Before you can take your car out for a spin, you are required by law to have auto insurance. In some states it is required you show proof of insurance to register any vehicle. Not having car insurance can result in license suspension and heavy fines. Of course that does not mean you should rush out and sign up for any policy you can find. The following tips will help you narrow down your choices and save money.
- Get Quoted – Getting preliminary quotes from the various insurance companies helps you eliminate those that do not fit your coverage needs or your budget. Realistically, you should narrow your choices to about two or three policies that fulfill coverage and budget needs. Many companies offer online quotes or a representative will contact you over phone.
- Know your driving record and credit score – Before you sign papers, it is best that you know your driving record and credit score. You should know how many tickets and accidents you have had recently as this may affect your premium. Having a recent bill from your current insurer is helpful as well. Take into account how much you were paying for what coverage and try to match or beat that figure.
- Compare benefits – Once you have narrowed down your choices, compare benefits and incentives from each insurance company. Some insurers also offer discounts for being a good driver, being a good student and having multiple insurance policies with the same company.
- Review insurance companies – Ask friends and co-workers what insurance they currently have and ask about their experiences. Do they like their insurer? How smooth is the claim filing experience? Using other people’s insurance follies will help you avoid similar pitfalls. Time should be taken to visit sites such as J.D. Power and Associates. Sites like this offer consumer satisfaction surveys reviewing auto insurance companies.
- Don’t forget to cancel any prior policy – Make sure you don’t put off making that call to cancel your previous policy. Failing to do so results in a balance due that can be reported to a collection company.
- Raise your deductible – Your deductible is the amount you pay when you make a claim before your insurance company pays. The downside of this is that you pay more when you do file a claim. The upside is that your annual insurance premium goes down.
- Insure based on worth – If you are insuring an older car, it is best to reduce or drop your collision and/or comprehensive insurance. If your car is not worth much to begin with, then paying for collision and comprehensive insurance may not make sense.
- Low profile vehicles – Part of what is taken into account when figuring out your premium costs is the type of vehicle that you drive. Some models are common targets for auto theft. Models that are more expensive to repair can be more expensive to insure.
- Take on any and all discounts – Before finalizing anything on paper, try to qualify for as many discounts as you possibly can. Discounts can be offered depending on your occupation, the professional organizations you belong to and the amount of driving you do, among other things.