How Savvy Drivers Are Getting More Out of Their Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is a necessity – you can’t drive without it, and if you do, you could wind up facing serious penalties. And while you’re required to carry auto insurance, there’s no law stopping insurance companies from charging you insanely expensive prices year after year.
Since auto insurance is an expense you can’t go without, it’s in your best interest to pay as little as possible and maximize the money you’re spending. If you want to save on your car insurance premiums, here’s how you can get more for your money.
Pay Annually, Not Monthly
When you’re looking for an auto insurance policy, you’ll find the most common policies give you coverage for six or 12 months. If you want to lock in your rates and keep your premium steady, it’s a smart idea to choose a 12-month policy. You’ll pay one price for an entire year, and there’s no way your company can raise your rates until your policy comes up for renewal – even if you have an accident or get a traffic violation.
When choosing a policy, you also have the option to either pay the entire price of the policy upfront or pay monthly over the length of the policy’s coverage. Many insurance companies encourage monthly payments because it breaks down a big premium payment into smaller, more affordable payments – and each month, you’ll get charged a little interest on top of your premium. However, you’ll end up paying more for this “convenience” in the long run.
Like credit card companies, auto insurance providers charge additional dollars every month in interest if you choose to pay monthly. By paying your entire policy in advance in one lump sum, you can save as much as $100 per year. It’s better to pay the lower price upfront than spending more in total, even if monthly payments sound easier on your wallet.
Bundle Your Insurance
If you’re looking to save money on auto insurance, bundle your policy. There are two ways you can bundle policies:
Bundle your auto insurance with other insurance policies from the same company, like renters or homeowners insurance
Bundle your auto insurance policy with another person’s policy.
Insurance companies review all policies based on risk, and that’s how they determine your premium. If you’re a risky driver to insure, your insurance will be more expensive. However, if you’re able to bundle multiple policies together, the risk for these policies as a group will be reduced.
For example, bundling your auto and home insurance policies together could save you anywhere from $600 to $175 per year depending on where you live, according to CBS. And if you add a safer, more experienced driver to a teenaged driver’s auto insurance policy, you could save a shocking 365 percent, slashing your costs from $2,267 per year to just $621 per year, InCharge reports.
This is especially beneficial for a younger, riskier driver who’s able to bundle their policy with an older, more experienced driver with a good track record.You can also bundle your car insurance policy with other types of insurance. For example, you could also bundle your car insurance with your home insurance or even motorcycle insurance.
Make Your Car Safer
When calculating rates and premiums, all auto insurance companies consider the features of your car. Does your car have added features that improve your safety and reduce the risk of an accident? If so, you’ll be rewarded with lower premiums. When cars have features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and other add-ons that reduce your risk, you become less expensive to insure – and you’ll reap the savings. NerdWallet writes that you can save anywhere from 2 to 40 percent for these features.
Fortunately, you can get these discounts by modifying your current car. And there are a few different improvements you can make to your vehicle to prove improved safety to your insurance company.
One of the best improvements is installing a new security system, which will reduce your risk of theft and vandalism. Upgrading your side mirrors for a set with blind spot monitoring or warnings is also an option. Or, you could save money by investing in more safety features when you buy a brand-new car. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and airbags can all lower your auto insurance costs.
Choose the Right Insurance Company
The number one way to find affordable car insurance is to choose an insurance company with a great reputation and prices that fit your budget.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your money, you’ll want to choose an insurance provider that offers quality and value – which is why you’ll want to research the best auto insurance companies out there. Here are the top insurance companies you need to consider:
Progressive: Progressive is known for offering competitive rates with a multitude of discounts, roadside assistance, and more. Progressive also allows you to tell the company how much you want to spend, letting Progressive build a policy that fits your budget.
Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual attracts customers with good rates, customizable policies, and the ability to finance a variety of vehicle types. Liberty Mutual also has a 12-month rate guarantee and you can customize your insurance package, ensuring you pay for only the insurance you need.
Allstate: Allstate is known for its large network of agents located all over the U.S. as well as strong financial ratings. Allstate offers a wide range of discounts available including prepaid policy discounts, safe driver discounts, and additional discounts to save you money.
USAA: For those who qualify, USAA insurance rates are a great option. USAA offers competitive insurance rates for customers while focusing on providing insurance for standard first and second vehicles. USAA insurance is only available for active and retired members of the US military and their families.