(Guest post by 21st Century Insurance)
Everyone is looking for ways to save money these days, and sometimes you can find big savings in places you never considered. One of the hidden gems is your auto insurance policy. Many people go for years without comparing rates or adjusting their policies, which often leads to overpaying. Here are five easy ways that you can reduce your auto insurance rates:
1) Bundle your insurance. Many insurers give big discounts to customers that bundle their auto insurance with either their homeowners or renters insurance policy. Some offer rates up to 20% lower when combined, while others only 5%. If your current insurer doesn’t have a bundled rate, call an agent or do some quick online quotes to see if a competitor can do better. You’ll also see very low rate increases on a second (or third) car on a single policy, so check that any vehicles you are insuring are together in one policy for added savings.
2) Drive a safe car. Not necessarily a boring car, but one that is considered safe by the insurance industry. Check with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (http://IIHS.org), who do crash testing and safety ratings specifically for the insurance companies. Sometimes you’ll be surprised by the results, so when shopping for a car, it’s a great place to start.
3) Take a class. This goes for young drivers and more experienced drivers alike. Driver training courses are a great way to get your auto insurance rate reduced and are available all over the country, and for every skill level. Programs for young drivers are often offered by schools or local communities at very low cost.
4) Pay for the whole year. I know that it’s sometimes difficult to pay the large sum of your auto insurance up front, but you can save a bundle over the year if you do. Most insurers have long-term payment options, but push for monthly payments that can add $5 or $10 fees per payment. Doesn’t sound like much, but by the end of the year it’ll be nice to have that $60-$120 in your pocket instead of theirs.
5) Remove distractions. We’re all guilty of driving distracted these days, but do what you can to reduce distractions in the car. Talking on the phone and texting alone cause about 30% of traffic accidents, and some studies show distracted driving to be responsible for up to 80% of all crashes in the US. There’s no easier way to reduce rates than keeping a clean driving record!
With these few tips, you should be well on your way to saving some money on your car insurance policy.