Car insurance is one of those expenses that may seem maddening for instance, if you have never made a claim you might feel like you are throwing money away. But of course, it’s also legally required in all 50 states, so you definitely have to have it.
At the same time, car insurance is not created equally, and so it’s worth making the effort to be sure you have a solid car insurance policy that is best for you, your driving habits and your car, while also saving you as much money as possible.
Fortunately, by doing some serious shopping around both via phone and online it is quite possible to find car insurance that is best for you and your unique situation, all while not breaking the bank. For example, consider the following tips:
Be on the Lookout for Multi-Policy Discounts
When you are looking for used car insurance for your aftermarket car, keep your eyes peeled for any multi-policy discounts that may be available. These are policies that will reward you for bundling together various insurance plans from one company for example, if you purchase homeowners or renters insurance along with auto insurance. Protect My Car offers discounts on these insurances if you bundle them together; the company provides a free quote over the phone or through its website. By making the one decision to combine policies that you already have with the same company, you should see significant savings.
Seek Out Local Insurance Companies for Quotes
As you shop around for car insurance, please remember the local and regional insurers. While you are probably familiar with the big dogs that advertise all of the time on TV, smaller companies may be available in your area, and they may offer lower premiums. Spend a little time Googling what companies cover your city or state and contact them for a quote; you might be pleasantly surprised to find that you can get a great policy for much less. And don’t assume that the huge companies will offer the best prices; while it is definitely worth your time to get multiple quotes, you may find that in your state, a well-known company actually charges much more than a regional insurance firm.
Know What Affects Your Rates, and Control What You Can
When you call a car insurance company to get a quote, it’s not pulled out of thin air. These companies base their prices on the risk they are taking by insuring you and your car; to do this, they will look at your claims history, your personal data and other information. Your zip code may impact your car insurance rates if you happen to live in an area with high rates of vehicle theft and/or car wrecks, the insurance company may quote you a larger premium. Also, the more expensive your car is, the more you will likely pay. In some states, your credit score can help determine your auto insurance premiums; while California, Hawaii and Massachusetts have banned this practice, many will run your FICO score and use the results as a determining factor in your quotes. While you might not be able to move right now or wish to trade in your car for an older model, you can control your credit score. If it’s on the low side, take steps to boost your FICO score by paying your bills on time and whittling away at your credit card debt.
Look Into Additional Discounts
Bundling your policies is not the only way to qualify for discounts on your car insurance. Some companies offer additional savings for drivers for a number of reasons, so it’s always a good idea to know what these factors are and inquire about them as you call around. For example, some groups/circumstances that might qualify you for additional savings include being a veteran or active member of the military, if you have taken a driver’s ed course, if you have been accident-free for a number of years, if your car has certain safety features on it including air bags and/or anti-theft systems, and if you are an active or retired federal employee.
Great Insurance is Out There: It’s Up to You to Find It
If you have been with your current car insurance company for a long time, you might assume that your agent is making sure that you get the best rates. But when it comes to finding the best and most affordable policy, you should never presume that what you currently have is the ideal plan. Using the aforementioned tips, speak with your current agent about how you might save additional money, and then take the time to research other companies, including those that offer multi-policy discounts. You may find that by switching to another firm, you can bundle your plans, qualify for a number of other savings and end up with a car insurance premium that is ideal for you, your car and your wallet.