We all want to save money where and whenever we can. And yes, buying the minimum amount of coverage allowed by law will save you money short-term, but it won’t necessarily save you anything in the long run. For example, if you choose a high deductible policy, you’ll have cheaper premiums. But that also means you’ll have to fork out more cash before you can make a claim.
2. Larger deductibles mean a lower premium, but think about what an accident would cost you.
Let’s say you have $5,000 in repairs after an accident. A $1,000 deductible means you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for 20 percent of the costs. If you have a $250 deductible, you’ll only be paying one-twentieth of the costs. You’ll have to weigh that with the difference in premiums for high-deductible policies and decide what makes the most sense for you.
3. There are discounts for everything out there, and that includes your auto insurance.
Many cars nowadays come with safety features and alarm systems that will lower your premiums. You can also save by having a good driving record, taking a defensive driving course or being a customer for a certain number of years. Ask your agent about the discounts that you might be eligible for.
4. Combining policies can save you money.
It’s not just something you hear in commercials; some insurers will actually knock off up to 15% from both your auto and home policies if you bundle them together. Just make sure both policies provide you with the right amount of coverage.
5. But it still pays to shop around.
While you can get healthy discounts for being a long-time customer and for having more than one policy with the same insurance company, it also pays to shop around. A study by InsWeb.com found that drivers can save more than $300 on policies when they switch.
6. Don’t lie.
You might save a few bucks by saying you park in a garage instead of on a street, but chances are the savings are very small compared to what could happen in you get caught. If you get found out, you could face higher rates or you may be dropped altogether. Also be honest about listing the drivers who may operate your car. What would happen if a tree fell and cracked your entire windshield? Or if you let someone else drive your car and they got into an accident? You don’t want to get yourself into a bad position all because you weren’t honest with the company that is there to protect you.
7. File claims responsibly.
Your insurance is there to protect you, but you could be in for higher rates if you file a claim every time a grocery cart rams your passenger door.
8. Review, review, review.
As your car gets older, you may not have the same needs as you did when it was shiny and new. Consider lowering some of your coverages if your vehicle already has a few dings that you’ve decided you’re willing to live with.