If your rates are increasing, you’re not alone.
Here are some quick ways to save money on car insurance (without sacrificing your coverage).
Florida is one of the most expensive states in terms of car insurance, with the average driver spending around $2,300 on auto insurance premiums each year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the market is going to soften any time soon.
Isn’t there anything you can do to save money on car insurance (short of moving to Maine)?
At Harry Levine Insurance, our goal is to educate you on insurance so that you can not only make more informed decisions, but take some level of control over your coverage. Last month, we shared our tips for lowering your home insurance premiums. In this article, we’ll show you how to save money on car insurance.
Use an Independent Insurance Agent
Our first tip when it comes to buying auto, home, life, or any other kind of insurance? Use an independent insurance agent.
Independent agents are not only free to use, they have access to some of the best policies on the market, including some that are only available through an independent agent. As a result of such wide experience, these insurance experts know which companies have the best customer service, which areas you might be underinsured, and how to save money on car insurance.
It’s also a good idea to re-evaluate your coverage each year to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. If your job, marital status, or other lifestyle factors have changed, it might make sense to adjust your policies.
Buy More Than the Bare Minimum
Many policyholders who aim to save money are afraid of so-called full coverage car insurance. As a result, they only purchase the bare minimum coverage required by law.
This isn’t just harmful to you financially, it’s patently untrue!
In fact, car insurance carriers tend to give their best rates to drivers they see as more responsible. And by purchasing the bare minimum, you’re inadvertently sending the wrong message.
Change How You Pay
If you’re used to paying every month, you could be missing out on easy car insurance savings.
Many carriers allow you to pay your premiums upfront in exchange for a discount. If you have the money in your bank account already, it can be well worth it.
Others may offer discounts for auto-payments and/or e-billing, which is an easy way to save a few bucks.
Car insurance premiums are based on many factors, one of the main ones being your level of risk. As a result, anything you can do to decrease the likelihood of you getting into an accident has the potential to decrease your premium amount.
Many insurance carriers offer Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) discounts, which use your cell phone to determine things like your speed, how quickly you accelerate/decelerate, how fast you take turns, etc. These metrics are then used to determine if you qualify for a safe driving discount.
Some carriers even offer discounts upon completion of a defensive driver training course. This is not only a great way to save money on car insurance, it’s a great way to reduce accidents as well!
While it’s a myth that red cars cost more to insure, it’s no secret that some cars do cost more to insure than others. The next time you’re in the market for a new car, do your research beforehand to see what it will cost you to insure it.
If you’ve already bought the car (and you’re really paying through the nose), it might be worth selling your existing vehicle in favor of one that costs less to insure.
Call your independent insurance agent and crunch the numbers with them to be sure.
Protect Your Assets
Anything you can do to reduce your likelihood of having to file a claim has the potential to lower your premiums. So in addition to learning to drive safely, protecting your vehicle from theft may be a cost savings.
Ask if your insurance carrier offers discounts for anti-theft devices and, if so, which ones. In Florida, this usually translates to a savings on your comprehensive coverage, not your entire premium, but it’s worth checking out.
Ask For One!
As the saying goes: It never hurts to ask!
Give your agent a call to see if you’re eligible. Discounts are commonly available if you belong to a certain organization (AAA, AARP, a school alumni association), or meet certain criteria (you’re married or get good grades).
Improve Your Credit Score
One of the factors that insurance companies use to calculate your premiums is your insurance score, which is in turn based on your credit score.
By practicing good financial habits (such as paying credit card bills in full and on time), you’ll not only be improving your credit score, you’ll help lower your premiums as well.
Raise Your Deductible
We’re mentioning this here only because it is a popular way to save money on car insurance premiums (deductible goes up, premiums go down and vice versa). In reality, however, it’s not always a good idea.
A higher deductible means you will have to pay more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in every time you have a claim. For many people, this may make sense. But for others, you will be in for a rude awakening the next time you’re in a fender bender. (And the next time. And the time after that.)
Think long and hard before you decide to go this route, as it’s rarely worth it.
Don’t Skimp On Car Insurance!
I get it. We all want to save money on car insurance. But we at HLI have seen way too many drivers sacrifice their security in the quest for lower premiums.
When it comes to insurance the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true. There are very few instances where you can cut your insurance payments drastically without sacrificing coverage and customer service.
For this reason, we always caution our clients to carry as much coverage as they can afford. Yet about 20% of Florida drivers do not have insurance, leaving them without any financial protection if they get into an accident, have their car stolen, or—even worse—injure someone while on the road.
None of us can prevent accidents 100% of the time. That’s why we need good insurance!
We Can Help
There are lots of ways—good and bad—to save money on car insurance. Being able to tell the difference comes down to one thing: who is on your side?
At Harry Levine Insurance, we’re not just insurance agents. We’re insurance educators with decades of experience in finding you the best coverage at a fair price.
We’ve seen firsthand what happens when Floridians are content with less-than-stellar coverage and we consider it our primary goal to make sure our clients have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.
Our comprehensive approach to insurance looks at the big picture to find the best policies (and prices) for your needs. Call today or visit our website for a free quote. We can’t wait to meet you!