The best way to get cheaper car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple companies and then switch to whichever insurer offers the coverage you want at the cheapest rate. Other ways to get cheaper car insurance include taking advantage of discounts, improving your driving record, and raising your credit score.
10 Ways to Get Cheaper Car Insurance
1. Compare quotes every 6-12 months.
Every car insurance company calculates premiums slightly differently, so the quote you get from one company can easily be hundreds of dollars more expensive than another company’s quote. Getting quotes from multiple insurers every time you need to renew your policy can help you realize if you’re overpaying for the same amount of coverage.
2. Take advantage of discounts.
All major car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, which can save drivers as much as 35% in some cases. For instance, many insurers offer multi-policy and multi-car discounts, as well as good student and good driver discounts, and more.
3. Increase your deductible.
Raising your deductible will lower your premium, though it’s important to choose a deductible amount that you can afford in an emergency. A car insurance deductible is an amount that you have to pay out of pocket before your insurer will cover the rest. Deductibles apply to several types of coverage, including collision and comprehensive insurance.
4. Improve your credit score.
Insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores, where allowed by state law since studies have shown that these scores effectively indicate a driver’s likelihood of filing a claim. Given that insurance scores are based on credit report information, raising your credit score can help reduce your rate over time.
5. Consider usage-based insurance.
Usage-based insurance is a type of car insurance that calculates your premium based on your driving habits. Each company’s usage-based program varies, but most consider your total mileage, braking, acceleration, and speed. These programs are ideal for safe drivers, especially those who do not use their cars for long commutes or frequent trips.
6. Choose a car that is inexpensive to insure.
Cars that are particularly fast, powerful, and/or costly to repair are among the most expensive to insure. Insurers also charge higher premiums for cars that are more likely to be stolen. The next time you go car shopping, compare insurance quotes for different models in advance with this in mind. And if your premiums are prohibitively expensive now, consider trading in your vehicle for a car that is cheap to insure.
7. Take a defensive driving course.
In some states, insurance companies are required to give you a discount for completing a defensive driving course. Even where it isn't mandatory, insurers will sometimes provide a discount to encourage customers to improve their driving techniques.
If your insurer does not lower your premium just for taking a course, working on your driving skills will still pay off in the long run and help you keep your record clean. On that note, certain states also allow you to take a course in order to prevent driver’s license points from affecting your car insurance rates.
8. Consider your coverage types and amounts.
All the different types of car insurance can make it difficult to determine what exactly is worth paying for. At a minimum, you need to fulfill your state’s requirements and also purchase any coverage your lender or lessor requires. But beyond that, you can weigh whether each add-on coverage option is worth the price.
For instance, maybe you should drop uninsured motorist property damage insurance from your policy if you already have collision insurance. Or maybe you don’t need rental reimbursement coverage anymore because you could borrow a family member’s car if needed.
9. Practice good driving habits.
Moving violations like speeding tickets signal to your insurer that you are a risky driver, as do serious convictions like reckless driving. By driving safely, you can keep yourself safe and your premium low. If you have tickets or at-fault accidents on your driving record already, work on driving carefully from now on, since they will only affect your rate for a few years.
10. Check out local and regional companies.
Large car insurance companies spend billions on advertising every year, but smaller insurers may be able to provide the cheapest premiums in some cases. So, when you’re shopping around, make sure to compare quotes from companies of all sizes. You can use WalletHub’s cheap car insurance guide as a starting point. Just click on your state to compare the cheapest insurers.
Car insurance premiums are based on drivers’ individual risk factors as well as the coverage types and limits they choose. Check out WalletHub's full guide on the factors that affect car insurance rates for more information.
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