The best ways to get cheap car insurance are to comparison-shop for quotes every 6-12 months, take advantage of all available discounts, and drop any unnecessary coverage types. Discounts can save customers up to 35%, for example, and insurers claim that drivers can save up to 20% by switching to a cheaper company.
To make sure you’re still getting the best deal, you should shop around for quotes every time you need to renew your policy. This is especially important if you recently received a ticket or were in an accident, or if you’ve been with the same insurer for a while. For instance, the cheapest car insurance company when you were a teenager might not be the cheapest option for you 10 years later.
You can use WalletHub’s cheap car insurance analysis as a starting point to find the cheapest companies in your state.
Every major insurance company offers a variety of discounts to reward customer loyalty, careful driving and safe vehicles, among other things. Although some discounts are applied automatically, others might require a little work on your part. For example, you can ask your insurer if they offer a paperless-billing discount or a paid-in-full discount.
Usage-based insurance allows drivers to receive discounts in return for safe driving habits, as monitored by a plug-in device or a smartphone app. If you’re a careful driver who’s comfortable being monitored, you could save up to 50%, depending on the insurer.
Similarly, infrequent drivers can take advantage of pay-per-mile programs, which charge customers a base rate plus a few cents per mile driven. Retirees, remote workers, and people who often use other methods of transportation are especially likely to save by switching to a pay-per-mile policy.
Your deductible is the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket when filing some types of insurance claims, including claims for collision and comprehensive coverage. Choosing a higher deductible generally results in a lower premium, so you can save by raising your deductible. However, it’s important to choose a reasonable amount that you could comfortably afford in the event of an unexpected claim.
Almost every state requires a certain amount of car insurance coverage, which you must purchase in order to drive legally. Beyond that, you need to fulfill any coverage requirements set by your lender or lessor, if applicable. Then, you can choose for yourself what else to buy, if anything.
The best way to go about deciding how much extra coverage to get is to weigh the costs and benefits of every type of optional insurance. For example, if you could get by without a car for a few days or weeks, then rental reimbursement is probably unnecessary.
Your driving record is the single most important factor in determining your auto insurance premium. Drivers with a history of moving violations, at-fault accidents, and serious offenses like DUI or reckless driving are more expensive to insure, since they are more likely to file a claim. As a result, practicing safe driving habits will help you in the long run. You can also ask your insurer if there’s a way to get a discount by taking driver’s-education or defensive-driving courses.
In states where it is allowed, every major car insurance company considers a potential customer’s credit history when calculating premiums. Insurers generally use auto insurance scores, which are based on the same information as regular credit scores. So unless you live in Hawaii, Massachusetts or California, improving your credit score overall can lower your premium by up to 67%.
As a general rule, valuable cars are more expensive to insure, as are powerful vehicles and cars that are particularly likely to be stolen. So if you’re looking to save in the long run, it’s a good idea to get quotes for different vehicles before you buy a new car. This way, you know how much you can expect to pay for coverage.