The end of the month is always a nice kick-in-the-pants reminder of exactly what bills you are paying and how much you are paying for them. Some of these payments might lead you to label them as unnecessary and inevitably drop them altogether. If you’re a driver however, auto insurance should never be one of these expendable payments. And while car insurance can become one of our more expensive routine payments, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Here are some tips on how to better ensure that you’re not paying more for auto insurance than you need to.
The type of car insurance that you need depends on a couple of factors. Frist off, you need to figure out what the minimum requirements are in your state. Most states in the US require drivers to have a minimum amount of liability insurance in case they damage another vehicle. Another factor to consider is how much your vehicle is worth. If your car isn’t worth all that much, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to have full coverage. If your car is somewhat of a lemon, you might want to opt for collision coverage over comprehensive coverage.
A big part of negotiating a better rate comes down to shopping around. That means if you want to save a decent amount of money month to month then you’re gonna want to compare rates from different insurance companies. Auto insurance rates should be readily available online, but you may want to talk to an insurance representative over the phone to get some of the rates and deals that aren’t present on the company’s website.
After you’ve done some price comparing and other research, you should be ready to talk through some actual negotiating. Before you talk to a representative, make sure you have a list of questions prepared to ask. A big part of the negotiating process will be mentioning the price comparisons you noted between insurance companies. The insurance company wants your business, so they will listen to what you have to say and potentially lower the rate based on what you present them.
When you are talking to the insurance representative you should get the full story on what their plans cover. Odds are you won’t need the complete coverage that they offer and can also pick and choose some of the coverage your vehicle gets under their plan. A couple of examples of coverage that may not be completely necessary include: roadside assistance, full-glass replacement or rental car use. While these are important, you might not need them based on your driving record. A better use of that money might be by putting into savings on the off chance that you do need one of those services.
When you decide on an insurance provider it’s time to decide on a particular plan. Part of this includes talking through your deductible – you could save a lot of money on the back end depending on the deductible you choose. By setting a higher deductible you can lower your comprehensive coverage anywhere from 15 to 30 percent, depending. Before you make any of these decision however, you should make sure you have enough money set aside to pay said deductible.
Another essential part of the negotiating process is knowing what discounts are available to you. There are all sorts of discounts based on where you work, your grades (if you’re in school), your age and even your travel habits. Believe it or not, some insurance companies will take into account how often you use public transit – driving less miles puts them less at risk after all.
After all of the legwork you did finding the perfect insurance policy for your car for the perfect price, don’t let it slip away. If you let your insurance policy lapse you are guaranteeing a higher premium on your next auto insurance purchase. That particular paper trail will follow you and future potential insurance providers will note the noticeable lack of responsibility on your part. Stay on top of it!
This may be the easiest piece of advice to give but the hardest one to actually put into practice. Besides all of the negotiating, the discount finding and the price comparing, your driving record is the most important thing when you are looking for auto insurance. Car accidents and multiple speeding infractions lead to raises in premiums. To be frank: being a safe driver saves the insurance company money, which in turn saves you money. If you are a responsible driver, you will be rewarded for it.
So there you have it folks! Being completely without auto insurance would be completely unwise, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank for it. If you are aware of your driving history and personal needs, it’s not hard at all to find an auto insurance plan that is both affordable and accommodating. Go forth and be bold, insurance shoppers!
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