When was the last time you compared free car insurance quotes? More than a year? More than two? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), only 20 to 35 percent of us compare car insurance rates annually. If you are part of that group, there is a good chance you are paying more for car insurance than you need to. Perhaps a lot more!
But before you dial up the phone and start calling insurance companies, take a moment to review a few steps that can help to reduce your insurance premiums. Not all of these steps will apply to every individual, but there should be a couple of items on the list that can significantly reduce your car insurance cost.
1. Make sure you inform the insurance company of any recent changes to your vehicle that could affect your insurance rate. For instance, have you installed an anti-theft device?
2. Think about any changes in your lifestyle that would affect your driving habits. Have you left a job in order to work from home? The reduction in miles driven can have a significant impact on your car insurance quote.
3. Check you budget and decide whether or not you can afford to pay your entire car insurance premium up front. While it can be convenient to pay monthly or quarterly installment payments, the insurance company usually adds an administrative or finance fee to your premium. When you are comparing car insurance quotes, ask each provider if they offer a discount for customers who pay in full within the first ten days of the policy.
4. If you have teen drivers in the household, wait until they are fully licensed before adding them to your car insurance policy. Most insurance companies will extend coverage to teens with learning permits without listing them as drivers on your policy.
5. Ask about good driver car insurance. This type of policy requires the placement of a small tracking device in your vehicle — and then checks up on speed, acceleration and braking patterns. The result can be lower premiums for safe driving habits.
6. Ask about pay-as-you-go or by-the-mile insurance. While not offered by every insurance company, these types of policies are becoming increasingly popular in certain states. Programs like these reduce premiums for auto owners who drive fewer miles, thereby reducing traffic, pollution and the risk of car accidents. According to a recent study, almost two-thirds of households would pay less for auto insurance under this type of plan, resulting in an average savings of $270 per car per year.
So there you have it. Now that you have a few new ideas for reducing your car insurance costs, you can start gathering those free quotes.
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