Almost all states require vehicle owners to carry insurance. This means if you own a car, you must have auto insurance. States typically have fairly severe penalties if you are caught without insurance, so it is definitely not something worth taking a chance on. You need to have coverage. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to break your budget to get it.
In fact, car insurance is one area where you have a lot of opportunities to customize and influence your rates. By working closely with your insurance agent, you should be able to create a policy that will suit your needs and your budget. Here are a few things to do in order to make this happen.
Ask for Discounts
There are many discounts offered on car insurance. You can get discounts for having multiple policies, multiple drivers, multiple vehicles, memberships in organizations and for just carrying insurance with the same company for multiple periods. You should ask to go over every discount available. This will help ensure you don’t miss any that you qualify for.
You can also get discounts based on how you pay your insurance. The biggest and best discount comes from paying your premium in one lump sum instead of paying monthly. You also may be able to get a discount by signing up for direct withdrawals from a checking account.
Choose a Smart Deductible
It is fairly common knowledge that the amount of your deductible affects your insurance premium. This is true for any kind of insurance. However, when it comes to choosing your deductible, you have to be smart. While you may get immediate savings by bumping it from $500 to $1000, is $1000 something you could realistically come up with if you got into an accident? For many people that is stretching it a bit. Coming up with $500 makes more sense.
If you can afford a higher deductible, then, by all means, go for it. However, if you can’t, then this is not a good savings step to take.
You need to shop around when buying car insurance. Each company figures its rates differently. There really is no standard in the industry, so you could get a quote for $600 from one company and turn around and get a quote for the exact same policy from another company for $300. It all depends on how the company weighs different factors that influence cost and what discounts they may offer.
It is well worth your time to shop around. You should check with at least three companies. Make sure at least one is a local agent. They can usually offer the best rates. Make sure also that you are comparing the exact same coverage. You don’t want to compare policies where the coverage is different because that doesn’t give you an accurate comparison.
Getting a good car insurance rate is a matter of smart shopping. You can easily find a policy that will fit your budget and still give you good coverage if you simply ask for discounts, choose a good deductible and shop around.