insurance costs, so keep an eye on it to catch any issues that come up.
Be a good driver
The best way to keep your quotes low is to be a good driver. You can accomplish this by avoiding traffic violations and accidents. The longer you go without any issues on your driver history, the better your rates will be. Violations and claims will stay on your report for about three years, so you also want to be careful about claims.
Depending on the issue, you may not always need to file a claim if something happens. For example, scratches and dings can occur through no fault of yours. There’s almost no way to avoid these blemishes from showing up at some point on your car, but filing a claim to get them fixed may not be worth the deductible that would be required. If that’s the case, you should pay for the repair or live with it to avoid putting that on your driver history.
You can also score points with insurance companies by taking approved defensive driving courses. Ask the companies if they have any particularly preferred classes and consider signing up for one. They may knock off some of the premium when you take a defensive driving course, so it can be worthwhile to spend a day getting it done.
Ask for discounts
Car insurance companies have tons of discounts available, but you might have to ask for them. There are so many different options, and they all depend on the company. Some may offer better student discounts than others, or maybe they offer a green vehicle discount for an electric or hybrid vehicle. Other discounts exist when your car has safety perks like anti-theft devices or car alarms. Each company has a list of approved devices, so ask them for a copy to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Many companies will also extend discounts if you bundle policies. For example, if you have multiple vehicles, a house, a boat, and a motorcycle, you might get a better deal to insure them all under one company. If you have an existing company, always ask them first. They may give you an even better discount because you’re an existing customer.
A few final thoughts
To lower the cost of your car insurance, always compare car insurance companies’ quotes and policies before making a decision. Remember to check your credit. If you need to work on your credit, it’s best to get that done as soon as possible to minimize the impact on your financial health. Be the best driver you can be to keep your rates low, and always ask for discounts because you never know what you might be missing.