Study after study has shown that most of us are happy with our car insurance company.
That of course means most of us don’t switch insurance companies very often, and it isn’t unusual for some drivers to never change insurers, even if they’re paying way too much for what they’re getting. On average, more than two million of us do switch insurers online now.
A premium price on a policy may be worth it for peace of mind, but in general, it isn’t difficult to find multiple options for the average driver. Even drivers on opposite ends of the driving spectrum may also have no issues finding they’re not limited, either.
But we’ve got tips that can ensure a bit more green stays in the wallet or checkbook at the end of the month, even while staying with your current car insurance company. And you can do any of them today, including:
5. Quote Your Policy Right Here, Right Now
This can be a difficult step for many consumers to make, especially if they’ve received excellent customer service and fast claims resolution service over their time with the car insurance provider they currently have.
Lots of car insurance companies, big and small, provide good to great customer service on average. There are a couple of standout performers every year in the industry, and if you’re with one of those companies, you probably couldn’t be pried away no matter the savings.
But because there are so many providers with near identical records in that regard, you’ve probably got a number of possibilities that you’d find similar levels of satisfaction with. And you’ve got nothing less to lose than a couple of minutes of your time and a few hundred subtracted from you policy premiums.
4. Negotiate With Your Insurer
You can play two All business transactions are available for negotiation, and car insurance is no different. As we’d mentioned earlier, most of us are very satisfied with our insurance providers. Some are absolutely stellar, and their customer service seem worth a premium.
So while you may not want to switch providers, it’s well within your rights as a customer to ring up your car insurance company or drop by your agent’s office for a little negotiation.
Armed with quotes from other car insurance companies for the same or higher levels of coverage, you can simply let your insurer know that you’ve given leaving some thought, and wondered if they could match what you’ve been quoted. Don’t forget to mention the years you’ve been a customer, lack of claims and driving history and even how you’ve always had your payment in on time.
Obviously, if you’ve had recent claims or moving violations, or if your credit has worsened in the past year, you may not have much room to negotiate, and getting huge savings may only happen if you switch insurers. But if you’re a good driver, you’ve got nothing to lose, and a bit more money in the checking account at the end of the month to gain.
And if the subject isn’t brought up as your insurer tries to get you a better rate, don’t forget to ask if you’ve got every single discount available to you.
3. Bump Up Your Deductible Amounts
If you’re a bad driver, you probably don’t want to consider this, unless of course, you have the cash to spare if you do end up filing a claim. But if you have a stellar driving history and always have the extra funds available, you really can shave a substantial amount from your policy premium by raising your deductibles.
You essentially assume more personal financial risk by raising your deductible, taking it away from your insurer. If you’re a safe driver, you may be willing to assume more risk. Just remember not to bite off more than you can chew.
And don’t forget – never make a claim on your policy that isn’t significantly above your deductible amount. You’ll see substantial savings for paying small claims out-of-pocket instead of paying hundreds more each year for your policy premiums for three to five years.
2. Buy/Lease a New Car
Did you know that many used cars offer a significant pricing premium? We’ve even seen situations where a year-old preowned car is priced higher than a new current model year of the same make.
But used car pricing – and potential profit – aside, the type of car also has a tremendous impact on the premium you’re charged.
So while it may seem counterproductive to spend money in order to save money, if you’re the type who trades cars every two or three years, getting another one may indeed save you money if you select the right car.
Models with historically high costs of repair, higher fatality or injury rates simply cost more to insure, period. You and your passengers being safer not only saves you money, but can possibly save your own life, too.
Saving your life and having a lower policy premium should be enough to convince you, but there’s also the total cost of ownership (TCO) over a five year period. TCO can see wild swings of thousands of dollars up or down from model to model and from class to class.
Chances are you’d end up keeping it longer than that half a decade, so you’ll also want to consider the quality ratings for the particular make and model as well. And don’t forget, some models simply have higher resale value, so give historical pricing there more than a glance, too.
Keep in mind, this is for those that have completed a search process and know the handful of models that are serious considerations. If the calculations work out in your favor, you could drive away and save not simply hundreds on car insurance, but even a few thousand dollars over the time you own the new car.
1. Sign Up for a Defensive Driving Course
All of us experience life with its own unique wrinkles, and not all of us are natural born drivers. And even if you are a good driver to start with, you’ll still gain valuable insight into avoiding collisions and watching out for number one – meaning you and your passengers.
Successful completion of a defensive driving course can gain you a substantial discount because on the risk scale, because your insurer knows you’ll leave it a much better driver. In fact, we’d suggest folks go as far as intensive, advanced driving courses, including schools like those offered by Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant.
But if you want to take a quick and dirty way out, there are even some online only “driving courses” that insurers provide discounts of up to 10 percent on. Just for completing a “diving course” on the Internet. We’d still say opt for signing up for ones that give you time behind the wheel.
Concentrate On the Big Picture
Even if you take advantage of one or more of these suggestions, it’s important to keep a clear picture of all the things that go into how an insurer comes up with your policy premium and that all insurers – every single one of them – has it’s own underwriting formula, which is why none of them ever seem to come up with an identical premium.
Your credit record does impact premiums with most insurers, but not always at an equal rate. This is one area where obtaining multiple quotes can demonstrate wild swings in policy pricing, so if you’re credit challenged, giving quotes a go may just convince you to switch.
The same goes with making certain you’re always paid up with your insurer. Habitual late payers can see their policies not being renewed, giving a driver no choice but to switch insurers.
In the end, there’s one thing you can do that will gain you the lowest premiums possible: be an excellent driver. Lots of individual items go into making one superior behind the wheel. Keep on being as safe a driver as possible, don’t rack up moving violations or claims and just continue that trend day after day, month after month, year after year.