Wouldn’t everyone like to ease the burden on their wallets? Reducing the onslaught of monthly or annual bills would be ideal, but the reality is that costs, especially those associated with auto-insurance costs, are on the rise. The good news is that there are things you can do to minimize the increases and save yourself from the ever-rising costs of owning and driving a vehicle.
What’s the Average Cost of Car Insurance?
According to LendingTree, the average cost of a car insurance policy is $2,390 per year, or $200 per month when averaged across states for our sample driver with a full coverage policy. You may find that your policy costs less or more depending on a wide variety of factors. The ultimate cost may go up depending upon the driver’s record, the number of accidents, age, location, and amount of his or her deductible.
The #1 Way Reduce Your Rates
Hands down the best way to ensure that your rates will remain low is to attain and maintain a good driving record. This means you have not accumulated any speeding tickets, driving infractions, or been in any accidents. This, however, is not always possible in our commute-centered lives and our “always-on-the-go lifestyles.”
We recommend following safe driving practices such as putting your cell phone away, removing distractions, and following the rules of defensive driving. The more mindful you are of the speed limit, potential accidents, and hazards on the roads, the more you can reduce your rates. Even after an accident, your rates will go down if you keep a clean(safe) record for a certain number of years.
More Ideas for Cutting Insurance Costs
Another way to make certain that you are getting the best possible deal on your auto-insurance is to ask your agent to do some research and shop around for you. That is the benefit of having a local agent work for you. We strive to find the best options for our clients and look at all the ways we can help them cut costs.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Even adults who are way past the days of high school driver’s education classes can benefit from taking a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies even provide a discount for those who complete an approved defensive driving course.
For teens just getting a driving license, your rates are unfortunately going to be high until you graduate from the highest risk category. You can, however, reduce your rates slightly by taking an approved drivers ed course and the road lessons associated with it. Bonus for getting good grades as well, since that too, reduces your rates.
Increase Your Deductible
When choosing your car insurance, you undoubtedly were asked what level you wanted your deductible to be. The deductible is the amount of money you would have to pay before insurance picks up the tab in the event of an accident, theft, or any other types of damage to the vehicle. Deductibles normally range from $250 to $1,000. The catch is, generally speaking, the lower the deductible, the higher the annual premium. Conversely, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Ask your agent how adjusting your deductible could change your payments.
Improve Your Credit Rating
This is a lot easier said than done, but the reality is the better your credit rating, the lower your insurance costs may be. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Most insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies. Research shows that people who effectively manage their credit have fewer claims. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don’t obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.”
Consider Anti-Theft Devices
Investigate with your agent whether adding anti-theft devices may lower your rates enough to warrant investing in one. Some devices are helpful in recovering a car after it has been stolen, while others are a sophisticated alarm system. Depending on the initial cost, you may find that the investment pays for itself or may even lower your rates a bit.
Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts
If your driving patterns have you anywhere near the low mileage discount offered by your insurance, consider cashing in by carpooling, taking public transit, or working remotely when possible. If any of these methods get your odometer under the magic number for the year, it will be well worth it.
Seek Out Other Discounts
We suggest that you talk to your agent to find out if there are other ways that you can cut costs. Ask about bundling your home and car insurance. Or maybe ask about insuring more than one car, long-time customer discounts, or student driver discounts for those with exceptional grades. Every little bit counts.
Talk to our agents to find out where we can help you ease the burden on your wallet.