Car insurance is something every responsible driver needs to have—and it’s typically not cheap—but don’t hit a rut with your car insurance. Here are 3 things you can do to save yourself money.
1. Shop Around Yearly
Being a loyal consumer has its rewards. While some major carriers do offer a discount for staying with them over time, this may not always save you the most amount of money. Carriers often require people to stay with a company 3 or 5 years before receiving the discount, and it’s not always the cheapest rate. Another carrier’s offer for the exact same insurance could easily be at a rate equal to or lower than the rate with a loyalty discount. Follow these tips every year:
- Put an annual, recurring reminder to shop for insurance a month or two before your current policy expires.
- Contact a broker or shop online and obtain several offers (Pro-tip: if you shop online, be prepared for a lot of phone calls and emails!).
- Do your best to carry more than the minimum state requirement so you are adequately insured.
Following the above could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars! Don’t become complacent and stick to one carrier without looking at options!
2. Ask About Available Discounts
Beyond a loyalty discount, there are often other discounts available on car insurance. While these discounts vary between states and are based on other personal factors (driving record, credit history, age, etc.), it’s worth asking if you qualify. Here are a few to run by your agent while comparing offers:
- Accident-Free/Good or Safe Driver – You have no accidents (that cost your insurer money) in the last 3 to 5 years.
- Affiliation – You may receive discounts through an employer, school, team, club, the military, AARP, etc.
- Anti-lock Brakes/Anti-theft/Green or Hybrid Car – Your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft system, or is a green/hybrid car.
- Autopay/Paid-in-Full/Paperless – You sign up for automated payments, pay for the entire policy upfront, or agree to go paperless.
- Defensive Driving Course/Driver Training – While this is usually for specific drivers (seniors, teens, inexperienced drivers), if you are in this category, ask your agent if taking an approved course can snag you a discount.
- Early renewal – You renew a policy before it expires.
- Emergency Roadside Assistance – You have roadside assistance or drive a vehicle that comes with roadside assistance.
- Good Student – You are or have a high school or college student with at least a 3.0 GPA on the policy.
- Low Income/Occupation – Some states will offer discounts or even state-sponsored insurance for individuals that qualify.
- Low Mileage/Usage – Driving between 5,000 and 15,000 miles annually, depending on the insurer.
- Homeowner – You own a single-family home or condo.
- Multi-Car/Multi-Policy –You bundle policies (home, auto, life, health, etc.), or have multiple vehicles on a policy.
- New Car – You have a car less than 3 years old.
- Safety/Passive Restraint & Airbag – This typically applies to vehicles from the 90s or older with factory-installed airbags
- Students away from Home – Students without regular access to a vehicle that live over 100 miles from home may qualify for this discount.
3. Don’t Let Your Policy Lapse
Beyond the danger of driving without insurance, this one also hurts your pocket. Not only can you face a big fine if you get caught, but you are considered high-risk the next time you purchase insurance, which can skyrocket your premiums. Make it a priority to pay your bill and maintain continuous coverage. If you’re having trouble making your payments, reach out for help (family and friends), shop for lower rates, talk to your agent about saving on your policy, or use a credit card.
If you’re in need of a great broker and live in California or Nevada–we recommend Fusco & Orsini Insurance Services.
Don’t allow car insurance to overwhelm or stress you–you can save money! If you need a partner in accountability or some help along the way to reduce stress, financial coaching might be right for you. Blue Pixel Finance can help you identify areas to save (like car insurance!) and ease stress around budgeting and money. We’re just a few clicks away – schedule a free consult and learn more!
With a passion for finance and education, Deirdre loves reading and helping others with financial literacy. Outside of work, she loves to travel–with Italy being her favorite destination. While originally from San Diego, she has called Las Vegas home since 2005.